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Constantine XI View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 15:47
Originally posted by Aster Thrax Eupator Aster Thrax Eupator wrote:

Well, often people cover their fears with humour and insults, and essentially, when we consider that, for example, although England did obviously defeat the Zulu in the 3rd Zulu war in 1879, the fact that, as we see at the battles of Khambulah and Isandlwana, that an army with repeating rifles (a brand new type, if I remember correctly), two machine guns and breach loading cannon could be defeated by soldiers with merely spears, shields, clubs and assaghis was clearly frightening. Remember that in this case, the Victoria covered up, for example, the death of the prince of France in the campaign and Chelmsford's ineptitude in the situation, and the fact that the Zulus captured two cannon and a variety of small arms. I think that it's really an attempt to cover up with humour the surprise when Europeans found out that, despite the fact that they had managed to control various parts of Asia with roughly similar technology (at least when compared to the Africans), but found it much more difficult in Africa.

Not really. Africa was just a much lower priority for conquest, and so the Europeans didn't try as hard there. Compare the investment of naval and armed forces in Asia to that sent to Africa.

A couple of mishaps against the Zulus do not qualify the Zulu spearmen (who outnumbered the Brits in those battles how many times over?) as better soldiers than their Asian counterparts. Europeans were defeated in Asia every now and then also.

Also, many Asian armies were far more sophisticated and technically skilled than their African counterparts.

Edited by Constantine XI - 15-May-2009 at 15:48
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Aster Thrax Eupator View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 16:01

Yes, good points constantine - this isn't exactly my forte and key area in history, but I must state that the idea that the Zulus merely almost defeated the British because of their numbers can be challenged - when Chlemsford's army was marching away from Islandlwana, leaving a regiment or two as guards there, the Zulus very sneekily shadowed his column, which allowed them to track his movements whilst the camp was sacked. Again, in your defence, Chelmsford was too arrogant to believe that the Zulus could possibly know he had left the camp, but the idea that the Zulus only had numbers is a little flawed. Also, I see what you mean about Asian armies, but in the Opium wars, the Qing had junks, whilst the British had ironclads and gunboats...and their foot soldiers, even by the time of the boxer rebellion, were inferior to British troops.

"Don't raise your voice - we all know how lovely it is!"
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