Penguin Specials are designed to fill a gap. Written to be read over a long commute or a short journey, they are original and exclusively in digital form. This is Saul David's compelling examination of one of history's greatest battles.
On 22nd January, at Isandlwana in Zululand, South-East Africa, the British Army suffered one of the worst defeats in its history. A camp of 1,700 men, armed with state-of-the-art weapons and two artillery pieces, was surprised and overwhelmed by a huge Zulu army equipped with only spears. It became the seminal battle of the Zulu War, an ill-conceived, incompetently executed and fruitless campaign for the British.
In this Penguin Short, Saul David presents a concise, devastating and utterly gripping account of the most brutal of battles that will transport you to the plains of Africa and the cauldron of war, and all for less than the price of a cup of coffee.
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The Battle of Isandlwana
This is a surprisingly detailed account of the famous battle. Indeed for the causal reader it may contain too much detail of names of the key players and regiments whether British Army or Zulu. However it does have the attraction of making it more personal. I would have found more maps of help to keep up with the flow of the battle. It is not easy to picture the attack by flipping back and forward to the one illustration at the beginning of the book.
For those readers who need to refresh their historical knowledge, a bit more context would have been helpful as well as something at the end of the book about the outcome and a brief reference to the following actions. That said it is an interesting read and a good introduction for further reading.