Buy Ian's Books
Zulu Rising - Buy Now
About Zulu Rising by Ian Knight: The battle of Isandlwana was the single most destructive incident in the 150-year history of the British colonization of South Africa. In one bloody day more than 800 British troops, 500 of their allies, and at least 2,000 Zulus were killed in a staggering defeat for the British empire. The consequences of the battle echoed brutally across the following decades as Britain took ruthless revenge on the Zulu people. In Zulu Rising, Ian Knight shows that the brutality of the battle was the result of an inevitable clash between two aggressive warrior traditions. For the first time he gives full weight to the Zulu experience and explores the reality of the fighting through the eyes of men who took part on both sides, looking into the human heart of this savage conflict. Based on new research, including previously unpublished material, Zulu oral history, and new archaeological evidence from the battlefield, this is the definitive account of a battle that has shaped the political fortunes of the Zulu people to this day.
Critical Reaction To Zulu Rising:
‘In this exceptional book, Ian Knight manages to expose many of the Victorian myths while still capturing the kind of epic excitement that makes Zulu so stirring. It is a first-class work of military history, not least for its evocative and extensive use of Zulu sources’.
James McConnachie, The Sunday Times.
‘Knight is mindful of the complexities on both sides, not least the reasons why Africans fought for the British Crown against the Zulus. There is no attempt to romanticise death …Knight‘s ability to capture the reality of the fighting and his combination of precise detail with the bigger picture helps make this book a gripping read‘.
Jeremy Black, BBC History magazine.
Companion to the Anglo-Zulu War -
About Companion to the Anglo-Zulu War by Ian Knight: The Anglo-Zulu War was a defining episode in British imperial history, and it is still a subject of intense interest. The Zulu victory at Isandlwana, the heroic British defence of Rorke's Drift and the eventual British triumph are among the most closely researched events of the colonial era. In this historical companion, Ian Knight, one of the foremost authorities on the war and the Zulu kingdom, provides an essential reference guide to a short, bloody campaign that had an enduring impact on the history of Britain and southern Africa. He gives succinct summaries of the issues, events, armies and individuals involved. His work is an invaluable resource for anyone who is interested in the history of the period, in the operations of the British army in southern Africa, and in the Zulu kingdom.
Anatomy of the Zulu Army - Buy Now
About Anatomy of the Zulu Army by Ian Knight: Forces of the independent Zulu kingdom inflicted a crushing defeat on British imperial forces at Isandlwana in January 1879.
The Zulu Army was not, however, a professional force, unlike its British counterpart, but was the mobilized manpower of the Zulu state. Ian Knight details how the Zulu army functioned and ties its role firmly to the broader context of Zulu society and culture.
The Zulu army had its roots in the early groups of young men who took part in combats between tribes, but such warfare was limited to disputes over cattle ownership, grazing rights, or avenging insults. In the early nineteenth century the Zulu nation began a period of rapid expansion, and King Shaka began to reform his forces into regular military units.
Ian Knight charts the development and training of the men that formed the impi which later operated so successfully under King Cetshwayo. He analysis the Zulu's fighting methods, weapons and philosophy, all of which led to the disciplined force that faced the British army in 1879.
Voices from the Zulu War - Buy Now
About Voices from the Zulu War by Ian Knight: The forces of the independent Zulu kingdom inflicted a crushing defeat on British imperial forces at Isandlwana in January 1879. The Zulu army was not, however, a professional force, unlike its British counterpart, but was the mobilised manpower of the Zulu state. In this ground-breaking study, Ian Knight details just how the Zulu army functioned and ties its role firmly to the broader context of Zulu society and culture.
After surveying the Zulu army from its creation during the wars of Shaka in the early nineteenth century, and the subsequent development of Zulu fighting methods, Ian Knight focuses in detail on the structure and condition of the Zulu army on the eve of the war in 1879. This indispensable book describes such key topics as enlistment, organisation, training and equipment. He also considers Zulu war aims and strategy, their view of artillery and cavalry, and how they were perceived by their colonial neighbours. Most of all, he reveals how the Zulu army functioned in wartime, from preparatory rituals to battlefield tactics, and the shock of battle itself.
Marching To The Drums - Buy Now
About Marching To The Drums by Ian Knight: In this gripping collection of first-hand accounts, Ian Knight presents the adventure of nineteenth-century warfare – from the thrill of the cavalry charges at Balaklava and Omdurman, to the terror of battle against an overwhelming odds such as Rorke's Drift – in the words of the men actually there.
These eyewitness accounts provide a vivid and sometimes shocking insight into the brutal realities of warfare for the British imperial soldier, who fought against enemies from massed ranks of Russians and assegai-armed natives to sharp-shooting Boers, in often the most terrible conditions imaginable.
These stirring tales of military adventure have been edited by Ian Knight and brought together and published in book form. Originally featured in turn-of-the-century magazine, popular during the heyday of empire, these historically valuable accounts throw considerable light on campaign conditions during Queen Victoria's colonial wars.
Marching to the Drums includes accounts focusing on the experience of battle during such pivotal conflicts as the Sikh Wars, the Crimean War, the Afghan Wars, the Anglo-Zulu War, and those in China, the Sudan and South Africa.
Boer Guerrilla vs British Mounted Soldier - Buy Now
About Boer Guerrilla vs British Mounted Soldier by Ian Knight: Waged across an inhospitable terrain which varied from open African savannah to broken mountain country and arid semi-desert, the Anglo-Boer wars of 1880-81 and 1899-1902 pitted the British Army and its allies against the Boers' commandos.
The nature of warfare across these campaigns was shaped by the realities of the terrain and by Boer fighting techniques. Independent and individualistic, the Boers were not professional soldiers but a civilian militia who were bound by the terms of the ‘Commando system' to come together to protect their community against an outside threat. By contrast the British Army was a full-time professional body with an established military ethos, but its over-dependence on conventional infantry tactics led to a string of Boer victories.
This fully illustrated study examines the evolving nature of Boer military techniques, and contrasts them with the British experience, charting the development of effective British mounted tactics from the first faltering steps of 1881 through to the final successes of 1902.