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Crossing the Buffalo: The Zulu War of 1879

Adrian Greaves

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Prose: non-fiction, General & world history, Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900

A new and complete history of Zululand, and its destruction at the hands of the British in 1879.

This book is not only a complete history of the Zulus but also an account of the way the British won absolute rule in South Africa.
In the early decades of the nineteenth century, Shaka Zulu established a nation in south-east Africa which was to become the most politically sophisticated and militarily powerful black nation in the entire area. Although the Zulus never had any quarrel with their British neighbours, the rulers of the Cape Colony could not conceive of them as anything but a threat. In 1879, under dubious pretences, the British finally crossed the Buffalo River, and embarked on a bloody war that was to rock the very foundations of the British Empire.
The story is studded with tales of incredible heroism, drama and atrocity on both sides: the Battle of Isandlwana, where the Zulus inflicted on the British the worst defeat a modern army has ever suffered at the hands of men without guns; Rorke's Drift, where a handful of British troops beat off thousands of Zulu warriors and won a record 11 VCs; and Ulundi, where the Zulus were finally crushed in a battle that was to herald some of the most shameful episodes in British Colonial history.
Comprehensive, vast in scope, and filled with original and up-to-date research, this is a book that is set to replace all standard works on the subject.

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Adrian Greaves

Dr Adrian Greaves is the founder of the Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society and the author of numerous books on the period and South African wars.

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