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On this day in 1879

From The Barrel of a Gun reminds us:

On this day in 1879, roughly one hundred able-bodied men of the 24th Regiment of Foot, accompanied by some 40 wounded men, despite being grossly outnumbered and outgunned, engaged and defeated a force of some four to five thousand Zulu warriors at the mission station of Rorke's Drift, South Africa.


They don't like it up 'em.

(And yes, I know Jonesy was referring to Omdurman).

four to five thousand Zulu warriors some of whom were seriously lit-up on some jungle-juice combination of speed, psycho-hallucinogenics, and variations of cannabis to make them feel invincable - and still they vinced. Heh.

Fire by ranks... An outstanding rate of fire... Was it Ze Germans who thought we had machine guns on the battlefield when, in fact, our chaps were firing in ranks?

Anyway, makes me want to go and buy a Martini-Henry for the wall.

I once worked this out on a fag packet. If they were assaulted by a full strength impi and it's reasonable to assume they were, the odds were hovering around 32/1.

Conventional military wisdom states that in order to assault a defended position, a 4/1 superiority must be achieved.

Not a bad piece of work lads, clean your weapons and fall out.

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