Further to my recent post, in which I showed that Great Britain was in no way, shape or form facing ‘financial ruin’ during the Boer War, I came across this chart:
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think this puts it rather well. Despite the comforting myths of the Boers almost bankrupting the Empire, the reality is that, financially, the Boer War barely registers as a blip compared to many other wars in British military history.
Though it is not labelled, the peak following WW2 relates to Korea, Suez and various other End of Empire ops – and is twice as high as the Boer War peak.
Indeed, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, British defence spending (as a % of GDP) was pretty much the same as it was for the brief period of the Boer War.
While I realise that the notion of Britain being brought to her knees by the Boers is highly appealing to some (and no doubt helps them sleep better at night), it is certainly not based on troublesome things such as facts.