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Rorke's Drift 1879: 'Pinned like rats in a hole' (Trade Editions)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Rorke's Drift 1879: 'Pinned like rats in a hole' (Trade Editions).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Ian Knight(Author) Alan Perry(Illustrator)

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Rorke's Drift sums up some of the best traditions of the British self-image: steadfastness against the odds, victory in adversity and the thin red line. The British stand deserves to go down in history as one of the most heroic actions of all time. The story of a mere 150 British and Imperial soldiers defending an isolated outpost against over 3,000 Zulu warriors summed up the experience of the colonial adventure for the Victorians and remains part of our heritage even today. Ian Knight recounts the course of this famous conflict in which no less than 11 Victoria crosses were won.

Ian Knight was born in 1956. He was a freelance writer on military history for ten years before studying Afro-Caribbean History at the University of Kent. He has written widely on Zulu history and travelled extensively in Zululand. Ian was the editor of the Victorian Military Society journal for many years, and has written several books for Osprey.

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Review Text

  • By Stuart on 25 July 2017

    A stunning and comprehensive book of this historic battle. Brilliant. A definite buy.

  • By Simon S on 7 January 2000

    Cy Endfield & Stanley Baker's masterly film 'Zulu' is a stirring and hugely entertaining piece of work, but anyone with a historical interest in the actual events of the conflict at Rorke's Drift will find themselves wondering just how much of the on-screen action is authentic and how much evolved from the established dramatic conventions of action-movie making.This books answers that impulse and paints a picture which is no less-stirring, but significantly more human and affecting. Far from the cliched and sterotypical characters of the film (the whimsically sentimental Welshmen, the raving missionary, the token female lust object, the class rivalry between Chard and Bromhead, the scoundrel Hook and the old-hand Sgt Major Bourne, etc) Knight's study presents us with real people in a real situation, and one can't help feeling the film would have been even better if it had stuck to the astonishing facts. Imagine, for example, the impact if early scenes in the film had included such details as the Rorke's Drift contingent being able to hear the gunshots at Isandlwana, a mere five miles away, or that lookouts mistook the advancing Zulu column for the return of their own Native Contingent.The book is filled with excellent maps, time-lines and pictures - though some of colour plates provided by the book's illustrators are merely lurid where they should be evocative - and there is enough attention to the scale of the Zulu war as a whole, and its place in the Imperial ambitions of Britain to encourage further reading.I saw the film 'Zulu' on Sunday afternoon many years ago, in my early teens, and was deeply moved by it. At that age I was unaware of the historical background to the Zulu war and the British presence in Africa, but the bare bones of the tale, the sheer human drama of being part of that contingent overwhelmed me. 'What must it have been like?', I kept asking myself.Now, thanks to this book, I know.

  • By John Clayton on 11 August 2016

    as a history buff and longtime aficionado of this key battle in British military history, plus having seen the Michael Caine movie ZULU (that made him a star) about this battle, I have always been eager to find out much more about the ACTUAL battle as it really happened. This book, "Rorke's Drift 1879" answers ALL my questions - and then some. Not only is it REALLY fact filled, it is also (for an as-it-happened-history-book) truly fascinating. It is very well written and, having seen the movie's depiction of how the major characters looked, this book has many photos of how they REALLY looked in their 1800s clothing and uniforms - which makes the book even more readable and interesting. Added to that, is the fact this book details how, why and where things REALLY took place - questions that the movie never did, or did not want to address. You might also say that the book is a "real page turner" in terms of compelling action and written in an honest to goodness attention getting way. It's a winner from start to finish.

  • By Thomas Raymann on 17 June 2006

    Great book especially for beginners on the subject or if you just want a quick overwies. Gripping account, well written, great pics.Must have!

  • By W. M. Wilkie on 5 February 2011

    Yet another meticulous study from Osprey Publications giving an unbiased view of the famous confrontation at Rourke's Drift between the Zulu nation and Great Britain. The background information whets the appetite, whilst the graphics and maps paint the picture of the historic events that took place, being more realistic, historically correct and just as dramatical as the film.

  • By derek armitage on 2 January 2013

    Another good publication that deals with all the myths that have emerged over the years. Welsh chiors and all ! I Iiked the detailed maps and the location of each part of the defence system, it is a good read and a worth while reference book.

  • By Richard Smith on 12 October 2014

    An interesting read that explains well the real story behind this famous battle. Recommended!


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