Rorke's Drift

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Battle before: Battle of Isandlwana
Battle after: Siege of Eshowe
Missing image
Zulusmall.jpg
The Attack on Rorke's Drift

Battle of Rorke's Drift
ConflictZulu War
DateJanuary 22 - January 23, 1879
PlaceRorke's Drift, South Africa
ResultDecisive British victory
Combatants
Britain Zulu Nation
Commanders
John Rouse Merriott Chard
Prince Dabulamanzi
Strength
139 Approximately 4000-5000 men
Casualties
17 KIA, 15 Wounded ~550 KIA

Rorke's Drift was a mission station in Natal, South Africa. The defence of Rorke's Drift (January 22January 23, 1879) during the Anglo-Zulu War immediately followed the British Army's humiliating defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana earlier in the day. At Rorke's Drift 139 British soldiers successfully defended their garrison against an intense assault by roughly 5000 Zulu warriors.

The events surrounding the assault on Rorke's Drift were dramatised in the film Zulu in 1964. In 1979 the battle at Isandhlwana was dramatised in the film Zulu Dawn. The battle was given a chapter in military historian Victor Davis Hanson's book "Carnage and Culture" as one of several landmark battles demonstrating the superior effectiveness of western military practices.

The Victoria Crosses

Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded, the most ever received in a single action - although this can be read as a reaction to the defeat at Isandlwana, rather than a superabundance of extraordinary heroism at the battle.

See the list of Zulu War Victoria Cross recipients for a full list of VCs awarded during the war, and also list of Victoria Cross recipients by Campaign

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