During the late 19th century
, at the height of the British Empire
, the Imperial Army
suffered its worst defeat at the hands of the Zulu Nation
in South Africa
. Oddly enough, the Zulu
romp of the British
sealed their fate, as the Brits were not about to sit back and accept defeat. They sent in massive reinforcments, and, (ironically enough) on July 4
, 1879, a little over a century after they officially lost their American colonies
, they won over the Zulu nation.
The British defeat occurred on January 22, 1879, at Isandlwana, a sandstone outcrop about 300 ft high. Over here, the British force column of about 1500 Redcoats were destroyed by an force of more than 20,000 Zulu warriors. The Zulu warriors were fearless and ruthless, charging the British infantry with spears and stabbing weapons. Recently, research of the battle scene has shown just how and why the Zulu warriors were so fierce.
Recent research has found that the Zulu warriors were given very powerful drugs by their shamans that enhanced their strength on the battlefield, as well as provided them with strength and courage beyond reason. First, the warriors were given a cannabis based snuff that was very high in its THC content, but very low in its sedative content. As a result of this snuff, the warriors were very high and haloucinagenic, but not lethargic like most people who take cannabis.
Secondly, the warriors were given an extract from a bulb called Boophane disticha, which is an alkaloid closely related to Morphine and Codeine. This extract has both haloucinagenic and pain-killing abilities, so it made the warriors almost completely fearless of British bullets, and more dangerous, as they were harder to bring down.
Lastly, some warriors were given a psychadellic mushroom containing a toxin called muscimol, which produced effects that expand perception. So not only was the warrior fearless and dangerous, but he was also on top of his skill, highly focused, and deadlier than ever.
In addition to the deadly state of the Zulu warriors, the British were at a disadvantage because of their weapons. Most British accounts say that their force was defeated because they ran low or out of ammunition. However, recent research indicates that this was not the case. The British rifles were defective, as they would commonly jam after continuous fire. After firing about 20 or 30 rounds, the British infantryman would find his rifle jammed, and had no choice but to fight hand-to-hand with the Zulu soldier, to whom he was no match.
As a result of one blunder after another, the British suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of people they saw at the time as savages. Although today, the Zulu nation is only a miniscule shadow of what it used to be before colonization, they still have tactics and medicines that are unexplored and fascinating. Who knows what we will discover by studying the tactics and medicines of ancient peoples.