Anglo-Boer War Analysis

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9. In most wars, property belonging to the opponent is destroyed. During its colonial wars, the British Army often burnt down the houses of civilians. In the Anglo-Boer War, the first farm-burnings occurred at an early stage, shortly after the outbreak of the war, when the British destroyed the farms of rebels in the Cape Colony; and when a British force made an incursion into the south-eastern OFS on 9 January 1900, several farmhouses were destroyed and the livestock carried off. In the light of the fact that the Boer farms supplied the commandos with food, fodder for their horses, information with regard to British troop movements, and medical care to the wounded, these farms were legitimate military targets. The scorched-earth policy, which was part and parcel of an elaborate British counter-guerrilla strategy, was implemented by Roberts initially, but Kitchener was subsequently extended it in scope. Stripping the land of everything that could be of assistance for the die-hard Boers in …show more content…
Traditionally, most soldiers in the British Army were infantrymen. Even during the first three phases of the Anglo-Boer War, infantry had only limited value, and with the exception of garrison troops in towns, as well as blockhouse guards, infantry were of no value whatsoever in counter-guerrilla operations. Therefore, in due course, Roberts – and later Kitchener – transformed infantry units into mounted infantry. From November 1900 onwards, the number of mobile British columns nearly doubled from 38 to more than 70. To keep his armymobile, Kitchener had to import most of his horses at huge cost. In the course of the war, the British used 669 575 horses, mules and donkeys, of which 400 346 perished. Most British soldiers were never able to match the skills of their Boer adversaries as far as horsemanship was concerned. Nevertheless, the more mobile the British forces became, the more they were able to neutralise (at least to some extent) the Boers’ initial mobility

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