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Monday, July 16, 2012

Natal Carabiniers Officer's Field Service Helmet

Natal Carabiniers Officer's Field Service Helmet
Seen here is a Natal Carabiniers Officer’s field service helmet from the Victorian era. The Natal Carabiniers was raised in 1855 and has the distinction of taking part in all campaigns in KwaZulu-Natal, a province in South Africa. The infantry regiment first saw action during the Langalibalele Rebellion in 1873 and would later suffer heavy casualties at the Battle of Isandlwana during the Anglo-Zulu War.  The Battle of Isandlwana occurred on January 1879 and was the first major battle between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom of the Anglo-Zulu War.  The badly led British were overwhelmed by the Zulus who were equipped mainly with the iron spears and cow-hide shields.  It was a crushing defeat for the British at the hands of an inferior force that would result in the British Empire taking a much
more aggressive approach in the Anglo-Zulu War.  Fighting against the Boers the regiment participated in the 118 day siege of Ladysmith and members of the regiment were some of the first to enter the city.  The regiment participated in the German South-West Africa campaign during WWI and in WWII saw action in North Africa and Italy.  Since the post-WWII years the Natal Carabiniers has been deployed to several African trouble spots.

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