This Day in Black History: Jan. 11, 1879

The Zulu-British War began.

Posted: 01/09/2013 01:42 PM EST
This Day in Black History: Jan. 11, 1879

The Zulu-British War, which began on Jan. 11, 1879, was sparked by growing aggression onto the independent Zulu nation from the British Empire.

Britain was attracted to the Zululand's treasures and wanted to unite its colonies, the Boer republics, and other regions in southern Africa under British rule. In order to expand their rule, the British pushed to squash the threatening Zulu nation and its leader, Cetshwayo, by sparking a war.

British troops led by Lieutenant General Frederic Augustus invaded Zululand from the southern African republic of Natal. The British lost the battle at Isandlwana, which left 1,300 of their men dead or wounded, as well as at a subsequent fight at Hlobane Mountain.

The British gained the upper hand at the Battle of Khambula and in July, the Zulu surrendered. In 1887, the British annexed Zululand, which eventually became a part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.

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(Photo: DeAgostini/Getty Images)

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