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In 1879 South Africa, the administrators of the British Cape Colony have designs to eliminate the Zulus as a hindrance to their colonial economy. To that end, the British present King Cetshwayo with an impossible ultimatum to provoke a war they are sure they can win easily with their rifles and artillery against native spears. However, that war proves more difficult than the arrogant British commander, Lord Chelmsford, expects as his overburdened army fruitlessly searches for the elusive enemy. However, in the shadow of a hill called Isandlwana, the overconfident British army learns to its sorrow just how badly they have underestimated the tactical skill and might of the Zulu nation.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The lack of ammunition due to boxes being "screwed down" was given as the main reason for the British defeat. This has been disproven by historical records and archaeological evidence. The ammo boxes were screwed down, but they were designed to be opened in a hurry by knocking off the center section of the lid. This is clearly demonstrated in a scene near the end of the battle where a rifle butt is used to knock out the panel. The real main reason for the loss of the camp was that the firing lines were too far out and spread, reducing the effectiveness of the British volley fire. Also, the Martini Henry rifles started to jam and misfire after prolonged firing, allowing the Zulus, who had suffered terrible losses, to close with the firing lines, and overwhelm them in mass charges. See more »
The Queen's Colour (flag) of the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment, is shown uncased and unfurled in the camp, and when Lt. Melvill tries to carry it to safety. In reality, the colour was kept cased - with a black leather sheath around the furled flag - and Melville carried it away cased. See more »
Sir Henry Bartle Frere:
[proofreading aloud the ultimatum he has just drafted]
Cetshwayo's Zulu army to disband and the warriors permitted to return to their homes.
See more »
Opening credits prologue: One hundred years ago the British Colony of Natal in Southern Africa was surrounded by a vast and independent Zulu Kingdom.
In 1879, a battle took place that was forever to alter the course of Colonial history: ISANDHLWANA See more »
A black day for British colonialism depicted in a very good film
The events leading up to and culminating with the 1879 battle of Ishandlwana are depicted very well in this exciting film. Although made some 15 years after the 1964 flim "Zulu", this film is actually the "prequel" to the other and should be viewed first in order for a better understanding of these two events in the British invasion of Zululand. The cast contains too many splendid actors and performances to single any out. Some historical errors do creep in but, on the whole, the film conveys the look and feel of the real thing. Very much worth the price of admission.
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