Second Boer War

Second Boer War
Part of the Boer Wars
Boers at Spion Kop, 1900 - Project Gutenberg eText 16462.jpg
Boer militia at the Battle of Spion Kop
Date11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902 (1899-10-11 – 1902-05-31)
(2 years, 7 months, 2 weeks and 6 days)
Southern Africa (present-day South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland)[2]

British victory[3][4]

British administration over The Orange Free State and the Transvaal in accordance with the Treaty of Vereeniging
British Raj India
New Zealand New Zealand
 British Ceylon

 Orange Free State
 South African Republic

Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Lord Salisbury
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Joseph Chamberlain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Lord Milner
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Lord Roberts
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Sir Redvers Buller
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Lord Kitchener
Canada Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Australia Sir Edmund Barton
South African Republic Paul Kruger
South African Republic Louis Botha
South African Republic Schalk W. Burger
South African Republic Koos de la Rey
Orange Free State Martinus Steyn
Orange Free State Christiaan de Wet
South African Republic Piet Cronjé (POW)
South African Republic Piet Joubert
British Regulars:
Colonial Forces:
Black South African Auxiliaries:
Boer Commandos:
Transvaal Boers
Free State Boers
Cape Boers
Black Boer Auxiliaries:
Foreign Volunteers:
Casualties and losses
Military casualties:
22,092 dead[c] 75,430 returned home sick or wounded [9]
934 missing[citation needed]
22,828 wounded.[citation needed]

Military casualties:
6,189 dead[d] 24,000 Boer prisoners sent overseas;
21,256 bitter-enders surrendered at the end of the war.[11]

Civilian casualties: 46,370, of whom 26,370 were Boer women and children who died in concentration camps, along with another 20,000+ black Africans of the 115,000 interned in separate concentration camps.[citation needed]

The Second Boer War (11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902) was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa. It is also known variously as the Boer War, Anglo-Boer War, or South African War. Initial Boer attacks were successful, and although British reinforcements later reversed these, the war continued for years with Boer guerrilla warfare, until harsh British counter-measures brought them to terms.

The war started with the British overconfident and under-prepared.[12] The Boers were very well armed and struck first, besieging Ladysmith, Kimberley, and Mahikeng in early 1900, and winning important battles at Colenso, Magersfontein and Stormberg. Staggered, the British brought in large numbers of soldiers and fought back. General Redvers Buller was replaced by Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener. They relieved the three besieged cities, and invaded the two Boer republics in late 1900. The onward marches of the British Army, well over 400,000 men, were so overwhelming that the Boers did not fight staged battles in defence of their homeland. The British quickly seized control of all of the Orange Free State and Transvaal, as the civilian leadership went into hiding or exile. In conventional terms, the war was over. The British officially annexed the two countries in 1900. Back home, Britain's Conservative government wanted to capitalize on this success and use it to maneuver an early general election, dubbed a "khaki election" to give the government another six years of power in London.[13] British military efforts were aided by Cape Colony, the Colony of Natal and some native African allies, and further supported by volunteers from the British Empire, including Southern Africa, the Australian colonies, Canada, India and New Zealand. All other nations were neutral, but public opinion in them was largely hostile to the British.[citation needed] Inside the UK and its Empire there also was significant opposition to the Second Boer War.

The Boers refused to surrender. They reverted to guerrilla warfare under new generals Louis Botha, Jan Smuts, Christiaan de Wet and Koos de la Rey. Two more years of surprise attacks and quick escapes followed. As guerrillas without uniforms, the Boer fighters easily blended into the farmlands, which provided hiding places, supplies, and horses. The UK's solution was to set up complex nets of block houses, strong points, and barbed wire fences, partitioning off the entire conquered territory. The civilian farmers were relocated into concentration camps, where very large proportions died of disease, especially the children, who mostly lacked immunities. Then British mounted infantry units systematically tracked down the highly mobile Boer guerrilla units. The battles at this stage were small operations with few combat casualties (most of the dead were victims of disease). The war ended in surrender and British terms with the Treaty of Vereeniging in May 1902. The British successfully won over the Boer leaders, who now gave full support to the new political system. Both former republics were incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910, as part of the British Empire.


The conflict is commonly referred to as the Boer War, since the First Boer War (December 1880 to March 1881) was a much smaller conflict. "Boer" is the common term for Afrikaans-speaking white South Africans descended from the Dutch East India Company's original settlers at the Cape of Good Hope. It is also known as the (Second) Anglo-Boer War among some South Africans. In Afrikaans it may be called the Anglo-Boereoorlog ("Anglo-Boer War"), Tweede Boereoorlog ("Second Boer War"), Tweede Vryheidsoorlog ("Second Freedom War") or Engelse oorlog ("English War").[14] In South Africa it is officially called the South African War.[15]

Other Languages
Esperanto: Dua Bura milito
Bahasa Indonesia: Perang Boer Kedua
Bahasa Melayu: Perang Boer Kedua
norsk: Boerkrigen
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Angliya-burlar urushi
Simple English: Second Boer War
slovenščina: Druga burska vojna
српски / srpski: Други бурски рат
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Drugi burski rat