1879 Zulu War

This ever-popular war involved the odd couple of the Zulu army, superbly disciplined and aggressive but using short spears or misunderstood firearms, and the British, trained and very well equipped, but badly outnumbered and led with less than ideal professionalism. The British attacked the Zulus against the orders of their own government, had an unexpected severe defeat, and then won the war in a series of battles that showed that the Zulus were still dangerous. For appearance, the war is hard to beat; British scarlet coats towards the end of their career, and Zulu shields with each regiment using a distinctive colour or pattern (and some of the most entertaining regimental names ever, such as Swamp of Crocodiles, The Cockroaches, or Pacifiers of the Land). The war is notable for several particularly bloody battles, including an opening victory of the Zulu at the Battle of Isandlwana, followed by the defeat of a large Zulu army at Rorke's Drift by a small force of British troops. The war eventually resulted in a British victory and the end of the Zulu nation's dominance of the region.
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