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This Week's Half Price Art

 On January 22nd 1879, during the Zulu War, the small British field hospital and supply depot at Rorkes Drift in Natal was the site of one of the most heroic military defences of all time. Manned by 140 troops of the 24th Regiment, led by Lieutenant John Chard of the Royal Engineers, the camp was attacke by a well-trained and well-equipped Zulu army of 4000 men, heartened by the great Zulu victory over the British forces at Isandhlwana earlier on the same day. The battle began in mid afternoon, when British remnants of the defeat at Isandhlwana struggled into the camp. Anticipating trouble, Chard set his small force to guard the perimeter fence but, when the Zulu attack began, the Zulus came faster than the British could shoot and the camp was soon overcome. The thatched roof of the hospital was fired by Zulu spears wrapped in burning grass and even some of the sick and the dying were dragged from their beds and pressed into the desperate hand-to-hand fighting. Eventually, Chard gave the order to withdraw from the perimeter and to take position in a smaller compound, protected by a hastily assembled barricade of boxes and it was from behind this barricade that the garrison fought for their lives throughout the night. After twelve hours of battle, the camp was destroyed, the hospital had burned to the ground, seventeen British lay dead and ten were wounded. However, the Zulus had been repulsed and over 400 of their men killed. The Battle of Rorkes Drift is one of the greatest examples of bravery and heroism in British military history. Nine men were awarded Distinguished Conduct Medals, and eleven, the most ever given for a single battle, received the highest military honour of all, the Victoria Cross.

Defence of Rorkes Drift by Lady Elizabeth Butler. (C)
Half Price! - £40.00
 The Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879 was the first major encounter in the Anglo-Zulu War between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom.  Eleven days after the British commenced their invasion of Zululand in South Africa, a Zulu force of some 10,000-12,000 warriors attacked a portion of the British main column consisting of about 1,800 British, colonial and native troops and perhaps 400 civilians.  The Zulus were equipped mainly with the traditional Assegai iron spears and cow-hide shields, but also had a number of muskets and old rifles though they were not formally trained in their use.  The British and colonial troops were armed with the state-of-the-art Martini-Henry breech-loading rifle and two 7 pounder artillery pieces as well as a rocket battery.  Despite a vast disadvantage in weapons technology, the numerically superior Zulus ultimately overwhelmed the poorly led and badly deployed British, killing over 1,300 troops, including all those out on the forward firing line.  The Zulu army suffered around 350 killed, and up to several hundred wounded.  The battle was a crushing victory for the Zulus and caused the abandonment of the first British invasion of Zululand.

The Battle of Isandlwana by Jason Askew.
Half Price! - £45.00
 After coming out of the British Square The 17th Lancers charge by the 58th Regiment. The Battle of Ulundi took place at the Zulu capital of Ulundi on 4th July 1879.  Ulundi became the last battle to be fought during the Zulu war and the British victory finally broke the military power of the Zulu Nation.  The battle began at 6 a.m. when Buller led out an advance guard of mounted troops and South African irregulars.  The British force comprised of five companies of the 80th regiment in square in four ranks, with two Gatling Guns in the centres, two 9-pounders on the left flank and two 7-pounders on the right. The 90th Light Infantry with four companies of the 94th regiment made up the left face with two more 7-pounders.  On the right face were the 1st Battalion of the 13th Light Infantry, four companies of the 58th Regiment, two 7-pounders and two 9-pounders. The rear face was composed of two companies of the 94th Regiment and two companies of the 2nd Battalion of the 21st Regiment.  In the middle of the square were headquarters staff, No. 5 company of the Royal Engineers whhich was led by Lt John Chard who had commanded the troops at Rorkes Drift, the 2nd Native Natal Contingent, fifty wagons and carts with reserve ammunition and hospital wagons. Bullers horsemen protected the front and both flanks of the square. A rearguard of two squadrons of the 17th Lancers and a troop of Natal Native Horse followed.  In total the British force stood at just over 5300 against the Zulu warrior regiments in total over 15000.  The Zulu warriors charged again and again at the square but with the strong British firepower of tifle and gatling gun, they could not get close.  As the Zulu warriors strength weakened, Lord Chelmsford ordered the cavalry to mount, and the 17th Lancers and the 1st Kings Dragoon Guards along with colonial cavalry were ordered to charge the now fleeing Zulus.  The Zulus fled towards the high ground with the cavalry in pursuit.  The Lancers were checked at the Mbilane stream by the fire of a concealed party of Zulus, causing a number casualties before the 17th Lancers overcame the Zulu resistance.  The pursuit continued until not one living Zulu remained on the Mahlabatini plain, with members of the Natal Native Horse, Natal Native Contingent and Woods Irregulars slaughtering the Zulu wounded, done in revenge for the massacre at Isandlwana.

Battle of Ulundi by Brian Palmer.
Half Price! - £70.00
The Allied breakthrough into the Normandy plain, against heavy German opposition. Filed marshall Montgomery claimed that Operation Goodwood had two major aims - the first being to break out from the beaches and the other to destroy the German armoured reserves and draw them away from the US forces that were preparing for Operation Cobra in the western sector.  The plan for the breakout began with a massive aerial bombardment, using the strategic air forces large bombers to decimate the German defending forces then Lt-General Richard OConnors VIII Corps comprising three whole armoured divisions - 11th, 7th and Guards - and spearheaded by Major-General Pip Roberts 11th would then rush forward, overwhelm the defending Germans and causing the armoured forces to move forward and break out from the beach areas. To cover the flanks the Canadians would fight their way to Caen, while the British 3rd Infantry and 51st Highland Divisions would cover the left flank,  and move further eastward.

Operation Goodwood, Caen, Normandy, 18th-19th July, 1944 by David Rowlands (C)
Half Price! - £20.00

 Under pressure from Stalin to open a second front in Europe, Operation Jubilee was designed ostensibly as a reconnaissance in force on the French coast, to show the feasibility of taking and holding a major defended port for a day, in this case Dieppe. The plan devised by Lord Louis Mountbatten failed due to inadequate naval and air support, carrying out the landing in daylight and general lack of intelligence of the target. Here new Churchill tanks of the 14th Canadian Tank Regiment (The Calgary Regiment), with men of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry and Fusiliers Mont-Royals, struggle to fight their way off the beach. Only a handful of men penetrated into the town itself, and eventually the remaining troops were ordered to withdraw. Out of 5086 soldiers who landed only 1443 returned.

Disaster at Dieppe, France, 19th August 1942 by David Pentland. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 Men of the US 381st Infantry Regiment, 96th Division supported by the tanks of 763rd and 713th Flamethrower Tank Battalions, during the assault on Yaeju Dake. This escarpment, known as Big Apple was the last in a series of tough Japanese defence lines on the south of the Island.

Taking of Big Apple, Okinawa, 10th - 14th June 1945 by David Pentland. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 Helmand Province, Afghanistan, April, 2011. Men of <i>The Highlanders</i> 4th Royal Regiment of Scotland, patrol through a flowering poppy field near Lashkar Gah.

Poppy Fields by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £70.00
 Juno Beach, Normandy, 6th June 1944.  Sdkfz 232 armoured cars of 12th SS Reconnaissance Battalion commanded by  Obersturmfuhrer Peter Hansmann observe the Canadian beachhead at Juno Beach.  His small team was tasked with finding out if an invasion was actually underway and it drove some 80km, arriving at the coast near Tracy at 7.30 in the morning to witness the landings in progress.

D-Day Recce by David Pentland. (P)
Half Price! - £700.00
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