On January 22, 1879, a Zulu army defeated invading troops from the British Empire at the Battle of Isandlwana, in what is today the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This was an early battle in the Anglo-Zulu War, itself part of Britain’s long campaign to control what would become South Africa.The Zulu troops at Isandlwana were led by the military strategist Ntshingwayo kaMahole. kaMahole led his army in an effective flanking maneuver that surprised the much smaller British force, which also included native African troops from the neighboring British colony of Natal. The Zulus were mostly armed with long spears and their trademark cowhide shields. Zulu leader Cetshwayo, learning of the possible invasion, had also bought muskets and rifles. However, these weapons were older, of an inferior quality, and most Zulu soldiers had not been trained in their use.The overwhelming setback shocked the British public and military leaders—this was perhaps the first time that an African army equipped with knives defeated a Western power armed with advanced weaponry. British leaders increased the number of troops and weaponry dedicated to the Anglo-Zulu War. The Zulu kingdom (sometimes called Zululand) was crushed just six months later.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry armed Adjective
military land forces.
violent encounter during a conflict.
to conduct or coordinate activities designed to achieve a social, political, or military goal.
people and land separated by distance or culture from the government that controls them.
to overcome an enemy or obstacle.
useful or able to perform a task.
group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.
to prepare or provide the right equipment.
to be or place at the side of something.
of lower quality.
an attack or move to take possession.
hill in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
type of government with a king or queen as its leader, or the land ruled by that king or queen.
Encyclopedic Entry: kingdom maneuver Noun
a skillful movement.
firearm used from the 16th through the 19th centuries, similar to the modern rifle.
to completely overpower.
division of a country larger than a town or county.
Encyclopedic Entry: province public Noun
people of a community.
firearm, shot from the shoulder, with spiral grooves in the gun barrel that allow the bullet to twist on exit.
large, flat piece of armor usually carried on the non-dominant arm, intended to protect against piercing weapons.
expert in careful planning toward a goal (strategy).
tool to hurt or combat an opponent.