War of Boers
The expression Guerre of Boers refers to two conflicts, one intervened of 1880 with 1881 and the second of the October 11th 1899 with the May 31st 1902, both between the Britanniques and the colonists of origin Dutchwoman (called then Boer S then Afrikaner S at the 20th century) in South Africa. At the end of the second conflict, the two republics founded by Boers lost their independence and were integrated into the British Empire.
The first war of BoersThe first dispute was precipitated by Sir Theophilus Shepstone which annexed the Transvaal ( the South African Republic ) on behalf of the British in 1877 after the anglo-Zulu Guerre. Boers protested and revolted in 1880. Boers were equipped in clothing khaki color with ground, whereas the British uniforms raised a color bright red, which made it possible Boers to easily draw and remote on the troops from the Empire. After the defeat of a British forwarding ordered by George Pomeroy-Collery in February 1881 with the Battle of Majuba Hill, the British government of Gladstone gave to Boers their autonomy under a British Tutelle theoretical.
The second war of Boers (or War of South Africa)In 1887, Prospecteur S discovered the most important layer of Or in the world, located at Witwatersrand (“Barrier of White Water”), one stops mountainous being held of 100 kilometers in the east up to 50 kilometers in the south of Pretoria. In answer to the profit appropriatenesses that all considered following such a discovery, the president of Transvaal Paul Kruger made this premonitory remark: “ Instead of you to delight, you would make better cry, because this gold will soak our country with blood ”.
With the gold discovery in Transvaal, British thousands of colonists arrived of the Colonie of the Cape. Johannesburg became a mushroom town practically day at the following day, progressively of the installation of the uitlanders close to the mines. The uitlanders quickly exceeded of number Boers on the layer, although remaining a minority in Transvaal itself. Boers, aggravated by the presence of the uitlanders, refused the right to vote to them and taxed gold bearing industry heavily. In answer, the uitlanders exerted a pressure on the British authorities, in order to obtain the inversion of the government boer. In 1895, Cecil Rhodos supported an attempt at Coup d'etat by a military action, the Raid Jameson.
The failure of this attempt to gain rights for the British citizens was used to justify a major military operation starting from the Cape, the more so as the railroad under consideration by Cecil Rhodos between the Cape and Cairo was to necessarily cross the territory of Boers. Several other British colonial leaders decided in favor of the annexation of the republics boers. Among these leaders, the governor of the Colony of the Cape, Sir Alfred Milner, the Minister for the Colonies Joseph Chamberlain and leaders of associations of prospectors (the gold bugs ) such as Alfred Beit, Barney Barnato and Lionel Philips. Sure that Boers would quickly be overcome, they tried to precipitate the war.
President Marthinus Steyn of the free State of Orange invited Milner and Kruger with a conference with Bloemfontein, which began the May 30th 1899, but the negotiations were quickly stopped. In September 1899, Chamberlain sent a requiring ultimatum supplements it equality of rights for the British citizens residing at Transvaal.
Kruger anticipating that the war was inevitable, launched its own ultimatum before to have even received that of Chamberlain. It gave 48 hours to the British to evacuate their troops of the borders of Transvaal, or the war would be declared to them in agreement with their ally, the free State of Orange.
The first phase: the offensive of Boers - October in January 1900The war was declared the October 12th 1899, and Boers struck first by invading the Colonie of the Cape and the Colonie of Native the between October 1899 and January 1900. It followed some military successes against the general Redvers Buller.
Boers besieged the towns of thus Ladysmith, Mafeking (defended by troops under the orders of Robert Baden-Powell), and Kimberley. The seats caused important human losses among the defenders and the civilians in the towns of Mafeking, Ladysmith and Kimberley when food started to be done rare after a few weeks. In Mafeking, Sol Plaatje wrote, I saw meat of horse for the first time treated like food .
The besieged cities also underwent heavy artillery shootings, making the streets dangerous to cross. At the end of the head office of Kimberley, supposing an intensification of the bombardments, an advertisement was made, encouraging the population to take refuge in the mines to protect itself. The population panicked, and people engulfed themselves during 12 hours in the mines. The bombardments never took place - what does not reduce of anything the distress tested by the civilians.
Mid-December, during one period known under the name of black Week , of (10 with the December 15th 1899), the British underwent many losses with Magersfontein, Stormberg, and Colenso. In Magersfontein, the commander boer Koos of Rey, worked out a plan to trench in an unexpected place, for at the same time misleading the British and giving to his men a better firing angle. Its plan functioned perfectly and they demolished the British who left close to: 1000 men on the ground - who could not be consequently caught some in Kimberley and Mafeking.
Defeats similar to Stormberg and Colenso concluded this black Semaine .
The second phase: the British offensive - January 1900 in September 1900After still a new defeat in their attempt to break the head office of Ladysmith at the time of the Battle of Spion Kop, the British troops, ordered by Lord Roberts took again the initiative only with the arrival of reinforcements the February 4th 1900. Georges de Villebois-Mareuil joined Boers with the Transvaal, and ordered the legion from abroad who took part in the war against the British. It is named general by the president Krüger in March 1900. With the Boshof, in April 1900, the small detachment which it order is encircled and exterminated by the Britanniques. The lifting of the Siège of Mafeking the May 18th was at the origin of celebrations in the United Kingdom which led to riots. The British managed to force the rendering of the General Piet Cronje and of: 4000 of its combatants, and to weaken the remainder of the troops boers. They advanced then in the middle of the two republics, taking the capital of the free Orange State, Bloemfontein the March 13rd and the capital of Transvaal, Pretoria, the June 5th.
Many British observers thought the war finished after the capture of the two capitals. But Boers met in a new capital, Kroonstad, and reflect on foot a campaign of Guérilla to attack the lines of communication and supply British.
The third phase: the war of guerilla - September 1900 in May 1902The guerilla boer started to attack the Railroads and the telegraph lines of the British army. Their new tactic changed the aspect of the war and made the formations military British traditional ineffective.
The new one directing British army, Lord Kitchener, reacts by building strengthened stations, small stone constructions surrounded by barbed wire, in order to reduce the movements of the groups of guerilla in small zones where they could be beaten. Barbed iron wire were drawn to the following, distant strengthened station of approximately: 1000 yards. These fences were decorated bells, cans and other materials noisy, and sometimes rifles charged in direction them wire to be used as alarm. Between January 1901 and end of the war, approximately: 8000 strengthened stations composed this fabric of almost: 6000 kilometers. Each strengthened station was held by a Sous-officier and six other soldiers, with a lieutenant ordering three or four strengthened stations. The British had approximately: 450000 men (British and colonial troops) stationed in the area.
The strengthened stations indeed made it possible to reduce the movements of the guerillas, but could not alone beat them. Kitchener formed new regiments of irregular troops of light cavalry, including Carabiniers Bushveldt, which traversed the territories controlled by Boers, tracking the groups of combatants. In March, it adopted a strategy of the burned Ground and started to empty the campaigns of all that could be useful for the guerillas boers. It made seize stocks of vivres, burn firm harvests and the and evacuated the families which lived there worms of the Concentration camps.
This strategy led to the destruction of approximately: 30000 farms and forty small towns. In all, 116.572 Boers were sent in camps, that is to say about a quarter of the population, to which were still added some: 120000 black Africans.
These new tactics of combat quickly broke the moral one and the lines of supply of the combatants boers. In December 1901, of many camps were emptied, and number of released joined two new regiments combatant with dimensions British, Transvaal National Scouts (the National Éclaireurs of Transvaal ) and the Orange To rivet Volunteers (the Volontaires of the Orange River ), to help to put an end to the war.
The intervention of CanadaDuring the war, the colonists called upon the forces of the British empire. Canada was then requested. But the elites and the press Canadian-Frenchwomen opposed firmly a Canadian participation in this imperial and remote war. Finally, the Prime Minister for the time Wilfrid Laurier proposed a compromise: the Canada would send only volunteers (: 7300 men in all will be recruited) and the United Kingdom would absorb the costs of military operations.
Concentration campsThese camps at the beginning were installed to lodge the refugees whose farms had been destroyed during the engagements. The term of “Concentration camp” did not have at the origin of negative direction, because it was simply about a camp where the refugees were concentrated. However, following the instructions of Kitchener, they were quickly numerous with being built and converted into prisons.
There were on the whole 45 camps of tents built for Boers and 64 others for black Africans. The camps of Boers sheltered primarily elderly, women and children for a total of approximately: 120000 people. : 25630 of them were sent abroad. But the camps for the black Africans also counted many men. Even after being forced to evacuate the territories boers, the black Africans were not regarded as hostile with the British and were used as paid labor. Camps of detentions were also installed in Bermuda, in India, in Sainte-Hélène and Ceylon. The living conditions in these camps were particularly unhealthy and the reduced food intakes. The wives and the children of soldiers combatants saw themselves moreover impose smaller rations. The poor food mode and the lack of Hygiène were at the origin of the appearance of contagious diseases the such Rougeole, the Typhoid fever and the Dysenterie. Combined with lacks in material and medical supplies, the situation caused many deaths - a posterior report/ratio with the war estimated at: 27927 the number of Boers deceased (of which: 22074 children of less than 16 years) and: 14154 black Africans, died of Famine, Disease S and exposure to the sun. In all, approximately 25 % of Boers and 12 % of the black Africans died (of recent research suggest an undervaluation of the African losses, which would be assembled in fact to approximately: 20000 victims). Deputy of the South-African Funds for the Distress of the Women and the Children, Emily Hobhouse, made much for the prisoners on their return of the United Kingdom, after having visited camps in the free Orange State. His ratio of fifteen pages caused indignation, and led to the sending of a governmental commission, the Commission Fawcett, which visited the camps from August at December 1901 and confirmed the facts mentioned in the report/ratio. The commission was extremely critical with regard to the camps and made many recommendations, such as the improvement of the food mode and medical equipment.
In February 1902, annual death rate fell from 6,9 % with 2 %.
End of the warIn all, the war cost approximately: 75000 lives -: 22000 British soldiers (: 7792 during confrontations, the remainder of diseases like the Typhoid ): 4000 with: 7000 soldiers boers: 20000 with: 28000 civilians boers and undoubtedly: 20000 Blacks. The Boers last went in May 1902 and the war finished officially with the Traité of Vereeniging the same month. Boers are transfered to give 3 million pounds Sterling in compensation, and the promise of an independent local government. The Union of South Africa was born in 1910. But the treaty endorsed the end of the existence of Transvaal and of the free State of Orange as Boer republics and under control of the British Empire placed them.
Boers evoke these wars under the term of Guerre of freedom (in language Afrikaans: Eerste in Tweede Vryheidsoorlog ). See also History off South Africa , History off Cape Colony from 1870 to 1899 -->
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