The Battle of Rorke’s Drift – Zulu (5/11)

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The 1964 film Zulu depicts the British-Zulu War that was fought in 1879, and specifically focuses on the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, where a force of only around 100 British soldiers, many of them wounded or sick, held off a force of over 4,000 Zulu warriors for more than twenty four hours. In the Zulu War, a British army of 1,200 men was ambushed and slaughtered by an army of 20,000 Zulus following the British Invasion of Zululand.

4,000 of those warriors then broke of and swung north to attack Rorke’s Drift, the only remaining British outpost in Zululand as the rest of the army was in full retreat following the massacre of Isandlwana. The Zulus further attacked the outpost from all sides at once, and sent wave after wave of warriors forward. The British miraculously managed to hold them off by constructing multiple layers of defenses and falling back when the layer in front of them would be breached.

Eventually, the Zulus decided to break off the attack, but not before honoring the surviving British soldiers for their incredibly bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. More Victoria’s Crosses were awarded to British soldiers at Rorke’s Drift than any other battle in history.


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Written by Nicholas