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Like Wolves on the Fold (Hardback)

The Defence of Rorke's Drift

Boer/Zulu War All Frontline Books Frontline: Zulu/Boer Wars

By Colonel Mike Snook
Frontline Books
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781848326026
Published: 26th August 2010

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Wednesday 22 January 1879 was one of the most dramatic days in the annals of military history. In the morning, a modern British army was swept aside by the onset of a seemingly unstoppable host at Isandlwana. Nearby, at a remote border outpost on the Buffalo River, a single company of the 24th Regiment and a few dozen recuperating hospital patients were passing another hot, monotonous day. News of the disaster across the river came like a bolt from the blue. Retreat was not an option. It seemed certain that the Rorke's Drift detachment would share the terrible fate of their comrades.

Colonel Snook brings the insights of a military professional to bear in this strikingly original account. It is an extraordinary tale – a victory largely achieved by the sheer bloody-mindedness in adversity of the British infantryman, fighting at remarkable odds of over thirty to one. The heroics of all eleven VC winners are recounted in detail, and we are offered new insights into how the Zulu attack unfolded and how 150 men achieved their victory.

The author describes the remainder of the war, from the recovery of the lost Queen's Colour of the 24th to the climactic charge of the 17th Lancers at Ulundi. We return to Isandlwana to consider culpability, and learn of the often tragic fates of many of the war's participants.

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Colonel Mike Snook

About Colonel Mike Snook

Colonel Mike Snook was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Wales and over the ensuing 30 years served all round the world in command, operations and intelligence appointments. He spent two thirds of his career overseas and saw extensive active service in four campaigns. He is a graduate of Leicester University, Sandhurst and the Army Staff College. Twice honoured for operational distinction, he was awarded the MBE in 2000. He spent four years as a British military adviser in South Africa and latterly was the head of the UN’s J3 Operations staff in Khartoum. A recognised authority on the military history of the Victorian era, he is the author of How Can Man Die Better: the Secrets of Isandlwana Revealed, Like Wolves on the Fold: The Defence of Rorke’s Drift, Into the Jaws of Death: British Military Blunders 1879-1900 and Go Strong into the Desert: The Mahdist Uprising 1881-5.

Perfect Partner

The Zulu Wars The War Despatches Series (Hardback)

The events at Rorke's Drift, the iconic defence of a mission station by a small force of British and colonial troops, were immortalised in the 1964 film Zulu. In January 1879, a small garrison of just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the mission against a force of 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors. The fierce, but piecemeal, Zulu attacks on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the defenders but were ultimately repelled. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders. The battle at Rorke's Drift was an early engagement in the Zulu War. Lasting between January and…

By John Grehan, Martin Mace

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