In the Shadow of Isandlwana
The Life and Times of General Lord Chelmsford and his Disaster in Zululand
Imprint: Greenhill Books
272 Pages, 6.1 x 9.2 in, 50 mono illustrations
- October 2023
General Lord Chelmsford’s military career took him around the world; he served in the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny and the Abyssinian Expedition, before commanding the British invasion of the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa.
In January 1879, disaster struck when Chelmsford divided his forces at Isandlwana in the face of the enemy and the Zulu overwhelmed his camp, killing more than 1,300 of its defenders. Such a defeat was almost unprecedented in a Victorian colonial campaign. Despite Chelmsford's later victories at Gingindlovu and Ulundi, he was humiliatingly relieved of his command. His responsibility for Isandlwana dogged him for the rest of his days, and he would forever be associated with this historic defeat.
In this comprehensive new biography, Anglo-Zulu War specialist John Laband, explores the personal character and military career of Lord Chelmsford, providing a well-rounded, well-balanced and well-informed picture of this complex military figure.
"This is a remarkable biography reflecting many years of painstaking and detailed worldwide research by the leading historian of the Anglo-Zulu War, Professor John Laband. His subject, Lord Chelmsford, was of one of Britain’s most famous and successful Victorian military commanders whose illustrious career was finally blighted, in less than one hour, by his own hand, on a remote battlefield in Zululand. This biography is complex and thorough but remarkably easy reading. It fascinatingly flows through detail and describes wars and battles in an enthralling style; it is a comprehensive undertaking but easy to read. I found it hard to put down – in short, a brilliant and authorative work from the master in his field. Essential reading for Zulu War enthusiasts. Highly recommended." ~Adrian Greaves, Author of "The Zulus at War"