From Battle of Adwa to Gun War, here’re five colonial-era battles in Africa that shocked the world

Mildred Europa Taylor August 05, 2020
Zulu king Cetshwayo in 1878
Zulu king Cetshwayo in 1878

The Anglo-Zulu War 

It was a battle that took place in 1879 between the British Army and the Zulus in South Africa. The war began on January 11, 1879, and was sparked by the imperialists who wanted to expand on the territory they held and also the diamond rush that brought thousands to mine for the treasure in the area. However, the Zulu Kingdom of Cetshwayo kaMpande and its proud warriors were in the way of the land-expansion conquest.

Around 20,000 Zulus armed with traditional spears, shields, and a smattering of firearms they were not trained to use, stormed a British column of 1,800 troops and 400 civilians. Zulu second-in-command Ntshingwayo kaMahole Khoza led the fighters in the attack, which left around 1,300 British dead. The Zulus suffered losses of around 1,000 men. The Zulus handed the British a resounding defeat, although they would soon go on to lose the conflict months later.


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