Zulu Dawn

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Zulu Dawn (1979)

Zulu Dawn is a 1979 prequel to the 1964 film Zulu directed by Douglas Hickox (Brannigan) starring Peter O'Toole, Burt Lancaster, Simon Ward and Denholm Elliott. It dramatized the events at and leading up to the Battle of Isandlwana, which occurred right before the Battle of Rorke's Drift, which occurred later that day.

The following weapons were used in the film Zulu Dawn:

Contents



Webley Mk VI

The Webley Mk VI is carried by British officers and NCOs. Like the earlier film, Zulu, the Webley Mk VI stands in for the earlier Webley and Adams models which were either standard issue or privately purchased.

Webley Mk. VI - .455 Webley
CSM Williams (Bob Hoskins) with his Webley. In reality NCO's would have been issued Adams revolvers.
A sergeant with a Webley, using an anachronistic two-handed grip.
Col. Durnford (Burt Lancaster) firing his Webley.
Col. Durnford reloading his Webley. Earlier in his career, Anthony Durnford was wounded in the arm, severing a nerve and paralyzing his left forearm and left hand. That's why he's forced to reload his Webley in this manner.
ZD WM6 03.jpg


Webley Pryse

Colonel Pulleine (Denholm Elliott) carries a Webley Pryse as his service weapon. This weapon was commonly privately purchased by officers during this period. Mr. Fannin (Don Leonard), the Boer merchant who is chased by Zulu warriors, also appears to have this model pistol.

Webley-Pryse No. 4 revolver
Mr. Fannin with his Webley Pryse
Colonel Pulleine (Denholm Elliott) with his Webley Pryse.
Another angle allows more detail.
Colonel Pulleine draws his Webley Pryse

Martini-Henry

Some of the British troops are armed with Martini-Henry rifles.

Martini-Henry Mk.III - .450 Boxer-Henry
Lt. Melvill (James Faulkner) inspects his troops.
ZD MH 02.jpg
ZD MH 03.jpg
ZD MH 04.jpg
ZD MH 05.jpg
Corporal Storey (Paul Copley) aims his Martini-Henry.
A Zulu warrior with a captured Martini-Henry.

Martini-Enfield Carbine

Both cavalry and infantry use the Martini-Enfield Artillery carbine during the film, likely due to a shortage of .450 blanks. This is inaccurate as the infantry used the rifle version shown above. Mention is made that Col. Durnford's cavalry is wholly equipped with these weapons which is also inaccurate as in reality they were largely equipped with Sniders or Westley Richards carbines.

Martini-Enfield Artillery Carbine - .303 British
A trooper with the Natal Native Horse fires his carbine at a Zulu.
Lt. Vereker (Simon Ward) demonstrates his prowess with the carbine.
ZD MC 03.jpg
Regular infantry with the carbine. It actually looks like a toy from this angle.
Several carbines are seen here.
Col. Durnford's cavalry with carbines. Also note the Webley Mk IV in the foreground.
Martini Henry carbines
A Zulu warrior with a captured carbine.

Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE)

During several of the battle scenes SMLEs can be seen being used by British troops. This is incorrect as these weapons were not produced until 1902.

SMLE Mk.III - .303 British
Red arrows point to the SMLE's.

Pattern 1914 Enfield

In the same scene, one soldier is seen with a Pattern 1914 Enfield rifle. This is also an anachronism.

Pattern M1914 (P 14) Enfield - .30-06
The blue arrow points to the Pattern 1914 Enfield.

Winchester Model 1892

The reporter Norris Newman (Ronald Lacey) carries a Winchester Model 1892 rifle. The rifle is anachronistic since the movie is set in 1879.

Winchester 1892 - .44-40 WCF
Newman with his Winchester Model 1892.
Winchesterzuludawn.jpg

Double barreled Rifle

William Vereker (Simon Ward) uses an unidentified side hammer double barreled rifle to demonstrate his riding and shooting skill to Col. Durnford (Burt Lancaster).

Vereker returns his rifle to its scabbard after his demonstration.

Snider Enfield Cavalry Carbine

A few of the Zulus are seen with Snider Enfield Cavalry Carbines.

Snider-Enfield Cavalry Carbine - .577 Snider
A Zulu scout with the carbine
Zulusc.jpg

Hale Rocket

The British are armed with a battery of Hale Rockets.

Hale Rocket Launcher
Loaded launchers ready to fire.
A firing rocket.

Cannon

The artillery appears to be 9pdr RML Mk 2’s which are incorrect as the actual weapons used in the battle were much smaller 7pdr cannon.

ZD cannon 01.jpg
Arty.jpg


Goofs

There are many goofs in this film, in many scenes British soldiers switch from Henry Martini rifles and carbines between shots. During the battle only some of the British troops have bayonets fitted to their rifles when they should all have fitted them before the battle began. Many of the bayonets are either incorrectly fitted or obviously made of rubber. Also evident are the fact that many of the Henry Martini rifles are actually wooden props.


The rifle in the foreground has either been chewed by something or is still covered in bark!
If you watch this scene carefully the poor quality of the wooden props is evident.
Is that a sharpened wooden stick?
Private Williams' rubber bayonet.


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