Zulu Kingdom: even more powerful than the Qing in the late 19th Century?

Oct 2014
I was wondering hypothetically if China had fallen to the point where even the Zulu Kingdom in Southern Africa was more powerful than it in the late 19th century- considering they both fought the British and the Chinese only managed to inflict less than 200 casualties on the British vs. over 1000 for the Zulus.

Is this a fair assessment?
Mar 2016
The British were outnumbered 10 to 1 at Isandlwana, and still managed to inflict more casualties on the Zulus than vice-versa, so I'd say that using that as an example of Zulu military strength isn't particularly useful. You'll have to be more specific about what battles or campaigns you're referring to in this comparison if you want a more detail answer. I just assumed you were referring to Isandlwana, since it's the only major victory the Zulus had over British troops, but I have no idea what you're referring to with the Chinese.

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
In most battles against the British the Zulus rarely inflicted more than 70 casualties. Usually In exchange for several hundred to several thousand of their own.

The Zulu army could field some 35 000 warriors. Unarmoured, mainly carrying cow hide shields and spears/clubs. They had access to thousands of various firearms ranging from modern martini Henries to old muzzle loading flintlocks they had no training in how to use them or any large ammunition stockpile.

They inflicted two defeats on the the British, a small skirmish at Intombe and Isandlwana. In every other battle they were gunned down in their thousands, rarely scratching the Brits.

The Chinese Qing had been modernizing since 1860. Had modern fire arms, and had between 600-800 000 men.

I’d say Zulu power was minimal, local and relative to its local tribal enemies... European farmers were a match for them.
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Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
The only thing stopping the Europeans from conquering the Qing was China's size.
They don't still call it a "century of humiliation" for nothing.

Compared to the Zulus, I think they would win. Other prominent African kingdoms at the time would, like Asante or Dahomey. Both were more eager to use European weaponry, and in part it's why grew in power in the manner they did.
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