At the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879, a military of Zulu warriors armed with cowhide shields and quick stabbing spears succeeded in defeating and killing a military of 1,800 British regulars and their allies, armed with the newest European hearth arms and artillery. The ways they employed, the “Horns of the Buffalo” or Impondo Zankomo in isiZulu, owe their existence to the army genius of the man who solid the Zulu Empire in the warmth of the African solar: Shaka. His army improvements and reforms included the invention of a brand new, shorter spear known as the Assegai, or extra generally recognized by its isiZulu nickname: the iKlwa, and that of a lot bigger, thicker shields succesful of shielding his warriors when closing on an enemy from vary. These innovations suited his tactical fashion of fight, surrounding an enemy and reducing them down at shut quarters as a substitute of the a lot lighter fashion that had predominated in African fight earlier than. Off the battlefield he used psychological warfare and guerrilla ways to nice impact too.

Article on Shaka’s Military Reforms:

Article on the Rise of the Zulu Empire & Warfare’s Role:

Zulu Rising: The Epic Story of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift – Ian Knight

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  1. I believe that it would be more accurate to call Shaka a black Philip the II of Macedon as they both created an army that their successors would make great use of. Oh and they were both kinds of an outcast in their families with Philip needing to spend time as a hostage in Thebe while Shaka was outcast for his bastard status. Oh and they both learned from guys whose knowledge served them greatly forming there mighty armies.

  2. On the one hand, these tactics are not that complex for the type of warfare that was commonly seen from the iron age onwards in Eurasia and the Middle East. On the other hand, Shaka Zulu discovered and implemented these tactics in one lifespan. and while the Buffalo horns may not be as sophisticated as the full double envelopment used by Hannibal, they still allowed an iron age people to defeat an industrial era army. And that deserves a lot of respect in my book. in European terms, what Shaka Zuku did was take warfare from the primitive tactics and warrior ethos found in say the Iliad to the use of tactics, strategy, and logistics that the late Roman Republic would have recognized. in fact, the use of a larger shield, and a thrusting spear reminds me of the the Roman Gladius Hispaniensis and Scutum implimented by Marius.

  3. Just in the first 2 minutes there are issues with the video. What do you mean by "African battles"? I'm assuming you mean battles around the south of Africa because there were large scale battles in northern, eastern, and even western Africa before the year 1800.

  4. It wasn't just that Shaka introduced front assault, envelopment and reserve tactics, it was how he organized his army. Different warriors were assigned to the chest (older, stronger men) and the horns (younger and more agile) and the loins. This way, different warriors knew exactly what to do in a battle without the need for signaling or complex commands. This is very important when your technology is so limited, communication isn't an issue.

  5. Also shaka might not of been the first to form the bull horn tactics.
    They were another king known located at great Zimbabwe, Changamire Dombo of the Rozwi Empire ( 1684–1889). He apparently defeated the Portuguese. Records from the Portuguese show that the Rozvi were sophisticated military strategists. They were noted for using the cow-horn formation years before the great Zulu leader Shaka adopted it in the 19th century. Armed with spears, shields, bows and arrows, the aggressive Rozvi took over the Zimbabwe plateau.[3]

    In 1683, Portuguese militia tried to take control of the gold trade in the interior of Africa by invading the Rozvi empire. The Rozvi, armed with the traditional spears and shields, were able to successfully defeat these attacks and maintain their control of the gold mines until their empire collapsed. The Rozvi were led by Changamire Dombo, and his son Kambgun Dombo[2] whose power was based in Butua in the southwest of Africa. The Rozvi were formed from several Shona states that dominated the plateau of present-day Zimbabwe at the time. They drove the Portuguese off the central plateau, and the Europeans retained only a nominal presence at one of the fair-towns in the eastern highlands.
    Changamire brought the whole of present-day Zimbabwe under his control, forming a polity that became known as the Rozvi Empire. This powerful kingdom of warriors was to be known as the Rozvi or baLozwi people.[3] They established their capital at Danamombe, also known as Dhlo-Dhlo (the Ndebele name).
    Many sources see the Rozvi not as a recovering segment of the Mutapa people, but in fact a people in its own right emerging under the wing of the Mutapa (compare the rise of the Khumalo from under the Zulu nation). Source is from wikipedia.

  6. I wouldn't call Shaka Zulu black Napoleon but rather compared him more to Philip 2 of Macedonia.
    There were alot African generals compared to napoleon such samori toure, Mtyela Kasanda aka "mirambo", askia the great, sonni ali ber (both from songhai), oba Ewuare the great of benin, and Idris Alooma of kamen bornu as well as many many more. Even certain north African generals like thutmose iii (although he wasn't black) is also considered a napoleon of Egypt. Shaka is usually more famous but if had to be honest a little bit overrated.

    Shaka simply reform the military structure in the south African Region that no other tribes weren't use to, as well as transform a simple tribal farmers to battle hardened warriors. Then his decedents would go on to create an empire. Much like Philip of macedon to Alexander. People only compare shaka to napoleon because they are contemporarys.

    Other generals like Mirambo of Tanzania even borrowed tactics from shaka's bull horn tactics mixed with gunwarfare to form the ruga rugas.

  7. Liewe Hilbert, ek's bevrees dat ons in Afrikaans praat van 'n knopkierie
    en nie n knopkillie soos wat jy dit stel by 2:24 in jou video.
    Jou knop sal jy dalk wil kielie na n hou met n knopkierie maar dis definitief nie die naam nie.
    Dankie andersins vir jou goeie en interessante video's.
    Krugersdorp inwoner van die ou Transvaal.

  8. Black napoleon is a little generous. Ok, waaaaay too generous. Napoleon battled Austria, Britian, Prussia, Russia, Sweden and Spain. The Zulu battled the Dutch and British and lost to both

  9. Unfortunately my experience has been that YT is a far right cess people of racists and people who truly dont understand, geography, colonialism, and other basic concepts of education.

    It's also funny that people believe that their minute slice of the internet is the totality of what has been produced and exists out there.

    Thanks for the video, Hilbert.

  10. Shaka's new individual tactics superficially resembled those of the Roman legions– they'd throw a couple of javelins while closing in, protected from missiles by large shields, then they'd finish the job with short stabbing weapons (gladius/assegai). It's also really interesting how the unit tactics also resembled the classic pincer maneuver employed famously by the Carthaginians.

  11. 10:33 that is so much republican Roman. even the less fit but experienced veterans (Triarii) in the reserve. more mobile units on the flanks, spies, some more thinking in the logistics, large shields for movin' in to stab them all after some well thrown pila… I mean, spears. Roman.

  12. At least the zulus had metal and some basic infantry warfare tactics like outflank or kill your enemy any way you can. The aztecs on the other hand had cities but no iron forging and their whole concept of warfare was capture your enemy to sacrifice him to the gods.

  13. Then came Dingane who in his exceptional incompetent military leadership lead the zulus at the meat grinder of the battle of blood river. Truly a zulu Chelmsford/Custer of his time and place.

  14. Im pretty sure that its knopkirie in Afrikaan . Because kirie means cane or walking cane in afrikaans where kilie means tickle but this is probaly just a case of some last in translation

  15. One thing to take into account is that South Africa appears significantly smaller on a map versus how big it actually is.

    If you would place Cape Town in Rome, Italy, Minsk, Belorussia would be flooded by the Limpopo river, the river that seperates us from Zimbabwe.

    The Zulus inhabit modern day KwaZuluNatal and Shaka's Empire stretched all the way from Southern Mozambique, almost into modern day East London. Meaning that Shaka once had an empire of about the same size or greater than former Yugoslavia.

  16. don't say African warfare say South African warfare Africa very big continent in West Africa they had calvary's they had horses they had swords and they had guns in South Africa was different story so say South Africa don't say Africa cuz when you say Africa that's like you saying all of Africa fighting that way it was only all the other groups had different weapons in different styles of fighting good content though just telling you clarify


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