16 Things That Made African King Shaka Zulu One Of The Greatest Military Minds In History


Shaka Zulu is said to be one of the greatest military leaders in African history, and perhaps all of history. There is controversy around the brutality of his methods, and the strictness with which he trained his troops, but in many ways, he improved warfare methods forever. Born in 1787 in what is now South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, he died in 1828. His legacy lived on in the Zulu warriors who fought the British in 1879. The military conflict helped immortalize the Zulu in the minds of Westerners, but Zulu history was far from over in 1879. The Zulus persevered through apartheid and remain the largest ethnic group in South Africa. Here are 16 things that made Shaka Zulu a military genius.


He introduced new weapons to the Zulu people

Tired of the assegai — a long pole weapon made of wood with pointed iron at the end and thrown like a javelin — Shaka Zulu introduced the ikwla, a weapon with a shorter sphere and a longer spearhead, sort of like a sword. This weapon gave Shaka’s warriors a huge advantage over opponents when they came up close for hand-to-hand combat.


He introduced cowhide shields

Shaka Zulu supposedly introduced cowhide shields, which were much stronger than the iron or wood shields used previously.


He accustomed his troops to war conditions

Some historians say that Shaka Zulu would make his troops go on 50-mile marches for practice over rough and hot terrain so they wouldn’t be fazed by difficult conditions during battle.


He collected troops like they were acorns

When his father Senzangakona, the chief of the small Zulu tribe, died in 1816, Shaka Zulu took the throne. The following year, he had gathered an army of more than 2,000 warriors. By 1824, his army numbered up to 20,000.


His strict military decrees earned him respect

By stating these rules for his army, Shaka gained confidence and support: 1) He eliminated privilege and class. Warriors had to earn their positions and rank. 2) All the spoils of war taken from the defeated armies were to be split among the warriors, and all resources shared. 3) Ageing members of society were to be treated with dignity, and allowed to retire.


He introduced (and perhaps invented) the bull horn formation

Many historians say Shaka Zulu was the first military leader to use the bull horn formation. This is a three-part attack system in which seasoned warriors form the “chest” of the horn at the front, pinning the enemy into a position where it can be easily attacked. Younger warriors would form the “horns” and encircle the enemy, attacking from the sides, and additional warriors formed the “loins,” standing behind the “chest” with their back to the battle, protecting against any additional attackers.


He differentiated soldiers

Shaka Zulu had soldiers carry different colored or patterned shields, depending on their rank. In a troop of hundreds, this made it much easier for soldiers to know exactly where to go when forming the bull horn.


He made his soldiers remain celibate

With the exception of those already married, he made sexual abstinence mandatory. Many believe that Shaka was a homosexual who had some procreative issues. Would such issues tie into his lifestyle demands for his troops?


He was fiercely dedicated to his mother

Shaka was ruthless and violent with grief after his mother Nandi’s death in 1827. Pregnant women and their husbands from his tribe were murdered, crop planting and milk production was banned, and many Zulus were executed.

He started apprenticeships

Children over age 6 would became apprentice warriors, delivering rations, cooking supplies and weapons to real warriors. By the time children came of age, they were accustomed to being in battle surroundings and were more emotionally ready to fight.

Read More At AFKInsider.com


Source: http://afkinsider.com/57305/16-things-made-shaka-zulu-a-military-genius/2/#sthash.cXEtD0ZU.dpuf


  • Janet June 21, 2016 - 6:43 pm Reply

    Very interesting piece on Shaka Zulu !!!

  • Baron December 16, 2017 - 12:08 am Reply

    I wonder who are the “many” that believe one of Africa’s greatest warrior kings was “homosexual.”

  • samuel ogenrwot September 25, 2018 - 12:47 am Reply

    “homosexual” but still his greatness live forever *long live African greatest*

  • OKUZIDENIS December 30, 2018 - 5:39 am Reply

    I’m happy for this peace of Shaka’s history though it was painted bad somewhere as on homosexuality and the killing of pregnant women and their husbands and the banning of milk and crop planting.

  • Connel aye January 25, 2019 - 5:09 am Reply

    I was named after him, Am Shakazulu from Nigeria, his history inspires me so much and i wish i was one of the warriors who fought beside him. I in love with his African tradition.

  • Carlene April 28, 2019 - 11:22 pm Reply

    After reading your blog post, I browsed your website a bit and noticed you aren’t ranking nearly as well in Google as you could be. I possess a handful of blogs myself, and I think you should take a look at “seowebsitetrafficnettools”, just google it. You’ll find it’s a very lovely SEO tool that can bring you a lot more visitors and improve your ranking. They have more than 30+ tools only 20$. Very cheap right? Keep up the quality posts

  • gamefly May 2, 2019 - 6:35 pm Reply

    Hi just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know
    a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not
    sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and
    both show the same outcome.

  • download minecraft pc May 6, 2019 - 6:38 pm Reply

    Right here is the right website for anyone who wants to understand this topic.
    You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really
    will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that has been discussed for ages.

    Excellent stuff, just great!

  • minecraft pc download May 15, 2019 - 7:31 pm Reply

    For the reason that the admin of this web page is
    working, no question very quickly it will be renowned, due to its quality contents.

  • minecraft free download pc May 16, 2019 - 10:55 pm Reply

    This is a topic which is near to my heart…
    Thank you! Where are your contact details though?

  • raw May 17, 2019 - 12:31 am Reply

    Wow, this post iѕ good, my sister іs analyzing such things,
    thus І am going to tell her.

  • Leave a reply