Boer resistance during World War I ?

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Panzer Leader
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Boer resistance during World War I ?

Post by Panzer Leader » 15 Jan 2007 23:49

I was reading a book about South African history a long time ago and I remember reading about scattered resistance to the British by the Boers during World War I does anybody have any information on this?

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Post by oddessa » 23 Jan 2007 08:03

the boers gave the british army a hard time using there gorilla tactics againist. so the british started rounding up the boers and putting them in camps with there hold family. but in the end the british commonwealth force used to the australia light horse to defeat the boers.

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Post by Bill Woerlee » 23 Jan 2007 14:19

Mate

It was quite a small affair. when war broke out there was a great deal of Boer dessension over assisting Britain, however the parliament voted for participation. This upset a few Boers who were determined to do something about it. Things came to a head when the former Boer War commander, Jacobus de la Rey, in the process of planning an uprising in the western Transvaal, was killed in a shoot out with a police patrol at Johannesburg, 15 September 1914. He was on his way to Potchefstroom to get raise another commando. The other hard line Boers realised that the game was up and had to strike now or never. A rebellion broke out but was suppressed by Botha and Smuts, former comrades but now respectable members of South African society - Botha was the PM. Long story short - the rebellion was suppressed and the hard liners went home chastened. Happily for everyone, not too many people died or went to prison.

Cheers

Bill

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Post by Terry Duncan » 23 Jan 2007 14:33

Would have to agree with Bill here, the entire thing was over very quickly, suppresed by Smuts and Botha, had little support from the start. The entire operation was over by the end of 1914.

The 2nd Boer War is where the Boer families were held in the original concerntration camps, not as an act of cruelty, but to prevent them from supplying the Boer Commandos. Roberts and Kitchener ended this particular war with a building program of blockhouses linked by telegraph, slowly reducing the areas open to the Boers to operate in. A far longer campaign than in WWI.

By that point, most of the South African population seemed far happier to go off and annex German South West Africa than to fight Britain. As to the referrence to using Australian Light Horse to defeat the Boers, I am not sure where or when this would refer to. However, one of the last great cavalry charges was by Australian Light Horse, ut was part of Allenby's campaign in the middle east, where the Ottoman troops had a rather unfortunate experience with the sights on their rifles!

Terry

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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 23 Jan 2007 19:56

Hi Panzer Leader,
The rebellion of the boers in 1914 is usually called the Maritz Rebellion after its leader. You can read more about it here-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritz_Rebellion
As Terry said, Odessa seems to have mixed up the Maritz Rebellion for the Second Boer War.
Cheers
Chris

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Bill Woerlee
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Post by Bill Woerlee » 23 Jan 2007 22:47

Terry

G'day mate

Your statement of wonder at the use of the Australian mounted infantry in South Africa is well made. Over the period of the 2nd Anglo Boer War, some 20,000 Australians were employed in Australian, New Zealand, South African or British units. It may sound a great deal but when you analyse the list in terms of wounds, sickness and rotation, the number of the boots on the ground at any one time would have been about 4,000 at the most. On the whole, they performed well and were used in mobile patrol work while the British infantry did all the mundane jobs to ensure the mobile strategy succeeded. The poor Tommies were stuck in block houses in the latter part of the war while the Yeomanry with the assistance of Australian and Enzed troops did the riding. It was mainly the British Yeomanry that provided the numbers.

But further on Terry, while I don't want to seem to be the pedant however statements like this do cause a stir:

one of the last great cavalry charges was by Australian Light Horse, ut was part of Allenby's campaign in the middle east


While a wonderful flourish of exciting words, there is no truth in it.

First you need to understand that the Australian and New Zealand troops were "Light Horse" rather than "Cavalry". the difference between the two lies in the fact that light horsemen are mounted infantry, their primary weapon being the rifle which was slung over the back. In contrast, cavalry have a choice of three weapons: the lance, sword or rifle.

The charge you are referring to is that of the 4th Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba on 31 October 1917. It has spawned two movies and a heap of legend. However it was not the last great cavalry charge by a long shot. Many more happened subsequent to this event. The next cavalry charge was performed by the British Warwich and Worcester Yeomanry at Huj on 8 November 1917. After teh Great War, the Russian Cavalry had a marvelous time during the Civil War and fighting off Poland. Then we had the Polish cavalry undertaking Quixotic charges during the Second World War until I believe the last known cavalry charge where horses were employed occurred in Burma in 1947.

I hope this helps give you a bit of perspective on the event mate.

Cheers

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Post by Terry Duncan » 24 Jan 2007 00:05

Hi Bill, I simply said it was one of the last, one of the last successful on a regular battlefield may have been closer, with the Russian Civil War being quite varied in results. As to the truth about the troops and sights at Beersheba, there does seem to have been some confusion as to exactly what happened, and whilst the films make good action, there were certainly fewer casualties than would have been expected from such a charge against most defence lines.

As to lancers vs tanks and other WWII oddities, whilst heroic, they were not really very successfull, even the last gasp one that the Poles tried to allow part of one army to escape. Sadly the Germans still amnaged to round up the retreating elements after defeating the cavalry.

Terry

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 24 Jan 2007 11:29

Terry Duncan1 wrote:The 2nd Boer War is where the Boer families were held in the original concerntration camps, not as an act of cruelty, but to prevent them from supplying the Boer Commandos.
Terry


I give you a Spin-doctor award for this one, What a quaint way to excuse atrocity and genocide. At the time of the Boer War ,1901,a soon-to-be prime minister of Great Britain, Henry Campbell-Bannerman, said in Parliament these actions were barbaric.

Later he was given credit in (1909?) by Botha for the reconciliation between the British and the Boers with the South Africa Act, and in this same light, since he got Botha on the side of Britian, he should probably be given credit for there not being a serious insurrection by all the Boers during WWI.

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Post by Bill Woerlee » 24 Jan 2007 13:25

Chris

G'day mate

I wouldn't be too hard on Terry. His comment is accurate. That was the intent. However, the road to hell is always paved with good intentions. Putting the army in charge of something that requires tact and compassion is tasking it to do something it was never trained to do. Through incompetence and poorly laid plans let alone not understanding the politics of the move, the concentration camp move turned out to be a disaster and for those rounded up, a personal tragedy.

The world is filled with such activities where hell is created by good intentions. One need not go much further than the US itself to see examples - say the incarceration of the Japanese in concentration camps during WW2 - the good intention was to protect them from any anti-Japanese backlash but it turned out to be a good vehicle to rob these folk of all their possessions while conscripting their sons. Or Gitmo and the Patriot Act of today. All good intentions but total disasters.

Still today I heard more spin from the spin doctors at 1600 Pensilvania Avenue ... hell and more good intentions.

Cheers

Bill

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 24 Jan 2007 20:21

Well Bill fine,
Still that does not preclude the accuracy of my post. And to bring up US/Japanese internment camps or that silly stuff of our fool president today is just obscuration. The only thing close to the British camps of the Boer War in South Africa , were the camps run by the Germans in WWII . If you want to throw mud at the US, use SOMETHING REAL, like the US treatment of the American Indians in the 1800's.

My comment about "spin-doctoring" was well meant sarcasm, Try making similiar excusatory comments in the H+WC section about what Germans did in WWII, and you wouldn't be long for the forum. I thought I would make note of this rather amusing case of a double -standard.

Chris

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Bill Woerlee
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Post by Bill Woerlee » 24 Jan 2007 21:44

Chris

G'day mate

You make all good and valid points. However, you have failed to understand the reason for my post although you are almost there. To spell it out - There is no point using an interlocator as a launching pad for sanctimonious finger pointing.

I have no problem with a discussion about British concentation camps during the 2nd Anglo-Boer War. I do have a problem if you attack poor Terry as though him being British means that he is guilty of a whole swathe of crimes by implication. As you have noticed, while you felt happy to do that to Terry, you feel uncomfortable when a similar statement is made about your good self.

Now if you want to discuss the henious British policy of concentration camps in South Africa, I am all ears. You obviously have a lot to contribute and I would like to hear it.

Cheers

Bill

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 24 Jan 2007 23:40

Bill Woerlee wrote:Chris

G'day mate

You make all good and valid points. However, you have failed to understand the reason for my post although you are almost there. To spell it out - There is no point using an interlocator as a launching pad for sanctimonious finger pointing.

I have no problem with a discussion about British concentation camps during the 2nd Anglo-Boer War. I do have a problem if you attack poor Terry as though him being British means that he is guilty of a whole swathe of crimes by implication. As you have noticed, while you felt happy to do that to Terry, you feel uncomfortable when a similar statement is made about your good self.

Now if you want to discuss the henious British policy of concentration camps in South Africa, I am all ears. You obviously have a lot to contribute and I would like to hear it.

Cheers

Bill

Alright Bill,

You do have your point. However I don't feel like my use of what Campbell-Bannerman did is an "Interlocator" and in the same light neither is calling my action "sanctimonius". Your bringing up of totally unrelated incidences is alot closer to that, AND WAS TOTALLY OFF TOPIC and uncalled for. What does US president policies during WWII or today have anything to do with the case at hand? Your motive was obvious and so was the intent of MR Duncan's first post. I just think that a prime minister's comments about the issue at the time have serious relevancy to what was so nicely dismissed. Just remember what you are defending here when it comes to the context of the Boer war and dismissals of war-crimes.

Personally, I don't have stock in Consolidated Goldfields Ltd. and I guess because I am an "American" :roll: I don't think Jamison was justified in his "RAID", neither were the following actions during the Boer war in the name of Britsh Imperialism, when there was such a thing.

What is VITAL to this discussion is what I brought up about CB in being the most important factor and the reason for there not being a major Boer insurrection during WWI.
His comments and passion about it were the reason why the Boers did not do this. That is my opinion based on exactly what Louis Botha said about Boer/British relations
at the time of the South Africa Act in 1909.

What would be about the only way to take this topic further I think is to compare what and why the Boer's did not rebel, yet there was a rebellion in Ireland during WWI. This
points towards some ugly facts and actions about the British Empire. which as an entity does not exist today. Empires don't last , despite what can be said of their good intentions and/or atrociuos actions, and their actions cause both their growth and downfall.

Combining that fact that I don't know alot about British history and that I see that there can be no reconciling or being able to debate with the obvious paranoia both you and me have of bias on the other man's part , I don't see this as being a topic that can be discussed further. :cry: Sad,, although I can say, thank you , both to you and Mr. Duncan, for giving me some insight about how y'all look at things. History is not PC and to discuss some things honestly offends thinner skinned people to such an extent as to not allow discussion of both the issue and the real reasons for the biasness of the debating parties.

To reinterate, I can't contribute anything else to this topic , I said my piece as to Campbell-Bannerman's actions and I greatly respect both what he did and why, and this led to the the fact that that was not a Boer rebellion in WWI. It is something any proponent of of the long dead concept of British Imperialism should be grateful for, no matter if Campbell-Bannerman's words on the British policies of the Boer War disparaged the same ideal.

Regards,
Chris

Btw- Your use of the term" sanctimoniuos" (sp?) , I really liked as you don't hear that word used to often down here :D . If I were some red-neck from Mississippi :lol: I might take offence for not knowing the meaning of the word. 8-) However, still, I think it was a little "strong", so to speak. But I have really thick skin and I realize no-one really knows where the hell I am at (where I stand) anyway.

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Post by Hop » 25 Jan 2007 00:47

The only thing close to the British camps of the Boer War in South Africa , were the camps run by the Germans in WWII .


Closest to the camps in South Africa would be the Spanish camps in Cuba and the US camps in the Philippines, all around the same time, all for similar reasons, all saw thousands dying from disease and malnutrition.

The German camps are not similar in scale or motive, as many of them were designed specifically to kill the inmates. The reasons for internment were also different.

oddessa
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Post by oddessa » 25 Jan 2007 06:28

that is so true.

oddessa
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Post by oddessa » 25 Jan 2007 06:28

that is so true.

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