This chronicle of the first battle in the Anglo-Zulu War is “the most powerful and moving modern account of the great Zulu epic that I have ever read” (Richard Holmes, historian and author of The Age of Wonder).
On January 22, 1879, a massive Zulu host attacked the British Army’s 24th Regiment in its encampment at the foot of the mountain of Isandlwana. It was the first major encounter in the Anglo-Zulu War and a disastrous defeat for the colonial power. Later that afternoon the victorious Zulus would strike the tiny British garrison at Rorke’s Drift.How Can Man Die Better is a unique analysis of the Battle of Isandlwana, covering the weapons, tactics, terrain, and the intriguing characters who made key military decisions. While much is still unknown about the battle, this work eschews the commonly held perception that the British collapse was sudden and that the 24th Regiment was quickly overwhelmed. Rather, historian Mike Snook argues that there was a protracted and heroic defense against a determined and equally heroic foe. A British Army colonel who served in South Africa, Snook reconstructs the final phase of the battle in a way that has never been attempted before.