Battle of Inyezane

The Naval Brigade's Gatling gun proved itself most effective in this type of warfare where the enemy were massed together. This illustration from the Penny Illustrated depicts the gun in the battle of Inyezane on 22nd Jan 1879. The young officer directing its operation is 18 year-old Midshipman Coker from HMS Active. Unfortunately he was one of those who died of disease in Eshowe. The gun was operated by turning a handle so that ammunition from a drum magazine fed the mechanism. A spare magazine can be seen on the ground. The sailors have their cutlasses attached to their rifles instead of the normal bayonets.

Zulu War

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by Stephen Luscombe