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The Second Boer War
The Boers began to arm themselves with modern weapons, including the German Mauser Rifle (deadly at 2500 yards). British Army Corps in South Africa at this time totalled 46000 men whereas the Boer Army totalled 87000 men. On the 9th October 1899 the Boer generals sent an ultimatum to the British in Cape Colony. Two days lapsed, the British had not replied and war was formally declared by the Boers of Transvaal and Orange Free State on Britain. It was the 11th October 1899.
The Boers attack swiftly, laying siege to Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley. The Boers defeated British troops at Stormberg, Magersfontein, Dundee, Newcastle and Colenso. These early victories did not last. The Boers were too ill-informed and had half of their troops laying siege. The Boers lost their strategic offence early because they restrained at the sieges at Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley. Australia openly supported Britain and were quick to offer assistance. They were joined by Canada, New Zealand, Celyon and India. The first British victory came at Elandslaagte on the 21st of October 1899. In 1900 Lord Roberts went back to Britain thinking the war was over.
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