The parallels are uncanny. Though continents apart, only two and a half years separated George Armstrong Custer’s calamity at the Little Big Horn in June 1876 and Lord Chelmsford’s disaster at Isandhlwana in January 1879. The terrains were similar: vast, rolling grasslands crisscrossed by deep, interlacing ravines, which easily deceived the eye and concealed the enemy. Both leaders committed the military sin of dividing their forces in hostile territory without knowing the disposition or size of their opponents. Both were lackadaisical about what little intelligence they received.
Both thought the challenge was to find the enemy, without considering that the enemy would find them. Custer had a healthy respect for the individual Sioux warrior as fighter and horseman, but he was contemptuous of the Indian ability to operate tactically on the battlefield. The ignorant Chelmsford