Stumbling Towards War

While the Jameson Raid had been a military bellyflop, its aftermath started the engine for a much larger war. As the Boers picked up the pieces and combed through Jameson’s correspondence, there was no question of Rhodes’ support for the operation. But nothing Jameson possessed explicitly linked Chamberlain or the other shadowy backers of the […]

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The Lion of Transvaal

Following the Boer War, Paul Kruger returned in triumph from London to the newly independent South African Republic, and it’s high time he gets an introduction. Kruger was a big man, with the kind of beard Abraham Lincoln would have possessed if he misplaced his razor for six years. His family was among the first […]

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The First Boer War

The first British to learn about the war was a column of about 250 men led by Lieutenant Colonel Anstruther. Heading for the capital of Pretoria, he was surprised to see a rider approaching with the Vierkleur (lit. “four color”) raised. The Transvaal Vierkleur flag resembled the modern Dutch one, with stripes of red, white, […]

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For Want of a Wagon

While the Anglo-Zulu War had ended in their favor, the British quickly learned that removing Cetshwayo had simply cut a regional ally from the picture. The result led Frere and the British to step onto another political rake. The Boer’s traditional enemies were now gone, and the Transvaal had essentially burned through the attached bailout […]

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A Buffalo by the Horns

Optional Musical Accompaniment for this post General Chelmsford, about to be famous for more than the impressive brown caterpillar of a handlebar mustache he wore on his face, started off immediately on the wrong foot. His invasion plans called for 15,000 men, but he had to settle for about half that. Also in a hurry […]

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