The Great Boer War

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Reviews of The Great Boer War (1 review)

4 - Good Review


This book is a graphic account of the second Boer war which took place from 1899 to 1902. It was fought in South Africa between the Boers of Dutch origin and the British Empire. Doyle's book goes into considerable length about the causes of the Boer war. It details the oppression that they had to undergo especially when working the newly found gold mines in the South African republic. The Boers made several preemptive strikes and the British did not have a cohesive strategy to deal with them. This phase was marked by the engagements of Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley. The Boers were a very mobile enemy and had better guns as compared to the British at that time. The second phase was when the British with a massive increase in troop numbers commanded by Lord Roberts defeated the main Boer army. The third phase was the gorilla war raged by the Boers most probably out of a sense of vengeance. The engagements of the war are well described though it is a good idea to keep a map of South Africa handy while reading the book. The book is well paced but keeping track of the different names of peoples and the different troop movements becomes a shade difficult. Doyle is however an impartial historian and presents both sides of the conflict. He follows a much nuanced approach and is open about British faults and Boer successes. Written by Pranav Lal


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