Rorke's Drift, 1879, Ian Knight

Rorke's Drift, 1879, Ian Knight

Pinned Like Rats in a Hole

This is an excellent book covering the battle made famous by the film Zulu in great detail. Its 96 pages are crammed full of colour and black and white illustrations with some great plates especially the ones showing the aftermath of the battle and one showing Zulu snipers. Also reproduced, some in colour are famous painting of the battle. Clear 3-D colour maps of the stages of the battle help bring it to life and are so could I based OHP lecture slides on them when teaching. Also present are black and white contemporary and modern photographs.

The text is rich in detail and is an excellent read, less dry than many osprey books on campaigns and gives a feel for both sides and the heroism shown (More VC’s were won in this battle than any other in British history). The book also takes a balanced and unbiased view and is free from any racism or pro colonialism. The section on war-gaming the battle is also thoughtful and detailed. If you enjoyed the film Zulu and want to read about what really happened or a just interested in the Zulu war then this book is a must.


Origins of the Battle
Opposing Plans
Opposing Armies
Opposing commanders
The Battle
The Battlefield Today
War gaming Rorke’s Drift
Guide to Further Reading

Author: Ian Knight
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 96
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 1996