Blood River 1838: The Zulu–Boer War and the Great Trek (Campaign #402) (Paperback)
Other Books in Series
This is book number 402 in the Campaign series.
A myth-shattering study of the first clash between the Zulu kingdom and European interlopers and its dramatic effects on Boer and Zulu alike.
By the 1830s, the Zulu kingdom was consolidating its power as the strongest African polity in the south-east, but was under growing pressure from British traders and hunters on the coast, and descendants of the early Dutch settlers at the Cape – the Boers.
In 1837, the vanguard of the Boer's Great Trek migration reached the borders of Zulu territory, causing alarm. When the Boer leader Piet Retief and his followers were massacred in cold blood, war broke out. Although the initial Boer counter-attacks were defeated by the Zulus, in December 1838 a new Trekker offensive resulted in a nation-defining clash between Boer and Zulu at the battle of Blood River (Bloed Rivier/Ncome).
In this groundbreaking and carefully balanced new work, containing stunning battlescene artwork and detailed maps, Ian Knight sensitively explores what has long been a controversial and partisan topic in South African history, placing the Zulus more squarely in this part of their history. Among the topics covered are the 1836 Boer/Ndebele conflict, the military effectiveness of the opposing forces, the imbalance in technique and weaponry, the reasons why the British settlers allied themselves with the Boer Trekkers, and why the war was a key turning point in the use of traditional Zulu military techniques. This work also reveals that a Boer victory at Blood River was by no means a foregone conclusion.
About the Author
Ian Knight is widely acknowledged as a leading authority on the colonial campaigns of the Victorian Empire. He has written extensively on the subject including several Men-at-Arms, Campaign, Essential Histories, Elite and Fortress titles for Osprey, including the Queen Victoria's Enemies series. He has worked on a number of television documentaries and is a founder member of the Victorian Military Society. He has received awards for his work on campaigns in southern Africa during the 19th century, notably the Anglo-Zulu War. He lives in West Sussex, UK.
Adam Hook studied graphic design, and began his work as an illustrator in 1983. He specializes in detailed historical reconstructions, and has illustrated Osprey titles on subjects as diverse as the Aztecs, the Ancient Greeks, Roman battle tactics, 19th-century American subjects, the modern Chinese Army, and the history of fortification. His work features in exhibitions and publications throughout the world.