ZULU. 1964 historical war-film directed by Cy Endfield, depicting the Battle Of Rorkes Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879 during the Anglo-Zulu War. The film was mostly shot on location in South Africa. Whilst the basis of the film is factual, it has been criticised for its use of fiction and wide poetic license, especially at its conclusion. The actual Battle or Defence of Rorke's Drift was a defence of the mission station of Rorke's Drift, under the command of Lieutenant John Chard of The Royal Engineers, immediately following the British Armys defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22nd January 1879 and continued action into the following day 23rd January. Just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the garrison against an intense assault by an estimated 3-4000 Zulu warriors The massive but piecemeal Zulu attacks on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the tiny garrison, but were ultimately bravely repelled. Famously eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders of Rorke's Drift ; seven of them to soldiers of the 2nd/24th Foot – the most ever received in a single action by one regiment. Although not (as commonly thought) the most won in a single action or the most won in a day ; Sixteen (16) were won at the Battle of Inkerman on 5th November 1854 and twenty-eight (28) during the Second Relief of Lucknow between14–22nd November 1857. Lt John Chard received a Victoria Cross for his role at Rorkes Drift. He was made a Colonel in 1897, but died later that year aged 49 of cancer. In the film, he was played by Welsh actor Stanley Baker who actually owned Chards original VC and Zulu War Medal from 1972, until his own death caused by cancer in 1976 aged just 49.
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