Thursday, 23 January 2014

Zulu may have ben a great film but the actual history is not something to praise.

Wales Online have a piece on the 50th anniversary of the movie Zulu,”

 It a reasonable piece which points which points out some of the films historical inaccuracies  Including the fact that take the British regiment who’d actually fought against the Zulus – the 24th (The 2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot – and rename them the South Wales Borderers – despite the fact that platoon would not actually come in to being until 1881.
The truth also went awry in the scene where one new recruit to the garrison is told, “This is a Welsh regiment, although there are some foreigners in it, mind”, the homegrown infantry in the 24th regiment having actually been outstripped 49 to 32 by the English.
A film over the defence of British Colonialism?

 I've blogged about this before but I think its worth while repeating myself.

Of the soldiers present at Roakes Drift , 49 were English, 32 Welsh, 16 Irish and 22 others of indeterminate nationality

 Breakdown of British and colonial casualties:
1st/24th Foot: 4 killed or mortally wounded in action; 2 wounded
2nd/24th Foot: 9 killed or mortally wounded in action; 9 wounded
Commissariat and Transport Department: 1 killed in action; 1 wounded
Natal Mounted Police: 1 killed in action; 1 wounded
1st/3rd NNC: 1 killed in action
2nd/3rd NNC: 2 wounded
 Three hundred and fifty-one Zulu bodies were counted after the battle, Something Wales Online  seem to miss missed.and  it has been estimated that at least 500 wounded and captured Zulus might have been massacred.

In fact that  whilIe can't deny the heroism of those involved the  defence .The 11 Victoria Crosses were  largely a public relation and moral boosting exercise  after the disaster of  Battle of Isandlwana  where the Zulu's had killed 1300 troop

An early form of spin doctring in fact

One aspect that is often ignored by Wales Online and most reviewers  is that the film   Zulu was actually  based on the Western  Apache Drums  where a group of Welsh Settlers sing it as a response when trapped in a Barn and surrounded  Apache chanting in the manner of the Zulus by launching into ' Men of Harlech and in Welsh this time.

I agree that Zulu was a great film but  is it not time we asked the question 2Why Welshmen or even others were in a far away country fighting people who were defending theirs.

Prehaps we ned a film from the Zulu viewpoint and how they in order to defend thier land from foreign invasion charged superior fire-power and died in their hundreds.

Is colonialism anything to be proud of ?

Is it not also something of a shame that this historical  inaccurate  film raises such identification  amongst the people of Wales . When our own history is largely ignored by them edia.

1 comment:

Welsh not British said...

The real life Private 716 Jones killed himself after suffering from what we would refer to nowadays as PTSD. He'd have flashbacks of fighting the Zulus and this drove him to suicide.

He was branded a coward, his coffin was carried over the wall as opposed to through the gates and his headstones was made to face the wrong way.

It's just a shame the Zulus didn't wipe out every single one of them.