'The Danger of Divided Command': British civil and military disputes over the conduct of the Zululand campaigns of 1879 and 1888

John Laband


Civil and military command in nineteenth-century southern Africa

In the hey-day of the British Empire the respective spheres of authority of the civil and military powers were not necessarily unequivocally defined, leading on occasion to disputes which threatened the efficient conduct of military operations. The most spectacular and bitter confrontation of this sort was that between the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, Lord Kitchener, which culminated in Curzon's resignation in August 1905.' The obscure colonies of Natal and Zululand were of a very different order from the glittering Indian Empire, but there too, in 1879 and again in 1888, sharp wrangles developed between the civil and military authorities with ultimately significant consequences. For the British Government was at last forced to revise and clarity its regulations so that henceforth throughout the Empire-besides India-colonial governors and the officers commanding forces would have no doubt as to their respective jurisdictions.


'The Danger of Divided Command'; British civil and military disputes; the Zululand campaigns of 1879 and 1888; Civil and military command; colonies of Natal and Zululand; India-colonial governors; Viceroy of India; Lord Curzon; Lord Kitchener

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/31-2-153


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Copyright (c) 2018 John Laband

ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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