Sample Essay on Anglo Zulu War Timeline

Anglo Zulu War Timeline

The Anglo Zulu war timeline started when the British sent Cetshwayo, the Zulu king an ultimatum. Failure by this king to comply with this ultimatum led to an invasion of the Zulu Kingdom by the British troops. About 15,000 British troops invaded the Zulu nation which is the current South Africa.

Sir Henry Frere was the colonial administrator at that time and he was sent there to try and unite South Africa to form a united British confederation. However, he realized that he could not succeed in uniting the Independent states in South Africa, the Boer republics and the British colonies.

Although London was not ready to fight the Zulus, Frere sought help from the Transvaal and the British governor to invade the Zulu Kingdom. The Anglo Zulu war timeline was as follows:

  • 11th December 1878: An ultimatum was sent by the British to Cetshwayo the Zulu King
  • 31st December 1878: Sir Henry extends the ultimatum
  • 9th January 1879: Lord Chelmsford led the center column to the Roke’s Drift in the edge of the Zululand
  • 11th January 1879: Three columns from Britain enter the Zululand through Buffalo River after the expiry of the ultimatum. The central column went to Sihayo, the camp of the Zulu chief.
  • 12th January 1879: Sihayo’s camp is destroyed by the central column.
  • 22nd January 1879: 6,000 Zulu troops engage the right column which was led by Colonel Charles Pearson near the Inyzane River.
  • 22nd January 1879: A surprise attack on the British central column is made by a Zulu force made of 25,000 troops. The column was defeated and it retreated from the Zulu territory.
  • 22nd or 23rd January 1879: The British outpost at Roke’s Drift is attacked by Zulu reservists. This attack led to an engagement of about 11 hours prior the retreat of the Zulus.
  • 23rd January 1879: A siege of the right column occurs around Eshow. This siege lasted for about two months.
  • 24th January 1879: The left column under the leadership of Evelyn Wood gets the news of the IsandIwana massacre and decides to retreat back to Kraal. This leaves only the left column fighting the war after the destruction of the central column and besieging of the right column at Eshow.
  • 11th February 1879: Reinforcements are called for after the news of the IsandIwana defeat reaches London. At the same time, Chelmsford begins rebuilding forces to launch another offensive attack on the Zululand.
  • 7th March: Reinforcement arrives at Durban.
  • 12th March 1879: The Zulus get a decisive victory after attacking a supply convoy of the British at the Intombe battle.
  • 2nd April 1879: Zulu suffers a severe defeat and losses after Chelmsford’s force marched to relieve Eshow.
  • 11th June 1879: Cetshwayp sends and envoy to Chelmsford to discuss peace after learning that he was preparing for another invasion.
  • 4th June 1879: The Zulu force made of about 15,000 men was destroyed during the Ulundi Battle and this brought the Anglo-Zulu war to an end.

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