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The Anglo-Boer War: 1899-1902

Anglo-Boer War MuseumIt is generally accepted amongst historians that the Anglo-Boer War was caused by the need of the Afrikaner (South Africans of mostly Dutch, French and German origin) to protect their vested interests in South Africa against a British effort to expand political and economic interests in southern Africa.The discovery of diamonds, at what is now the town of Kimberley in the Northern Cape, and the discovery of gold in what is today known as the province of Gauteng, not only rendered the Afrikaner Republic( in what was then called Transvaal) the wealthiest and most powerful nation in southern Africa, but also caused an inflow of mostly British expatriates to the diamond and gold fields of the Transvaal and Northern Cape.

In a quest for political power to gain control of wealth in Southern Africa, the British forces, supported by two local British businessmen, Cecil John Rhodes and Alfred Beit, planned to take over the Transvaal Republiek. When these plans became known by the Boere, it was decided to invade Northern Natal and the Northern Cape, which resulted in the now famous sieges of the town of Ladismith and Mafikeng. After the relief of the town and the successful annexation of the Transvaal by British forces, the Boere continued with successful guerilla warfare. The British forces retaliated by concentrating Boer women, children and farm workers in camps after burning Boer homesteads throughout the country.

Approximately 22000 British Soldiers and 7000 Boer Warriors died in the campaign. It is estimated that between 18000 and 28000 Afrikaner women and children died in the concentration camps. The black population, who mostly fought with the Boere in a non-combatant capacity, but also cooperated with the British, also suffered because of the war. Progress is now being made to determine the exact number of non-whites killed during the war and to identify places of burial.

From October 1999 the Anglo-Boer war, as it is called by most academics, is commemorated. Commemoration programs will be presented throughout South Africa.

Cybertonature will bring you to South Africa for battle field tours

Afrikaner Erfenis Stigting

Boer Warriors coverThe Boer War by Thomas Pakenham

Commando: A Boer Journal of the Anglo-Boer War by Deneys Reitz

1899 : The Long March Home by Elsabé Brink

Memoirs of the Boer War: Jan Smuts by Spies

Emily Hobhouse: Boer War Letters by Rykie van Reenen

The Boy: Baden-Powell and the Siege of Mafeking by Hopkins&Dugmore

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