On January 11, 1879, British forces under the Command of Lord Chelmsford invaded Zululand. The invasion force was made up of three columns, with Chelmsfords centre column invading Zululand at one of the principle crossing points on the Mzinyathi (Buffalo) River - an outpost called Rorke's Drift. After the initial invasion Rorke's Drift settled into life as a supply depot with a small hospital. With the disastrous defeat of part of the centre column at Isandlwana on January 22, the Drift was set upon by 3,000 - 4,000 Zulu warriors bent on wiping it off the map.
Once the officers and men that remained at Rorke's Drift learned of the events at Isandlwana they quickly set about fortifying the depot with mealie bags and biscuit boxes. The initial Zulu attacks focused on the hospital and barricades around it. An intense contest for the hospital took place with savage room to room fighting. The walking wounded and able bodied defenders struggled to extract the very sick from the burning, Zulu filled structure. Digging holes through the interior walls, blocking and defending doorways and using the bayonet to great advantage Privates Hook, Waters and Joseph Williams successfully evacuated nine of the eleven patients.
After the withdrawal from the hospital, the battle raged on deep into the night with the British stubbornly holding their ground within the final perimeter and mealie bag redoubt. At the end of the action the British had seventeen dead and eight seriously wounded with over 600 Zulus killed. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded for the defense with seven alone going to members of the 24th Foot, the most ever received in a single action by one regiment.
This new matte finish, connoisseur series includes some of the most detailed Zulu and 24th Foot figures ever made. The figures come in a variety of unique and common poses, making it easy to create compelling one off vignettes or entire battle scenes with ranks of firing figures and attacking Zulus!
The series has been developed in consultation with renowned Zulu War expert and author, Ian Knight. His insight into the battle, buildings, uniforms, equipment and native dress have been invaluable in helping build this authentic recreation of Rorke's Drift.