if Shaka faced a Roman or medieval army, would he have had a chance?

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kimolozen
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Shaka's tactics almost defeated the British, even though he died long before the Anglo-Zulu war. But say he faced a Roman general in battle, or even the English at Agincourt or the Crusaders, would he have had a chance?

I say no. The Roman formations could just form a phalanx and the Zulus couldn't penetrate it. The Romans also had catapults and archers, and the Zulus couldn't defend against that.
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Arbolus
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I have to say no as well. Even though his army represented a big advance over what the Zulus had before, it was still extremely clumsy and primitive compared to what northern hemisphere civilizations had already had for thousands of years.

As just one example, Shaka was the first known Zulu leader to even think about using a flanking maneuver in battle. That maneuver had been common sense to Western commanders ever since Marathon in 490 BC.

The only reason the Zulus ever had any success at all against the Boers or the British was because the Europeans were always hopelessly outnumbered. Against a Roman army of a similar size, the Zulus wouldn't have had a chance.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by kimolozen)
Shaka's tactics almost defeated the British, even though he died long before the Anglo-Zulu war. But say he faced a Roman general in battle, or even the English at Agincourt or the Crusaders, would he have had a chance?

I say no. The Roman formations could just form a phalanx and the Zulus couldn't penetrate it. The Romans also had catapults and archers, and the Zulus couldn't defend against that.
The Romans didn't use a phalanx formation. The legionaries formed up on a wider frontage and had more space to fight individually. And while the Zulus might not have coped with archers and artillery, they did ok against ranged weapons when circumstances favoured them e.g. Isandlwana.

That said, any competent Ancient army would probably have beaten them unless greatly outnumbered.
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