1860-1899 | Massacres | Prisoners murdered | South Africa | Wounded killed

Battle of Kambula – ‘terrible execution’ as ‘no quarter was shown.’

29 March 1879 On 29 March 1879, British cavalry and troops massacred hundreds of fleeing and wounded Zulu warriors after the Battle of Kambula, after an officer reminded his troops – ‘No Quarter Boys !’ A soldier from Devon confessed in a letter – ‘I can tell you some murdering went on,’ while a Liverpool…

1860-1899 | Massacres | Media propaganda | South Africa | Wounded killed

After the Battle of Rorke’s Drift – the mass butchery of the wounded

23 JANUARY 1879 On 23 January 1879 hundreds of Zulu warriors, injured during the battle at Rorke’s Drift the previous day,  were murdered by British troops. RORKE’S DRIFT – THE BATTLE Almost everyone has heard of the heroic defence of the missionary outpost the previous day, made famous by the 1964 film Zulu starring Michael Caine which…

1860-1899 | Battlefield butchery | Massacres | Sudan | Wounded killed

After the Battle of Atbara – Kitchener’s army slaughter the wounded

8 APRIL 1898 THE BATTLE OF ATBARA – A HIGHLY ASYMETRICAL CONTEST Few people In Britain today have heard of the Battle of Atbara fought on 8 April 1898, amid the arid brushland surrounding the River Atbara, a tributary of the Nile in Sudan, some 200 miles north east of Khartoum. As the sun rose,…

1500-1799 | Battlefield butchery | Burning towns and cities | Massacres | Prisoners murdered | United States | Wounded killed


28 September 1778 During the American Revolutionary War, many British officers did not consider those ‘damn’d American rebels’, as they called recruits of George Washington’s Continental Army, to be entitled to the rights normally accorded to combatants in conflict. Major General Charles Grey was among those more committed to unforgiving cutthroat tactics, leading operations in…

1500-1799 | Battlefield butchery | Burning villages | Civilians slaughtered | Collective punishments | Prisoners murdered | Punitive operations | Scotland | Wounded killed


16 APRIL 1746 During the autumn of 1745, Jacobite rebels, led by ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie,’ and desiring to replace the Hanoverian king George II with the prince’s catholic father, James Stuart, marched on London, reaching as far south as Derby before they retreated to Scotland. The rebellion was motivated by a range of complex issues,…

1800-1859 | Civilians slaughtered | India | Looting and plunder | Massacres | Prisoners murdered | Wounded killed

At least one thousand slaughtered as British troops sack Delhi

20 September 1857 Today in 1857, after a week of fierce street fighting, British troops under General Sir Archdale Wilson finally obtained the surrender of the remaining pockets of Indian Mutineers still holding out in the city.  Much of the city had already been sacked and many murdered in their homes [see 13 September 1857]….

1860-1899 | Battlefield butchery | Egypt | Massacres | Wounded killed

Mass slaughter of the Egyptian wounded

13 September 1882 Today in 1882, a British army advancing on Cairo, under the command of General Sir Garnet Wolseley, butchered hundreds of Egyptians, who were either fleeing for their lives or lying wounded and helpless on the battlefield of Tel el-Kebir.  A reporter who watched the battle, informed his readers that British cavalry committed ‘fearful…

1500-1799 | Battlefield butchery | Civilians slaughtered | Massacres | Prisoners murdered | Wounded killed

Cromwell massacres thousands of soldiers and civilians at Drogheda

11 September 1649 Historian Micheál Ó Siochrú, in his book God’s Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland, writes that ‘the storming of Drogheda (by British parliamentary forces) on 11 September shocked contemporary opinion and established Cromwell’s reputation for cruelty and savagery, which has persisted until the present day.’1 Although now forgotten by most people in…

1860-1899 | Battlefield butchery | Massacres | Prisoners murdered | Sudan | Wounded killed

Shoot the prisoners and the wounded !

2 September 1892 On 2 September 1892, the army of the Mahdi, a Sudanese religious leader,  was massacred by a British force, under General Kitchener, at the so called battle of Omdurman. About sixteen thousand Dervishes were killed for the loss of just 48 of Kitchener’s men.  British soldiers were then ordered to shoot the…

1860-1899 | Battlefield butchery | Burning towns and cities | Massacres | Media propaganda | South Africa | Wounded killed

British slaughter Zulu wounded and burn down the city of Ulundi

4 July 1879 On 4 July 1879, British infantry used their overwhelming fire power to decisively defeat the Zulu nation at the battle of Ulundi. The battle itself, in which fifty Zulus were killed for every Redcoat, is occasionally recalled, but the even less glorious aftermath, in which the victorious troops immediately set about slaughtering…