The Boer War, South Africa 1899-1902 by Martin Marix Evans

By Martin Marix Evans

Martin Marix Evans' wonderfully specified account of the occasions of the Boer battle, a clash which marked a turning aspect within the improvement of army know-how. entire with first-hand money owed, and over one hundred fifty modern maps and pictures.

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Commandant van Dam brought 400 ZARPs to Nicholson's Nek where he found Commandant Steenkamp and Christiaan De Wet with some 150 Free Staters. They moved along the heights towards the British finding them, according to De Wet, well placed in cover to the south of fairly open space. 'At the northern end, where we were, the surface was smooth, but somewhat further south it became rough and stony, affording very good cover... There were a number of ruined Kaffir kraals scattered about from the middle of the mountain to its southern end, and these the enemy had occupied, thus securing a great advantage.

Gerry Embleton, From Men-at-Arms 303 Boer Wars (2) 1898-1902) 40 PART FOUR It now appeared that the next major obstacle to overcome this side of Kimberley was the complex of hills of Magersfontein and Spytfontein, immediately south of the town. Between the British and those positions of strength the railway crossed the Modder River just west of its confluence with the Riet River. The peninsula between the two streams was known as Twee Rivier. Here grew tall trees and here stood the Island Hotel, playground of Kimberley, where many a lazy Sunday afternoon had passed in pleasant dalliance.

There were a number of ruined Kaffir kraals scattered about from the middle of the mountain to its southern end, and these the enemy had occupied, thus securing a great advantage. Our bullets hailed on the English, and very shortly they retreated to the southernmost part of the mountain. ' Confusion over signals amongst the British had led to the retreat. T h e line stretched over the top of the hill, the Gloucesters on the left and the Irish on the right and communication between the units was faulty.

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