Vogless wrote:Anyone have a suggestion for some good books for a beginner on the A/Z War?
There's three books that you simply have to own. You will not be disappointed!
1. Zulu Rising by Ian Knight - a simply fantastic backgrounder to the causes of the Anglo-Zulu War, and then the ensuing disaster of iSlandlwana and the epic victory at Rorke's Drift
2. Like Wolves on the Fold by LCol Mike Snook - a terrific in depth analysis of Rorke's Drift, immensely readable, by a serving officer of the regiment that today perpetuates the 24th Regiment. This guy is the business!
3. How Can Man Die Better: The Secrets of Isandlwana Revealed by LCol Mike Snook - title says it all, again another brilliant piece of military history writing.
These are the books that great stories of the Anglo-Zulu War are made of! All three are in current print, in paperback, so are affordable and are very much available. They are also very current in scope, which is nice.
Get as many books as you can, read them and form your own judgement. Most important: Distinguish between source and deduction.
There is no ultimate book about the Zulu war. Many make superb reading and convince you until you read the next one with a different view.
How can men die better is one of these. Brilliant writing but Snook tell you what he think it happened just because that would be the way he would do it. Deduction, not source. Old mistake by serving men writing history. Worse if writing 100 years later, ignoring different training and thinking structures. Well, he is an officer from a regiment that can trace his history to the 24th. So that certain RE officer did everything wrong and ..... . May he he is right and that is the true story. But.....
Not intending to start a discussinon about that certain book, just showing that no Zulu war book is undisputed.
Again, read, read, read. But be carefull with believing.
I am surprised no-one has mentioned Washing of the Spears by Morris?
“When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.” - Kenyatta
First up I'll say I'm not an expert on the AZW, but I did pick up "The Illustrated Guide to the Anglo-Zulu War" recently. Now, whilst I would usually run a mile from anything billed as an "Illustrated Guide", this contains detailed maps of all of the actions and encampments/fortifications, at least some of which appear to be based on archeaological surveys of the sites, and detailed orders of battle. I can't vouch for its accuracy as I have little else to compare it to, but to my eye it looks very useful as a companion to other more general accounts.
And just to please my 4 year old daughter who is standing next to me, here are some smilies:
Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?