The Battle of Rorke’s Drift raged for a day and a night in 1879. Barely 150 British soldiers held an isolated post against 4,000 determined Zulu warriors. It became legendary after the film Zulu was released in 1964, starring Stanley Baker and a young Michael Caine.
Those numbers of opposing forces – 150 vs. 4,000 – meant that the British were outnumbered more than 25-to-1, yet somehow prevailed. This wasn’t for the lack of fighting skill on the part of the Zulus. The Zulus were fearsome warriors and, earlier on the same day, a Zulu army of around 20,000 had annihilated a British column of 1,500 soldiers.
The story of the defenders at Rorke’s Drift is one of the most extraordinary in modern military history and was made into a gripping film. You can see how the film version stacks up against the real story by reading my article The Real Story: Zulu.