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The Battle of Maida by De Louthembourg.


The Battle of Maida by De Louthembourg.

Following Napoleons deposition of Ferdinand IV, King of Naples in favour of his brother Joseph Bonaparte, the British government ordered General Sir John Stuart to land a force in Calabria, Southern Italy. On the 6th of July the French force of 4,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry met the British force of 5,000 infantry. The battle was a British victory with losses of 330, compared to the French losses of 700 killed and 1,000 wounded with another 1,000 prisoners.
Item Code : DHM0177The Battle of Maida by De Louthembourg. - This Edition
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PRINT Open edition print.

Image size 21 inches x 16 inches (53cm x 41cm)noneHalf
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The painting depicts the climax of the Zulu attacks at the defence of Rorkes Drift.  The Zulus were unable to effectively penetrate the mealie bag defenses at Rorkes Drift, even though they succeeded in burning down the hospital, and peppering the storehouse with bullet holes.  The confined space available to the British garrison caused a certain degree of physical compression, but this in fact worked against the Zulus, as it drove the defenders closer together with the result being that the volley fire from the defenders was concentrated and subsequently very effective at close range, as opposed to the spread out skirmish line type formation used at Isandlwhana.  The Zulu attacks also became uncoordinated, being driven forward by charismatic individuals, but lacking the support of the necessary numbers needed to overwhelm the desperate defenders, who now appreciated that  they were literally fighting for their lives.

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The Battle at Rorke's Drift, also known as the Defence of Rorke's Drift, was an action in the Anglo-Zulu War. The defence of the mission station of Rorke's Drift, under the command of Lieutenant John Chard of the Royal Engineers, immediately followed the British Army's defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22nd January 1879, and continued into the following day, 23rd January.  150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the garrison against an intense assault by approximately 2000 Zulu warriors. The intense and noisy Zulu attacks on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the tiny garrison, but were ultimately repelled by blasts of Martini-Henry rifle fire-and some smart bayonet work-with some guts behind the bayonet thrusts! Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders, along with a number of other decorations and honours. Of particular note in the painting is the dog 'Pip' - he survived Isandlwhana by retreating along the fugitive's trail to Rorke's Drift. During the Zulu attacks on Rorke's drift, Pip did his part in the defence - by jumping on the mealie bag parapets and barking at Zulus- who were hiding in the long grass and sneaking up to the defences, then biting any Zulu who came within range. Unfortunately Pip was not officially recognised for his part in the action. He was not awarded a VC, on the basis that he was a volunteer canine that accompanied an officer, rather than a War Office issued canine. Conversely, if Pip had been killed, then he would not have been officially listed as a casualty, as he accompanied the army in a strictly private capacity. British army horses were in a different category as they were War Office issue, therefore the loss of a horse in action, or to disease, carried a financial liability for the War Office.

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