This image is the cover for the book How Can Man Die Better

How Can Man Die Better

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.

Mike Snook

Born in Monmouthshire, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Snook is a lifelong professional soldier.

After graduating successively from Leicester University and Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Wales in 1984. Since then he has served all around the world, including active service in regimental and staff appointments in Afghanistan, Bosnia, South Armagh and Belfast.
In recent years he has worked as a British military adviser in South Africa and as the Chief Instructor of the Tactical Intelligence Branch at the Defence College of Intelligence.

Presently on the HQ staff at the Defence Academy, he is utilizing his spare time to read for a PhD.

Frontline Books