The Great Boer War
Mafeking, Colenso, Ladysmith and Spion Kop, battles won by the Boers against the might of the British Empire, still have a resonance a century on. The Great Boer War (1899-1902) pitted a sturdy, stubborn, hardy pioneer people against the arrogant self-confidence of Britain at the height of her power. It produced in almost equal measure extraordinary feats of personal heroism, unbelievable examples of folly and stupidity, and many incidents of humour and tragedy. It was the last romantic war. Byron Farwell's definitive account of this dramatic conflict explains the origin of the war, and covers the political developments, the bloody battles that the outnumbered Boers almost always won, the sieges, the concentration camps and the men -Kruger, Roberts, Botha, Buller, Smuts, Kitchener and de Wet.
The Great Boer War (1899 - 1902) – more properly the Great Anglo-Boer War – was one of the last romantic wars, pitting a sturdy, stubborn pioneer people fighting to establish the independence of their tiny nation against the British Empire at its peak of power and self-confidence. It was fought in the barren vastness of the South African veldt, and it produced in almost equal measure extraordinary feats of personal heroism, unbelievable examples of folly and stupidity, and many incidents of humor and tragedy. Byron Farwell traces the war’s origins, the slow mounting of the British efforts to overthrow the Afrikaners, the bungling and bickering of the British command, the remarkable series of bloody battles that almost consistently ended in victory for the Boers over the much more numerous British forces, political developments in London and Pretoria, the sieges of Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley, the concentration camps into which Boer families were herded and the exhausting guerrilla warfare of the last few years when the Boer armies were finally driven from the field.
The Great Boer War is a definitive history of a dramatic conflict by a master story teller and historian. Byron Farwell served as an officer in the North African and Italian campaigns in World War II and also in the Korean War. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1964, and is the author of Queen Victoria’s Little Wars, also published by Pen & Sword.
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