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11/10/1899 Boer War begins


PeterMacD

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The Second Boer War, commonly referred to as The Boer War and also known as the South African War (outside of South Africa), the Anglo-Boer War (among some South Africans) and in Afrikaans as the Anglo-Boereoorlog or Tweede Vryheidsoorlog ("Second War of Independence"), was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902, between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic). After a protracted, hard-fought war, the two independent republics were absorbed into the British Empire.

 

 

 

 

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Is this the one infamous for the 'Concentration camps'? If it is any defence of the British goverment at the time, most deaths occured through cock up not conspiracy. There was a lot of opposition to the policy in england and questions in Parliment. Also led to British use of the word 'Commando' and the Lee Enfeild rifle, indirect artillery fire and smokeless proppelants. The Boer's really should have won.

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We have the conflict to thank for a dozen Kops in northern football grounds - most famously at Liverpool of course. The Battle of Spion Kop was a disaster for the British. The war also put the army into khaki, but it is the Lee Enfield that endures. The war also ascended the careers of several staff officers who would rise to supreme field rank - most notably Douglas Haig and to a lesser extent Horace Smith-Dorien and it also clinched glory for Baden-Powell, Bobs Roberts and a ambitious hack....Winston Spencer Churchill. On the other side, it also raised the status of the excellent Boer commander Jan Christian Smuts who went on to become one of the bastions of British imperialism. Ironic.

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  • 2 years later...
Is this the one infamous for the 'Concentration camps'? If it is any defence of the British goverment at the time, most deaths occured through cock up not conspiracy. There was a lot of opposition to the policy in england and questions in Parliment. Also led to British use of the word 'Commando' and the Lee Enfeild rifle, indirect artillery fire and smokeless proppelants. The Boer's really should have won.

 

Tony,

 

You are correct, it was one and the same war. I live in a town where there was one of these concentration camps. A lot of deaths of boer woman and children occurred at the time and the graves are located all over town. Could take a couple of pics if you wanted.

 

This was also the war where captured boer commandos were sent to Ceylon, St Helena and others and on their return after their imprisonment came back to nothing.

 

The words roughly translates as follows:

"It is the empty, it is the blue,

It is the veld, it is the sky,

and a bird turning above in its lonely flight,

It is all.

 

It is a bannished returned from over the ocean,

it is a grave in the grass,

it is a falling tear,

It is all"

 

Written by an unknown poet.

 

One also remembers Emily Hobhouse who has become an honorary South African through her selfless and courageous actions during the war. Of course, there is also General De La Rey, of which recently a song became very famous in South Africa. Here is a "must see!" link.

 

These are some pics taken on a recent visit to the "Eastern Transvaal".

 

 

The Long Tom cannon used against the British Army during the war, German origin?(Don't remember anymore!) Picture was taken in the Long Tom Pass on the way to the Kruger National Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A machine gun at Pilgrims Rest, where gold was discovered.

 

 

Enough of my rantings,

 

Monty.

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The original Boer long tom were 155mm Scheinder Cie - Le Creusot French field gun I think the one shown may a replica. The British countered with 4.7in (120mm) guns removed from coastal forts at Cape Town.

 

The Machine gun is a 1899 German Maxim (Ludwigg and Nordenfelt) with characteristic sledge style mounting- however it is possilbe that this weapon could be a trophy from WW1. As 1899 and earlier 1894 were used throughout WW1 especially in the African colonies. The earlier 1894 was practically indistinguishable from British Maxims.

 

The German government supplied a limited number of these weapons to the Boers despite having real difficulties in producing sufficient for the German Army and Navy- most M1894 with brass water jackets were navy weapons..

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alan turner

Were you aware that De Beers the diamond people manufactured their own gun for self defence

No -but I'm aware that Armstrongs Elswick works sent an ad hoc design to the Boer War complete with its own volunteer gun crew.
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Thanks Monty, it is good to hear things from the 'other side' so to speack. No doubt Alan will jump on me if I'm wrong, but I think the Baden Powell gun is at Firepower and also dual recoil Nordenfelts, built down the road from Woolwich but used by the Boer's, to the great discomfort og the British forces. There Boer's also developed the use of smockeless proppellant. Very unsporting to fire your atillery and not leave a cloud of black smoke for the counter battery fire.

 

I would say the Boer war was the most sobering lesson to the British Army in history. The genral re-organsation, new equipment and ideas devolped following it have never been betterd.

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Tony B

'Concentration camps'? If it is any defence of the British goverment at the time, most deaths occured through cock up not conspiracy. ............Also led to British use of the word 'Commando' and the Lee Enfeild rifle, indirect artillery fire...... and smokeless proppelants. The Boer's really should have won.

There are far too many secondary school history beliefs regarding the results of the 2nd Boer War, whilst wanting to avoid anything too political, only the term "concentration camp" was invented by the British, the internment of "enemy civilian disidents" in "Kassets" was common place in many nations in the 19th cantury and earlier, but became more common with the improvement of transportation-(railways and steamships) the U.S.A used it against POWs (both sides) in the civil war and for the reduction of native population, the British government used transportation to colonys, notably West Indies and of course New South Wales, the Russians and to a lesser extent French did similar.

 

As the the Lee Enfield and smokeless powder, the first smokelss rifle calibre round in general service was the 1885 8mm Lebel, its introduction post dated the 1st Boer War. The British adopted the the Lee Enfield in 1895 by modifying the 1890 calibre .303. Lee Metford to cordite use- this was done mainly because of the adoption of the Maxim gun.

 

It is speculative but had the British adopted the smokeless round after the 2nd Boer War the round adopted would have be a 7mm (.276in) rimless round. as the .303 rimmed was distinctly outmoded by 1901. By then, because of political and commercial links with Japan, the British government and British commercial companies were toying with the Japanese 6.5mm model 30 round.

 

The other major changes Khaki unforms predated even the 1st Boer War, subdued uniforms for none line infantry dates back to the Rifle regiment (the Green Jackets) of Napoleonic Wars. The British used horse raiders (Commandos) as far back as the Indian Mutiny. Indirect artillery fire (mortars) dates back to the 7years war if not earlier.

 

As to the final point
The Boer's really should have won.
in battle skills there were not that advanced- from a self determination pont of view (and I really want to avoid getting too political) had the Boer won -with overt assistance from the Mad Kaiser the balance of power prior to the outbreak of WW1 may have been irredemabily altered, weakening the Empire-Dominions -it is significant that the Australians backed the British against the Boer -although one would consider the Australian sensibities would tend to the Boer-at least superficially. Had Boer independance prevailed it could well have caused the Nationalist (1948) apparthied government to come to power earlier.:-(

 

Steve

 

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Trouble is Steve, any real digging into any conflict shows up the polotics of the time. Just as the part remebered is normally the propoganda both sides throw out. Most of the resons for conflict in Africa at the time was as usual, economic, with a dose of religion thrown in.

I like to hear what other knowlagble peiople have to say. Adds to my knowledge and expands my perspective on things.

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With regard to the "long tom" 155mm Scheinder Cie - Le Creusot French field gun the correct designation is the mle 1877 -which was a de bange breach fortress gun designed for static positional warfare,

 

 

photo Janmad of 155mm mle 1877 at the Verdun Memorial wiki gnu release

 

There seems to be some confusion whether the "Long Toms" (the British nickname for the weapons) were 155mm mle 1877 as one site seems to be confused with the calibre and even the type of weapon involved. The site states that "Silent Susan" (the Boers nickname for an individual piece) was a 120mm howitzer damaged in a trench raid and was returned to Pretoria and repaired by shortening the barrel- there after it was nicknamed "the Jew" . The Boer had number of 120mm Krupp howitzers which was a considerably smaller weapon than the Mle 1877 cannon. The other posiblity is that the Mle 1877 is being confused with the 120mm mle 1878 cannon which is visually similar but smaller- the mle 1878 lighter 55-60lb shells would not have been such a problem for the British.

 

The 155mm Mle 1877 gun was extremely long lived, serving the French in WW1 as a fortress gun many barrels were fitted to carriages left over from a russian contract for the 152mm Model 1910 field gun and served in WW1 as the 155mm mle 1877-1914 Schneider which was further modified with a new barrel into the 155mm L mle 1917 Schneider releasing the original mle 1877 barrel to be fitted to another extemporised carriage forming the 155mm L mle 1918 Schneider. The mle 1877-1914 saw service again in WW2 in French German and surprisingly Soviet service.

 

the De Baers mining Co. gun "Long Clive" still exists as a War Memorial, the gun was designed and built as a private venture being formed from a mild steel billet massively over engineered with a complex screw breach -its still a miracle in that it didn't manage to blow up.

 

 

 

this post has been re-posted as the attachments failed for some unknown reason.:-(

 

 

Steve

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Nice GPF. The converted mle1877-1914 was used by the Germans as K422(f) mainly as a coastal gun - I suppose dragging an outdated horse transport carriaged 6ton lump with a range of 13000metres would be fairly pointless -or desparate, I wonder if any got to the Channel Islands- also on the same topic the Canon de 105 L mle 1936 Schneider as shown in the "I.D. this gun" post on the artillery thread, was supposed to have been used on the Channel Islands (according to some publications as K332(f) any thoughts?:nut:

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  • 2 months later...
With regard to the "long tom" 155mm Scheinder Cie - Le Creusot French field gun the correct designation is the mle 1877 -which was a de bange breach fortress gun designed for static positional warfare,

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]28660[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]28663[/ATTACH]

photo Janmad of 155mm mle 1877 at the Verdun Memorial wiki gnu release

 

There seems to be some confusion whether the "Long Toms" (the British nickname for the weapons) were 155mm mle 1877 as one site seems to be confused with the calibre and even the type of weapon involved. The site states that "Silent Susan" (the Boers nickname for an individual piece) was a 120mm howitzer damaged in a trench raid and was returned to Pretoria and repaired by shortening the barrel- there after it was nicknamed "the Jew" . The Boer had number of 120mm Krupp howitzers which was a considerably smaller weapon than the Mle 1877 cannon. The other posiblity is that the Mle 1877 is being confused with the 120mm mle 1878 cannon which is visually similar but smaller- the mle 1878 lighter 55-60lb shells would not have been such a problem for the British.

 

The 155mm Mle 1877 gun was extremely long lived, serving the French in WW1 as a fortress gun many barrels were fitted to carriages left over from a russian contract for the 152mm Model 1910 field gun and served in WW1 as the 155mm mle 1877-1914 Schneider which was further modified with a new barrel into the 155mm L mle 1917 Schneider releasing the original mle 1877 barrel to be fitted to another extemporised carriage forming the 155mm L mle 1918 Schneider. The mle 1877-1914 saw service again in WW2 in French German and surprisingly Soviet service.

 

the De Baers mining Co. gun "Long Clive" still exists as a War Memorial, the gun was designed and built as a private venture being formed from a mild steel billet massively over engineered with a complex screw breach -its still a miracle in that it didn't manage to blow up.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]28667[/ATTACH]

 

this post has been re-posted as the attachments failed for some unknown reason.:-(

 

 

Steve

 

I remembered this post when I stumbled upon this write-up of the "de Beer's gun" Here is a link. http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol041dp.html

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Thanks for that Montie, the memorial where the Clive Gun is may confirm that the Boer Long Toms were 155mm calibre as the shells surounding the Clive gun are said to be 155mm Schneider common shells.

 

I tend toward the 155mm Mle1877 as being the 4 guns used but several photos show the gun apparaently to be smaller -though it is difficult to judge as Boers could well be of larger stature than expected .

 

Steve

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