Anglo Boere Oorlog

Die Tweede Vryheidsoorlog

Anglo Boere Oorlog

Die Eerste Anglo Boere Oorlog Tuisblad > Anglo Boere Oorlog

Die Tweede Vryheidsoorlog ook genoem Anglo-Boereoorlog (ABO) van 1899 - 1902

The Second War (1899–1902), by contrast, was a lengthy war—involving large numbers of troops from many British possessions—which ended with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies (with a promise of limited self-government). These colonies later formed part of the Union of South Africa. The British fought directly against the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The bloodshed that was seen during the war was alarming. There were two main factors that contributed to this. First, many of the British soldiers were physically unprepared for the environment and poorly trained for the tactical conditions they faced. As a result, British losses were high due to both disease and combat. Second, the policies of "scorched earth" and civilian internment (adopted by the British in response to the Boer guerrilla campaign) ravaged the civilian populations in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

Nadat die Voortrekkers verslaan is deur die Britte in Natal in 1842, het die Groot Trek verder noord-oos versprei en uiteindelik het die trekkers hulself gevestig aan die noorde en suide van die Vaalrivier. Eerstens is die onafhanklike Transvaal gestig in die noorde, wat later die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek geword het.

In die tussentyd het die Kaapkolonie verder uitgebrei en die land tussen die Vaal- en Oranjerivier is as Britse gebied verklaar in 1848. Die Engelse het die sterk teenstand van die Boere, wat alreeds in hierdie gebied gevestig het, onderskat. Omdat hierdie gebied ekonomies gesien van min belang was, het die Britte weer vinnig afstand gedoen hiervan.

Kronologie van die Tweede Vryheidsoorlog ons verleen graag erkenning aan die skywer onbekend


Die Oranje Vrystaat het ontwikkel tot 'n politieke en ekonomiese suksesvolle republiek. Hierdie ontwikkelinge is oorskadu deur verskeie negatiewe gebeurtenisse in die tweede Boerestaat (vandag Mpumalanga). Die Britte was in guns vir 'n eenheid van sy eie kolonies saam met die Boere kolonies in een unie, met die doel om die nuut gevonde goudmyne in die Transvaal te beheer.


Die Premier van die Kaapkolonie, Sir Cecil Rhodes, het eerstens probeer om hierdie unie tot realiteit te bring deur 'n opstand te skep, maar dit het gefaal omdat Paul Kruger, President van die Boere Republiek te versigtig was. Later het die nuwe Goewerneur van die Kaap, Lord Alfred Milner, wel sukses behaal deur die gebruik van gewapende mag. Die Vrystaat, wat 'n bond gevorm het met die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek, het by die konflik betrokke geraak. Op 11 Februarie 1899 het oorlog uitgebreek tussen die twee Boere Republieke en die twee Britse kolonies van die Kaap en Natal.


Die Boereoorlog het drie jaar geduur. Aan die kant van die Afrikaners was 52 000 soldate wat geveg het teen 'n oormag van 450 000 Britse soldate. In die begin het die Afrikaners indrukwekkende suksesse behaal, maar baie vinnig het die tafels gedraai. Op 13 Maart 1900 het Bloemfontein tot 'n val gekom en op 24 Mei is die Oranje Vrystaat verklaar tot Britse gebied. Kort hierna het Johannesburg en Pretoria ook tot 'n val gekom en op 1 September is die Transvaal geannekseer tot Britse kolonie.


Die Boere het begin met 'n guerrilla oorlog wat vermoeiend was vir beide partye. Die Britte, onder Generaal Lord Kitchener, het hierop geantwoord met ongekende strengheid en brutaliteit. Die Boere kommandos is sistematies gejag, die velde is verniel en die oeste is vernietig. Die vroue en kinders, wat hierdeur dakloos gelaat is, is onder verskriklike toestande vasgehou in konsentrasiekampe. In totaal het meer as 27 000 vroue en kinders in die kampe gesterf van honger, uitputting en siektes.


Uiteindelik het die Boere besef dat enige verdere teenstand tot groter onsinnige opofferinge sal ly. Die vredesonderhandelinge het begin. Op 31 Mei 1902 is 'n vredeskontrak geteken -Die Vrede van Vereeniging geteken te Melrose Huis in Pretoria. Beide Boere Republieke het deel geword van die Britse kolonies.

Anglo-Boereoorlog Anglo-Boereoorlog Anglo-Boereoorlog Anglo-Boereoorlog


British Imperial Conquests

The British attempt to annex the Transvaal in 1880, and the Transavaal and the Orange Free State in 1899, was their biggest incursion into southern Africa, but there were others.

In 1868, the British annexed Basutoland in the Drakensberg Mountains following an appeal from Moshesh, the leader of a mixed group of African refugees from the Zulu wars, who sought British protection against the Boers.

In the 1880s, Bechuanaland (modern Botswana, located north of the Orange River) became the object of dispute between the Germans to the west, the Boers to the east, and Cape Colony to the south. Although Bechuanaland had no economic value, the "Missionaries Road" passed through it towards territory farther north.

After the Germans annexed Damaraland and Namaqualand (modern Namibia) in 1884, the British annexed Bechuanaland in 1885. “British imperialism, which often stalked its quarry with cultural and commercial feints before finally pulling down its prey through conquest and formal annexation, was for some time frustrated by the presence of the two independent Boer republics.

Yet, within little more than a decade and half, the Orange Free State and the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek had both been subjugated in the course of the bloody South African War of 1899–1902” [The Modernization of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek: F. E. T. Krause, J. C. Smuts, and the Struggle for the Johannesburg Public Prosecutor's Office, 1898–1899: Charles Van Onselen]

The Boers of the Transvaal Republic had in the 1880-1881 war proved skillful fighters in resisting the British attempt at annexation, causing several costly defeats to the British. The British government of William Gladstone had been unwilling to become bemired in a distant war demanding of substantial troop reinforcement and expense for what was at the time perceived to be minimal return. They had cut their losses, and signed an armistice to end the war, with subsequently a peace treaty with the Transvaal President Paul Kruger.


However when, in 1886, a second major mineral find was made at an outcrop on a large ridge some thirty miles south of the Boer capital at Pretoria, it reignited British imperial interests. By 1898 Britain was again at war with the Boer republics in the Second Boer War, and this time the lure of gold was more than enough for Britain to commit the substantial troops required and keep them fighting, and bear all the cost including the loss of lives, over the three long years that it would take. German Krupp artillery The ridge, known locally as the "Witwatersrand" (literally "white water ridge" - a watershed) contained the world's largest deposit of gold-bearing ore. Although it was not as rich as gold finds in Canada and Australia, its consistency made it especially well-suited to industrial mining methods.

With the 1886 discovery of gold in Transvaal, thousands of British and other prospectors and settlers streamed over the border from the Cape Colony (annexed by Britain earlier) and from across the globe. The city of Johannesburg sprang up as a shanty town nearly overnight as the uitlanders (foreigners) poured in and settled near the mines. The uitlanders rapidly outnumbered the Boers on the Rand, but remained a minority in the Transvaal as a whole.

The Afrikaners, nervous and resentful of the uitlanders' presence, denied them voting rights and taxed the gold industry. The tax on a box of dynamite was five shillings of the cost of five pounds. These mines consumed vast quantities of explosives and President Paul Kruger gave manufacturing monopoly rights to a non-British operation of the Nobel company, which infuriated the British. The so-called "dynamite monopoly" became a major pretext for war. However, one of the underlying irritants for war occurred in 1894–95 over the railway and tariffs problems. Kruger wanted to build a railway through Portuguese East Africa to Delagoa Bay, bypassing British controlled ports in Natal and Cape Town and avoiding British tariffs.

The Prime Minister of the Cape Colony was Cecil Rhodes, a man with a vision of a British controlled Africa extending from Cape to Cairo. Angered by these problems, the Uitlanders and the British mine owners sought to overthrow the Boer government. In 1895, Cecil Rhodes sponsored the failed coup d'état backed by an armed incursion, the Jameson Raid. Of this raid, Jan C. Smuts wrote in 1906, "The Jameson Raid was the real declaration of war...And that is so in spite of the four years of truce that followed...[the] aggressors consolidated their alliance...the defenders on the other hand silently and grimly prepared for the inevitable."

Paul Kruger and the President Martinus Theunis Steyn of the Orange Free State both understood that the failed raid was the precursor to a war and commencing in 1896 placed orders for Mauser rifles and German Krupp artillery. The failure to gain improved rights for Britons became a pretext to manufacture a case for war and to justify a major military buildup in the Cape. The case for war was justified and espoused as far away as the Australian colonies. Several key British colonial leaders favored annexation of the independent Boer republics. These figures included the Cape Colony governor Sir Alfred Milner, Cape Prime Minister Cecil Rhodes, British Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain and mining syndicate owners or Randlords (nicknamed the gold bugs) such as Alfred Beit, Barney Barnato and Lionel Phillips. Confident that the Boers would be quickly defeated, they planned, schemed and organised to precipitate a war, based on the Uitlanders' real or imagined grievances.

President Steyn of the Orange Free State invited Milner and Kruger to attend a conference in Bloemfontein which started on 30 May 1899, but negotiations quickly broke down, despite Kruger's offer of concessions. In September 1899, Chamberlain sent an ultimatum demanding full equality for British citizens resident in Transvaal. Kruger, seeing that war was inevitable, simultaneously issued his own ultimatum prior to receiving Chamberlain's. This gave the British 48 hours to withdraw all their troops from the border of Transvaal; otherwise the Transvaal, allied with the Orange Free State, would declare war. News of the ultimatum reached London on the day it expired. Outrage and laughter were the main responses. The editor of the Times laughed out loud when he read it, saying 'an official document is seldom amusing and useful yet this was both'. The Times denounced the ultimatum as an 'extravagant farce', The Globe denounced this 'trumpery little state'. Most editorials were similar to the Daily Telegraph, which declared: 'of course there can only be one answer to this grotesque challenge. Kruger has asked for war and war he must have!'.

War was declared on 11 October 1899. The Boers had no problems with mobilization, since the Presidents of the Transvaal and Orange Free State simply signed decrees to concentrate within a week and the Commandos could muster between 30-40,000 men. The Boers struck first by invading Cape Colony and Natal between October 1899 and January 1900. What the Boers presented was a mobile and innovative approach to warfare that had first appeared in the American Civil War. The average Burghers who made up their Commandos were farmers who had spent almost all their working life in the saddle, and because they had to depend on both their horse and their rifle they were skilled stalkers and marksmen, and became expert light cavalry. They could make use of every scrap of cover, from which they could pour in a destructive fire using their modern Mausers. They also had around one hundred of the latest Krupp field guns, all horse drawn and dispersed among the various Commando groups, and their skill in adapting themselves to first-rate artillerymen shows them to have been a versatile adversary. Although it seemed as though the Boer War would be a quick and easy victory, it became clear that Britain would have problems with it from the start; over 2/3 of the men that attempted to enlist were turned away because they were medically unfit. This staggering number had a great influence on the Liberal Welfare Reforms of 1906-14, after the Conservatives had been voted out of power.

Table used during the Bloemfontein Conference (31 May 1899 - 5 June 1899)

Concentration Camps In early March 1901 Lord Kitchener decided to break the stalemate that the extremely costly war had settled into. It was costing the British taxpayer 2,5 million pounds a month. He decided to sweep the country bare of everything that can give sustenance to the Boers i.e. cattle, sheep, horses, women and children. Scorched Earth Policy homes being burned sent to concentration camps The W H Coetzer triptych depicting the Scorch Earth policy - War Museum of the Boer Republics This scorched earth policy led to the destruction of about 30000 Boer farmhouses and the partial and complete destruction of more than forty towns.. Thousands of women and children were removed from their homes by force. They had little or no time to remove valuables before the house was burnt down. They were then taken by ox wagon or in open cattle trucks to the nearest camp. Conditions in the camps were less than ideal. Tents were overcrowded. Reduced-scale army rations were provided. In fact there were two scales. Meat was not included in the rations issued to women and children whose men folk were still fighting. There were little or no vegetables, no fresh milk for the babies and children, 3/4 lb of either mealie meal, rice or potatoes, 1 lb of meat twice weekly, I oz of coffee daily, sugar 2 oz daily, and salt 0,5 oz daily (this was for adults and children who had family members on commando).

Text from Anglo-Boer War Museum web site


The Battle of Spion Kop

War: The Boer War.

Date: 24th January 1900

Place: On the Tugela River in Northern Natal in South Africa.

Combatants: The British against the Boers.

Generals: General Sir Redvers Buller against General Botha

Size of the armies: 20,000 British troops against 8,000 Boers.

Automatic weapons were used by the British usually mounted on special carriages accompanying the cavalry.

Casualties: The British lost 1,500 casualties, 243 of them dead in the trench on the peak of Spion Kop. The Boers suffered 335 casualties.

Winner: The Boers.

The Battle of Ladysmith

War: The Boer War

Date: 29th October 1899.

Place: Northern Natal in South Africa.

Combatants: British against the Boers.

Generals: Lieutenant General Sir George White against General Joubert.

Size of the armies: 5,500 British against 4,000 Boers.

Winner: The Boers.

German volunteers fighting for the Boers at Ladysmith


The Battle of Stormberg

War: The Boer War

Date: 9th December 1899

Place: Stormberg Valley in Northern Cape Colony, South Africa.

Combatants: British against the Boers

Generals: Major General Sir William Gatacre against General Olivier.
Size of the armies: 3,000 British against 2,000 Boers.

Automatic weapons were used by the British usually mounted on special carriages accompanying the cavalry.

Casualties: British casualties were 90 men with the 600 captured by the Boers. Boer casualties were trivial and are unknown.

Winner: The Boers

The Battle of Magersfontein

War: The Boer War.

Date: 11th December 1899.

Place: 6 miles north east of the Modder River in the North West of Cape Colony, South Africa.

Combatants: British against the Boers.

Generals: Major General Lord Methuen and General De la Rey.
Size of the armies: 8,000 British against 9,000 Boers.

Casualties: British casualties were 902. The Highland Brigade lost 53 officers and 650 soldiers, among them the brigade commander, Major General Wauchope, and 2 commanding officers killed. The commanding officer of the Gordons was also killed. Boer casualties were 236.

Winner: The Boers.

The Battle of Colenso

War: The Boer War.

Date: 15th December 1899

Place: Colenso on the Tugela River in Northern Natal, South Africa.

Combatants: British against the Boers.

Generals: General Sir Redvers Buller against General Botha.

Size of the armies: 16,000 British against 12,000 Boers.

Casualties: British casualties were 1,167 killed, wounded and captured. Boer losses were slight.

Winner: The Boers.

The Battle of Val Krantz and Pieters

War: The Boer War

Date: 5th February to 28th February 1900.

Place: The Tugela River, Northern Natal in South Africa.
Combatants: British against the Boers.

Generals: Lieutenant General Sir Redvers Buller against General Botha.
Size of the armies: 20,000 British against between 4,000 to 8,000 Boers, as they returned to their commandos.

Casualties: This extended period of fighting cost the British around 3,000 casualties, 500 of them suffered by Hart’s brigade during the attack on Inniskilling Hill. The Boers probably suffered around 1,500 casualties.

The Battle of Paardenburg

War: The Boer War.

Date: 27th February 1900.

Place: North West of Cape Colony in South Africa on the border with the Orange Free State.

Combatants: British against the Boers.

Generals: Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener against General Cronje.

Size of the armies: 15,000 British troops against 7,000 Boers

Casualties: British casualties were 1,270, the highest for any day in the war. Boer casualties in the fighting were negligible but some 4,500 surrendered with Cronje.

On the Wednesday Roberts made the decision to retreat. He was saved from what would have been the greatest humiliation of the war by De Wet’s withdrawal from the kopje and Cronje’s surrender the next day, transforming Paardeburg from disaster to triumph.

The Siege of Mafeking

War: The Boer War

Date: 14th October 1899 to 16th May 1900.

Place: Mafeking lies on the railway north to Rhodesia in the Northern tip of Cape Colony in South Africa near to the Bechuanaland border.

Combatants: British against the Boers.

Generals: Colonel Robert Baden-Powell against General Cronje and from November 1899 General Snyman.

Size of the armies: 1,500 British colonial troops against initially7,500 Boers reduced in November 1899 to 1,500.

Winner: The British held out until relieved.

The Siege of Kimberley

War: The Boer War

Date: 14th October 1899 to 15th February 1900.

Place: Northern Cape Colony in South Africa on the border of the Orange Free State.

Combatants: British and South African colonial troops against the Boers.
Commanded: The British garrison was commanded by Colonel Kekewich of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, assisted (or impeded) by Cecil Rhodes, against General Cronje.

Size of the armies: 1,624 British troops against a varying besieging force of Boers, around 6,500 with several guns.

Automatic weapons were used by the British usually mounted on special carriages accompanying the cavalry.

Winner: The Boers failed to take Kimberley, finally relieved by the advancing British forces.



The Siege of Ladysmith

War: The Boer War

Date: 2nd November 1899 to 27th February 1900.

Place: Ladysmith in northern Natal in South Africa.

Combatants: British against the Boers.

Generals: Lieutenant General Sir George White against Generals Joubert and Botha.

Size of the armies: 5,500 British troops against a varying number of Boers. From the end of the year 1899 the garrison outnumbered the besieging Boers.

Winner: The British under White held out until relieved by General Buller, but without great distinction.

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