BUSH WAR! by William Moore


Email this review


American reprint of a 10-year-old British adventure novel that hasn't aged a day since first publication. It's 1879 and British imperial aims in Zululand have failed to meet the test of a terrific native uprising. The British see themselves as a large modern army going into the bush to subdue a disorganized band of ignorant natives. The natives may indeed be ignorant, but their sense of tactics is overwhelming. We first meet them in January, wiping out a line of British troops, disemboweling and often beheading the dead. Through their ignorance, the natives fail to remove a Gaffing gun, one of the brand-new war machines that fires many, many rounds per minute. However, two men eventually survive the native attacks, Major Ralph Leiston and enlisted man Sammy Carter--and Leiston is set on getting that Gatling gun out of native territory and back into army hands, where it is sorely needed against the enormous forces of the Zulu. On their blistering, backbreaking trek, Carter is ready to brain the major for his formality and seemingly idiotic sticking to the purpose of moving the Gaffing. At one point they meet two Boer women, one with a baby, who are hiding out in a cave. When Leiston says he must push on, the women are incredulous that he will face almost certain death in Zulu country in moving the gun rather than leaving it and saving his life. In any event, Chief Cetewayo's fantastic army is on the move and decisively massacres the main British army. Later that year the British have their Gatlings ready and the Zulu go down to a fabulously bloody defeat. Forcefully well-written, and filled with carnage.

Pub Date: Jan. 13th, 1985
Publisher: Walker