The Boer Invasion of the Zulu Kingdom: 1837–1840 by John Laband is out in February from Jonathan Ball Publishers!
The battle of Blood River, or Ncome, on 16 December 1838 has long been regarded as a critical moment in the history of South Africa. It was the culminating victory by the land-hungry Boers who had migrated out of the British-ruled Cape and invaded the Zulu kingdom in 1837.
Many Afrikaners long acclaimed their triumph as the God-given justification for their subsequent dominion over Africans. By contrast, Africans celebrate the war with pride for its significance in their valiant struggle against colonial aggression.
In this account, John Laband deals as even-handedly as possible with the warring sides in the conflict. In contrasting their military systems, he explains both victory and defeat in the many battles that marked the war.
Crucially, he also presents the less familiar Zulu perspective explaining the political motivation, strategic military objectives and fissures in the royal house.
The is the first book in English that engages with the war between the Boers and the Zulu in its entire context or takes the Zulu evidence into proper account.
About the author
Dr John Laband is a Professor Emeritus of History at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, and a Research Associate at Stellenbosch University. He has authored, co-authored and edited over 20 books on warfare and military culture in Africa, specialising in the Zulu kingdom and in 19th-century colonial conflicts in southern Africa.