Battle Ground South Africa

Battle Ground South Africa


  • Author: Ian Knight and Ian Castle
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword
  • Publish Date: 2000
  • ISBN: 0-85052-655-8
  • Price: £9.95

Review By : Elizabeth Hogan

Before they published ‘David Rattray’s Guide to the Anglo-Zulu War Battlefields’, Pen & Sword published these two excellent pocket guidebooks in their ‘Battleground South Africa’ series. These are designed very much as a practical guide to travellers visiting the battlefields and each provides a background history to events, enlivened with the sort of eyewitness accounts that make fascinating reading ‘on the ground’, as well as directions to find a site, numerous photographs (with the salient features identified) and maps. They were clearly intended as a pair, and between them cover all the battles of the war, not just those given in the title. Indeed, the decision to split Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift into two titles smacks of a clear editorial ploy to ensure that the reader buys both! But so you should; there is a great deal of historical information included in here, together with practical tips, the odd warning (‘the roads in this area are just dirt tracks, heavily rutted and almost impassable in the wet. Take great care’) and a very comprehensive range of illustrations. It’s nice, for example, to see so many photographs of Hlobane mountain, which remains a challenging place to visit. Guidebooks to the battlefields are common enough now, but these were written by two authors who are not only competent historians but also amongst the best-travelled on the more obscure battlefields – as their other book, ‘The Zulu War; Then and Now’ clearly proves.

Friday 30th of June 2006 03:59:50 PM