Warriors in Scarlet is an epic study of the Victorian soldier at war at the height of Britain’s colonial empire and will use the same mix of analytical research, gripping story-telling and vivid eye-witness experience which brought Zulu Rising such acclaim.
In the aftermath of the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 Britain stepped unchallenged onto the world stage yet the rapid growth of Empire which followed brought British troops into conflict with a dangerously varied succession of enemies, from Maori warriors in New Zealand to Xhosa, BaSotho and Boer fighters in southern Africa, to Indian armies trained along British and French lines, Afghan hill-men, Imperial Chinese and Sudanese religious fundamentalists.
Britain entered most of these wars convinced of its military superiority only to find that not only were the tactics which defeated Napoleon entirely inappropriate to colonial warfare but that the experience learned painfully in one war was seldom relevant to the next. For the ordinary soldier it meant learning his craft afresh with each new campaign, whether in the steaming jungles of West Africa or the cool highlands of Ethiopia, and the realities of his profession challenged his very understanding of the exotic and often hostile world around him, and of the role and place of the British Empire within it.
Ian Knight has studied the Anglo-Zulu War for more than thirty years, researching both in archives and on the field, walking the battlefields and collecting oral traditions from Zulus whose forebears took part. He is the author of a number of specialist books on the subject including Brave Men’s Blood and the award-winning The National Army Museum Book of the Zulu War (which shared the Royal United Services’ Institute’s prize for Best Military History in 2003. He has appeared in and advised on a number of television documentaries including Channel 4’s Secrets of the...
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