The Boer Wars

  • Intro to Boer Wars

    Intro to Boer Wars
    The Boer Wars was a series of battles between the South African Boers and the British Empire. The first war span from December 16, 1880 to March 23 1881. The second Boer War span from October 9, 1899 to May 31, 1902. The British fueled the wars with their desire to control the trade routes to India, the discovery of natural resources, and the race for colonization of Africa in general.
  • 1877 annexation

    1877 annexation
    Britain issued a proclamation called: "ANNEXATION OF THE S.A. REPUBLIC TO THE BRITISH EMPIRE". In the proclamation, the British claimed that the country was unstable, ungovernable, bankrupt and facing civil war. The unsuccessful annexation did not suspend self-government and attempted to convert the South African Republic into a British colony.
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    The First Boer War

    The war included a series of sieges and strategic battles by the Boer militants. The war can be remembered by excellent marksmanship and guerrilla tactics. The Boers were victorious and were given their independence.
  • Battle of Bronkhorstspruit

    Battle of Bronkhorstspruit
    The battle was fought by the Bronkhorstspruit River. Within fifteen minutes most of the officers were killed or wounded, and the horses and oxen pulling the covered wagons at the front and rear of the column were killed. Shocked by the attack, Lt. Anstruther gave the order to surrender. In a battle lasting just fifteen minutes, 156 British soldiers were killed or wounded, with the rest taken as prisoners. The battle resulted in a Boer victory.
  • Siege of Rustenburg

    Siege of Rustenburg
    The Siege of Rustenburg was a Boer siege, carried out by the South African Republic. Boer forces carried out the siege against Rustenburg, a British-controlled city inside of the Transvaal Colony, until March 30, 1881. The result was a South African Republic victory and Rustenburg was captured.
  • Siege of Marabastad

    Siege of Marabastad
    The Siege of Marabastad was a siege on Fort Marabastad carried out by the Boers on January 11, 1881. The siege ended with the British surrendering on March 2, 1881. Marabastard was then captured.
  • Battle of Laing's Nek

    Battle of Laing's Nek
    The Battle of Laing's Nek was a major battle fought at Laing's Nek in which the British reported 84 killed, 113 wounded, and 2 captured. The battle resulted in a Boer victory which would soon lead to their independence.
  • Battle of Schuinshoogte

    Battle of Schuinshoogte
    The Battle of Schuinshoogte took place north of Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, The battle resulted in a decisive Boer victory. Major-General Sir George Pomeroy Colley was plagued by defeat throughout the war, and although he would receive his reinforcements, his men were seriously demoralized by the string of defeats.
  • Battle of Majuba Hill

    Battle of Majuba Hill
    The Battle of Majuba Hill was the main and decisive battle of the First Boer War. It led to the signing of a peace treaty and later the Pretoria Convention, between the British and the reinstated South African Republic, ending the First Boer War. The Boers showed that the British were not the invincible foe the world feared. Some historians mark this is the decline of the British Empire.
  • Siege of Lydenburg

    Siege of Lydenburg
    The Siege of Lydenburg was a siege carried out by the Boers on Lydenburg between January and March of 1881. Despite fierce British resistance, the town fell to the Boers . The siege lasted 84 days which resulted in the caputring of Lydenburg by the Boers. Following the capture of Lydenburg and other British forts in Transvaal, the South African Republic regained independence and control over its territories.
  • First Boer War Peace Treaty

    First Boer War Peace Treaty
    The British government, under Prime Minister William Gladstone, was conciliatory as it realised that any further action would require substantial troop reinforcements, and it was likely that the war would be costly, messy and protracted. Unwilling to get bogged down in a distant war, the British government ordered a truce. The British agreed to complete Boer self-government in the Transvaal under British suzerainty in the final peace treaty.
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    The Scramble for Africa

    The Berlin Conference of 1884 is usually referred to as the starting point of the Conquest of Africa. Consequent to the political and economic rivalries among the European empires in the last quarter of the 19th century, the partitioning of Africa was how the Europeans avoided warring amongst themselves over Africa. The British were primarily interested in maintaining secure communication lines to India, which led to initial interest in Egypt and South Africa.
  • Boer Independence

    Boer Independence
    The South African Republic became fully independent when the The London Convention was signed. The country also entered into various agreements with other foreign countries after that date. On 3 November 1884 the country signed a Postal convention with the government of the Cape Colony and later similarly with the Orange Free State.
  • European Discovery of Witwatersrand

    European Discovery of Witwatersrand
    The Witwatersrand is a 56 km long north facing scarp in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. It consists of a hard, erosion resistant quartzite sedimentary rock, over which several north-flowing rivers form waterfalls, which account for the name “Witwatersrand” meaning the “ridge of white waters” in Afrikaans. in 1886, a major gold field was discovered at an outcrop on a large ridge some sixty kilometres south of the Boer capital at Pretoria, it reignited British imperial interests.
  • The South African Gold Rush

    The South African Gold Rush
    The gold rush saw massive development of Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand. The discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand also created a super wealthy class of miners and industrialists known as Randlords. Foreign imperialist, mainly from Britain, would inhabit the land for decades to come.
  • Jameson Raid

    Jameson Raid
    A plan was hatched by british imperialist to take Johannesburg, ending the control of the Transvaal government. It was intended to trigger an uprising by the primarily British expatriate workers in the Transvaal but failed to do so. The raid was ineffective and no uprising took place, but it was an inciting factor in the Second Boer War.
  • New Zealand: An Extension of the Empire

    New Zealand: An Extension of the Empire
    On 28 September 1899, Prime Minister Richard Seddon asked Parliament to approve the offer to the imperial government of a contingent of mounted rifles, thus becoming the first British Colony to send troops to the Boer War. New Zealand decided to help fight for the Empire and sent 6,500 mounted troops to assist the British efforts, making the war New Zealand's first overseas military campaign. Virtually every man in New Zealand was desperately keen to get to war.
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    The Second Boer War

    The complex origins of the war resulted from more than a century of conflict between the Boers and the British Empire, but of particular immediate importance was the question as to which nation would control and benefit most from the very lucrative Witwatersrand gold mines. The result was a British Empire victory with sovereignty over The Orange Free State and the Transvaal in accordance with the Treaty of Vereeniging.
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    Phase One: Boer Victory

    The war had three distinct phases. In the first phase, the Boers mounted pre-emptive strikes into British-held territory in Natal and the Cape Colony, besieging the British garrisons of Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley. The Boers then won a series of tactical victories at Colenso, Magersfontein and Spionkop
  • Battle of Talana Hill

    Battle of Talana Hill
    The Battle of Talana Hill, also known as the Battle of Glencoe, was the first major clash of the Second Boer War. A frontal attack by British infantry supported by artillery drove Boers from a hilltop position, but the British suffered heavy casualties in the process, including their commanding general Sir William Penn Symons. The British had won a tactical victory, but at a high cost.
  • Battle of Ladysmith

    Battle of Ladysmith
    The Battle of Ladysmith was one of the early engagements of the Second Boer War. A large British force which had concentrated at the garrison town of Ladysmith launched a sortie on 30 October 1899, against Boer armies which were slowly surrounding the town. The result was a disaster for the British. The main body was driven back into the town, and an isolated detachment of 800 men was forced to surrender to Commandant De Wet.
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    Phase Two: The British offensive

    In the second phase, after the introduction of greatly increased British troop numbers under the command of Lord Roberts, the British launched another offensive in 1900 to relieve the sieges, this time achieving success. After Natal and the Cape Colony were secure, the British were able to invade the Transvaal, and the republic's capital, Pretoria, was ultimately captured in June 1900.
  • Indias Medical treatment during the War

    Indias Medical treatment during the War
    Mahatma Gandhi volunteered in 1900 to form a group of ambulance drivers raising eleven hundred Indian volunteer medics. At Spion Kop Gandhi and his bearers had to carry wounded soldiers for miles to a field hospital because the terrain was too rough for the ambulances. General Redvers Buller mentioned the courage of the Indians in his dispatch. Gandhi and thirty-seven other Indians received the War Medal.
  • Canada: Battle of Paardeberg

    Canada: Battle of Paardeberg
    A British lead attack trapped a Boer Army in Central South Africa on the banks of the Modder River. Over 800 Canadian Soldiers from Otter's 2nd Special Service Battalion were attached to the British attack force. This was the first major attack involving the Canadians in the Boer War as well as the first major victory for Commonwealth soldiers. The Canadian soldiers perched on a hill above the Boer camp and were credited with being the main reason that the Boers surrender. http://en.wikipedia.or
  • Siege of Mafeking

    Siege of Mafeking
    The Siege of Mafeking was the most famous British action in the Second Boer War. It took place at the town of Mahikeng (called Mafeking by the British) in South Africa over a period of 217 days, from October 1899 to May 1900, and turned Robert Baden-Powell, who went on to found the Scouting Movement, into a national hero. The Relief of Mafeking (the lifting of the siege) was a decisive victory for the British and a crushing defeat for the Boers.
  • Battle of Bergendal

    Battle of Bergendal
    The Battle of Bergendal was the last set-piece battle of the Second Anglo-Boer War. It lasted from 21–27 August 1900 and took place on the farm Bergendal near the town of Belfast. The 5,000 Boers were under the command of General Louis Botha and the 20,000 British Empire forces were led by General Sir Redvers Buller under the overall command of Lord Roberts.
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    Third phase: Guerrilla War and Scorched Earth Policy

    In the third and final phase, beginning in March 1900, the Boers launched a protracted hard-fought guerrilla war against the British forces, lasting a further two years, during which the Boers raided targets such as British troop columns, telegraph sites, railways and storage depots. In an effort to cut off supplies to the raiders, the British, now under the leadership of Lord Kitchener, responded with a scorched earth policy of destroying Boer farms and moving civilians into concentration camps
  • Scorched Earth Policy

    Scorched Earth Policy
    Lord Kitchener applied the scorched earth
    policy during the latter part of the Second Boer War. The Boers were not conforming to classic military defeat when their two capital cities were captured. They used guerrilla warfare, in order to rid their republics of the British. As a result the British ordered destruction of the farms and the homes of civilians in order to prevent the still-fighting Boers from obtainingb supplies.
  • British Concentration Camps

    British Concentration Camps
    The camps had originally been set up by the British Army as "refugee camps" to provide refuge for civilian families who had been forced to abandon their homes for whatever reason related to the war. However, when Kitchener succeeded Roberts as commander-in-chief in South Africa on 29 November 1900, the British Army introduced new tactics in an attempt to break the guerrilla campaign and the influx of civilians grew dramatically as a result.
  • The Boers Lose Morale

    The Boers Lose Morale
    British tactics of containment through concentration camps, denial, and harassment began to yield results against the guerrillas. The Boers found themselves losing an on-going war with the British Empire.
  • Australia sends support

    Australia sends support
    After the colonies formed the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, the new Government of Australia sent "Commonwealth" contingents to the war. The Boer War was thus the first war in which the Commonwealth of Australia fought. A few Australians fought on the Boer side.The most famous and colourful character was Colonel Arthur Alfred Lynch, formerly of Ballarat, Victoria, who raised the Second Irish Brigade.
  • The Boers Surrender

    The Boers Surrender
    The last of the Boers surrendered in May 1902 and the war ended with the Treaty of Vereeniging signed on 31 May 1902. Although the British had won, this came at a cost; the Boers were given £3,000,000 for reconstruction and were promised eventual limited self-government, which was granted in 1906 and 1907. The treaty ended the existence of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State as independent Boer republics and placed them within the British Empire.
  • South African Union Established

    South African Union Established
    The Union serves as a colaboration of four previously separate British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal Colony, Transvaal Colony and Orange River Colony.