Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Zulus with Rifles from Empress Miniatures

It's always been slightly annoying that rifle armed Zulus weren't available seperately from Empress but now they have gone and rectified this with this very nice set. This is excellent news. Once I have finished my next batch of Beja I'm going to move back onto Zulus for a bit. I wasn't very happy with the way that the first ones came out so am hoping the next batch will be better.

Prince Dabulamanzi KaMpande, Cetshwayo's half-brother was the commander at Rorke's Drift and Gingindlovu. His troops have a wide variety of firearms.

The Zulus had been arming themselves with firearms for some time before the Zulu War. One contemporary report estimated that there were around 20,000 guns available to the Zulu at this time. However, it was reckoned that only about 500 of these were modern breech loaders. There were rather more percussion guns but most were old, often condemned, flintlock muskets. The British army recovered nearly 450 guns from the Zulus after the Battle of Gingindlovu but only five of these were Martini-Henrys (presumably captured at Isandlwana) with most being old British Tower or German muskets. In addition the gunpowder the Zulus had was very low quality and bullets could be anything from bits of metal scrap to stones. So although the Zulus had guns, they would not have been very effective.

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