Photo: General Kock and
Staff, Natal Offensive, 1899. Credit: SA National Archives.
The Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 was the
biggest, bloodiest, most expensive and most disastrous war involving people of
European descent, from the Napoleonic wars, until World War I.
It was called "primarily a geological
war," in which the pursuit of the mineral wealth of the Transvaal and Free
State Republics caused the greatest empire in the history of the world, to
engage two of the youngest and smallest republics in the world in full-scale
war. The war broke out in October 1899 and in England it was expected to be over
by Christmas of that same year. Instead it became a war of annihilation which
would drag on for almost three years, during which time the British Empire
suffered severely embarassing losses and setbacks. Peace finally brought victory
but no honour. Much has been written about the war, but owing to a language
barrier, the Boer perspective is sometimes overshadowed. This website presents
the other half of the story.