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How Can Man Die Better: The Secrets of Isandlwana Revealed

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$27.99 - $27.99
Current price $27.99
Wednesday 22 January 1879 was one of the most dramatic days in the long and distinguished history of the British Army. At noon a massive Zulu host attacked the 24th Regiment in its encampment at the foot of the mountain of Isandlwana, a distinctive feature that bore an eerie resemblance to the Sphinx badge of the outnumbered redcoats. Disaster ensued. Later that afternoon the victorious Zulus would strike the tiny British garrison at Rorke’s Drift.

How Can Man Die Better is a unique analysis of Isandlwana – of the weapons, tactics, ground, and the intriguing characters who made the key military decisions. Because the fatal loss was so high on the British side there is still much that is unknown about the battle. This is a work of unparalleled depth, which eschews the commonly held perception that the British collapse was sudden and that the 24th Regiment was quickly overwhelmed. Rather, there was a protracted and heroic defense against a determined and equally heroic foe.

The author reconstructs the final phase of the battle in a way that has never been attempted before. It was to become the stuff of legend, which brings to life so vividly the fear and smell the blood.

ISBN-13: 9781848325814

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Pen and Sword

Publication Date: 04-06-2011

Pages: 288

Product Dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Born in Monmouthshire, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Snook is a lifelong professional soldier. After graduating successively from Leicester University and Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Wales in 1984. Since then he has served all around the world, including active service in regimental and staff appointments in Afghanistan, Bosnia, South Armagh and Belfast. In recent years he has worked as a British military adviser in South Africa and as the Chief Instructor of the Tactical Intelligence Branch at the Defence College of Intelligence. Presently on the HQ staff at the Defence Academy, he is utilizing his spare time to read for a PhD.

Table of Contents

Foreword 6

Preface to the First Edition 9

Preface to the 2010 Edition 13

Prologue 17

Part 1 Gathering Storm 21

Chapter 1 Better Luck This Time: In the Concentration Area 23

Chapter 2 Enemy Territory: No. 3 Column, 10-20 January 45

Chapter 3 Enemy in Sight: Reconnaissance in Force, 21 January 73

Part 2 In the Shadow of the Sphinx 83

Chapter 4 Sunrise: The British Give Battle, a.m. 22 January 85

Chapter 5 Horns of the Buffalo: The Onslaught 163

Chapter 6 Rally on the Colours: Last Stand of the 24th 217

Chapter 7 Sunset: Lord Chelmsford's Rude Awakening, p.m. 22 January 286


1 British Orders of Battle and Casualties 303

2 Zulu Order of Battle 306

3 Isandlwana Survivors 307

Bibliography 310

Glossary 313

Index 316