Situation[ edit ] In the 19th century a series of events occurred in the southern part of the African continent, with the British ultimately attempting to set up there a single unified state. Three prime factors fueled British expansion into southern Africa: In the British Empire annexed Basutoland modern Lesotho in the Drakensberg Mountains, surrounded by the Orange Free State and Natalfollowing an appeal from Mosheshthe leader of a mixed group of African refugees from the Zulu wars who sought British protection against both the Boers and the Zulus.
In response, both states declared war on Britain in October with the aim of forcing a negotiated settlement. The two sides were far from evenly matched. The British had close to 25, Account of the boer war in the region when war broke out, but quickly called on a large standing army stationed elsewhere in the empire.
They were well armed and trained, although not familiar with the territory and their experience of close formation fighting in wars around the world since was not, however, that relevant or useful when faced with the highly mobile and well-armed Boers. In contrast, the Boers avoided set piece battles, preferring hit and run tactics.
They could call on around 83, men of fighting age, of whom around 40, were fighting at any one time, but they had no trained army. Instead, they had a local militia system grouped into mounted commando units that varied in strength according to the population from which they were recruited.
All were skilled, mounted marksmen, their skills learned from hunting on the veldt wide, treeless grasslands. Although it was a legal requirement that all adult men own a rifle, many Boers did not, or a modern one at least, so President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal ordered 37, rifles and ten million cartridges from Krupps, the German manufacturer.
The Mauser model rifle was extremely accurate at long range and superior to the British Lee-Metford magazine rifle. The Boers also had a small quantity of modern French and German field artillery.
Trench Warfare Although the British were superior in number, trench warfare and modern weaponry reduced their effectiveness. This type of warfare was a prelude to what would happen in World War I fourteen years later.
Scorched Earth Frustrated by effective Boer guerrilla tactics, the British sought to try to deny them vital supplies by literally scorching everything valuable in their path.
Source Under Siege At the start of the war fast moving Boers columns advanced out of the two republics, besieging Colonel Robert Baden-Powell and his troops at Mafeking and the garrison at Kimberley, while a 15, strong Transvaal force invaded British-run Natal and besieged Ladysmith.
The British commanded by Sir Redvers Buller, sent out three columns to relieve the sieges. The first column, a force of around 10, men with 16 guns, advanced northwest from the Cape towards Kimberley and overcame Boer resistance at the Modder River at the end of November However, it was then defeated by the Boers, led by Piet Cronje at Magersfontein outside Kimberley on the 10thth December.
On the 9th the second column, which headed north from the Eastern Cape to relieve Mafeking, had been defeated at Stormberg. On the 15th December the third column heading from Durban, led by Buller himself, encountered the Boers, who in turn were led by Louis Botha, at Colenso. The British third column numbered around 21, men but was driven back by the Boers concealed in difficult terrain.
The British had all of its artillery captured and sustained losses of men killed, men wounded, and men captured. Boer casualties, at around 50, were negligible, as they had been in the previous two encounters. Buller, who retained his local command, was replaced by Field Marshal Viscount Roberts, with General Kitchener as his chief of staff.
The two rapidly reorganised the British forces to counter Boer mobility, and Buller made another attempt to finally relieve Ladysmith.
He divided his force into two; one, led by General Warren, attempted to take control of the commanding heights of Spion Kop to the west of Ladysmith, the balance being held in reserve.
On the night of the 24th January men scaled the hill but discovered in daylight that they could not dig in, had no sandbags, and, worse, were overlooked by Boer artillery.
The British came under heavy fire, which they could not return, but reinforcements allowed them to keep the hill despite a Boer attempt to scale the hill and engage them at close quarters.South African War, also called Boer War, Second Boer War, or Anglo-Boer War; to Afrikaners, also called Second War of Independence, war fought from October 11, , to May 31, , between Great Britain and the two Boer (Afrikaner) republics—the South African Republic and the Orange Free State—resulting in British victory.
The Boer War likes. This page is in memory of the men who served in the Second Boer War Jump to. Sections of this page. Create New Account.
Not Now. Community See All. people like this. people follow this. About See All. Typically replies within minutes. Contact The Boer War on . This is a very well written combat memoir, written shortly after the end of the Boer War () by one of it's youngest participants.
Deneys Reitz was 17 when the war began and he . Siege of Elandsriver - Anglo Boer War,South-Africa.
Back to the top of the page. Reports on the Centenary Commemoration. Report by Egbert van Bart (South-Africa). For many decades the area surrounding Swartruggens cemetery concealed under a dense covering of bushveld scrubland, like some dark military secret, the remains of those dramatic events of the early days of a new century.
The Second Boer War (11 October – 31 May ) was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South tranceformingnlp.com is also known variously as the Boer War, Anglo-Boer War, or South African tranceformingnlp.coml Boer attacks were successful, and although British reinforcements later.
The First Boer War (Afrikaans: Eerste Vryheidsoorlog, literally "First Freedom War"), also known as the First Anglo-Boer War, the Transvaal War or the Transvaal Rebellion, was a war fought from 16 December until 23 March between the United Kingdom and the South African Republic (also known as Transvaal Republic; not to be confused with the modern-day Republic of South Africa).