Didn't the Persians win that one? They would have managed a quicker victory if they had sent in their archers to begin with.
Tactically, yes. But it was a huge strategic loss.
The fact that at Rorkes Drift the British lost more soldiers from snipers than assegais supports my argument that the bayonet was a relatively unimportant weapon. The numerical advantage of the Zulu division would have given them victory if it had come down to hand to hand combat. This is how they won at Isandwana - they managed to close in and engage in close combat against the fewer British.
No, because without the bayonet the Brits would not have been able to defend the walls effectively. Clubbing someone with a rifle butt is not as effective as shooting him and then skewering his friend through the groin. It did come down to hand to hand combat, several times, and each time the Brits repelled the Zulus with next to no casualties. Without the bayonet, they would have been overrun, because their rifles (Martini-Henry's) though fine pieces of equipment, were only single shot. You had to have something to fall back on between shots. Hence, the bayonet.
Isandlwana had nothing to do with the bayonet. It had to do with 20,000 Zulus catching approximately 2,000 Brits encamped without anything in the way of defensive positions. The odds won the day there. Even then, the British killed something like 1,500 to 2,000 Zulus, and the majority of the battle was close combat.
But they failed to at Rorkes Drift, because of a number of factors. One of which was the bayonet.
The Zulu nation was geared up for war in the same way as classical Sparta. They had an organised regiment system and the training and discipline of their soldiers was the match of the British. The Boer and British victories against the Zulus were simply down to the fact that they had rifles and the Zulus didn't (at least until Isandwana).
The training and discipline of their soldiers was nowhere near that of the British. Which is why their shooting was so poor. Their organisation was excellent, though. The Zulus did have rifles, they had at least 10,000 of them at Isandlwana. Winning is hardly ever down to the technology at hand. Why do you think the West spent nearly half a century shitting in their pants at the prospect of an invasion of Europe by the USSR? Soviet technology was inferior, but there was a lot more of them.
The combination of rifles, discipline, a defensive positon (not a very good one, I might add), bayonets and sheer grit saw the British through. Zulu discipline was far from exemplary, typified by the fact that the attack on Rorke's Drift should never have happened in the first place. Cetewayo ordered that no British positions were to be attacked. But he was ignored.
Basically, it turned out to be a textbook example of how to defend using a small force of well-trained professionals versus what was the equivalent of a large, ill-trained militia.