...and while the events of this date were not all that awesome, certain battles to follow today's unauthorized invasion of Zululand in 1879 by British Lt. General Chelmsford are some of the most remarkable in history.
Later the same month, on January 22, 1879 the Zulus wiped out a very large contingent of British forces under Chelmsford at Isandhlwana, killing 850 British soldiers, 450 native troops in British Service, and taking nearly 1000 rifles with ammunition. This was the most devastating defeat for British forces in battle against native forces, only about 55 British troops survived the battle, along with some native troops in British service. It was one heck of a piece of fine fighting by the Zulus for sure against better armed British troops, but despite the big win, the luck of the Zulus was about to change later on that same day.
On that same day, January 22, 1879, one of the most awe inspiring battles of all time took place at Roarke's Drift when about 138 British Soldiers defended their position against an opposing force of about 4,000 to 5,000 Zulu Warriors, many armed with British rifles. Should I forget to write about this on January 22, at least I made mention here. You can see more about this at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorke%27s_Drift, and at: http://www.rorkesdriftvc.com/, http://schwartz.eng.auburn.edu/zulu/rorke.html, http://www.rorkesdriftvc.com/battle/battle.htm, http://battlefields.kzn.org.za/battlefields/about/192.xml. Eleven British soldiers received the Victoria Cross for their actions that day, more such awards than had ever been given for any single engagement in British History; and that record stands through today.
Not only did the British erect a memorial to the British soldiers who fought and fell at Roarke's Drift: http://www.rorkesdriftvc.com/battle/rorkesdrift_monument.htm , but they also erected one in honor of the Zulu Warriors who fought and fell there that day: http://www.rorkesdriftvc.com/battle/zulu_memorial.htm.
It will soon be time once again to sit down with a good beer in hand and watch one of my favorite movies of all time: Zulu (1964) (http://imdb.com/title/tt0058777/), starring Michael Caine and Stanley Baker. If you have never seen this movie, why not find a copy, then wait until the 22nd January, then find a nice comfortable chair and a beer, and plop you butt into it in front of the television and give it a watch. By the way, if you cannot wait to see, oh well what the heck - go for it.
All the best,
On Grail Guns...
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