Putin and Kruger

It always amazes me that there are still those who fervently believe that poor old, misunderstood, Kruger was ‘forced’ to invade, annex and thoroughly loot British territory. Needless to say, they then have to perform outrageously amusing mental gymnastics, and dream up all manner of entertaining excuses, to justify why in this case (and in this case alone) they fully support the invasion of a neighbouring state.

Ignoring the inconvenient reality that London had no plan in place to invade the Transvaal (in stark contrast to Kruger who had been working towards his invasion since at least 1887)… disregarding that there were no Imperial troops massing on his border… and turning a blind eye to the fact that the Boers significantly outnumbered the British troops in the region, Kruger’s modern-day cheerleaders passionately squawk that their (semi-literate, antediluvian, racist, flat-Earther) hero ‘had no other choice’, and ‘only attacked before the British attacked him’, and ‘it was a defensive invasion’, and all sorts of other rubbish.

One is left to wonder if such people are currently spewing forth similar justifications for the Russian invasion of Ukraine? I mean, poor old Putin has to act now, before Ukraine joins NATO, right? He is being ‘forced’ to act, otherwise he will be surrounded by nations belonging to that warlike and expansionist organisation. And, besides, it’s not a real invasion anyway – Russia only plans on taking part of the Ukraine, not all of it, so where’s the problem? And it’s just a pre-emptive strike: haven’t you heard of a ‘defensive invasion’ before? All poor old, misunderstood Putin wants is to protect Mother Russia from the evil Ukrainian fascists: he needs to attack them before they attack him.
Basically, it’s all someone else’s fault – not his.

Of course, only a deluded fool would seek to justify the modern-day Russian invasion of the Ukraine in such terms… just as only a deluded fool would use similar excuses to justify Kruger’s invasions and annexations of vast swathes of British territory back in 1899.


  • Boerboel Posted March 19, 2022 8:10 pm

    The only one performing outrageous mental gymnastics regarding the cause of the second Anglo-Boer war is yourself. The war was caused by Great Britain’s outrageous attempts to fore the ZAR to reduce the requirements the Uitlanders had to meet in order to obtain voting rights. Kruger tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution and by middle July 1899 offered concessions that went beyond the Bloemfontein minimum demanded by Great Britain in exchange for ending British suzerainity over the ZAR and promising not to interfere in its domestic affairs again. The British cabinet was initially happy with this offer but later changed their minds and rejected it. They decided to dispatch an additional 8000 soldiers to Natal on the 8th of September and the ZAR found out about that decision the next day. On the 22nd of September the British cabinet made a decision to despatch an entire army core to South Africa. On the 25th of September the ZAR recieved a report that the British were moving troops to Dundee, very close to the border between Natal and the two Republics. The ZAR responded by mobilizing on the 28th of September. The Orange free state mobilized on the 2nd of October. The Boers issued the ultimatum on the 9th of October demanding that the British withdraw the troops already deployed at their borders and that the troops on transit to South Africa turn back home and that the British agree that all points of contention between themselves and the boers be settled by arbitration. The British rejected these completely reasonable demands and war was declared. The British had prepared an ultimatum of their own and had planned to issue it on the 11th of October, but the Boers beat them to it. It is perfectly reasonable for the boers to have interpreted the decision of the British government to dispatch an entire army core to South Africa as a decision to invade given their fact that the British annexed the ZAR in 1877 and the Jameson raid happened in 1896.

    • Bulldog Posted March 22, 2022 7:36 am

      You seem to be totally unaware that the British reinforcements were sent to South Africa because the Boers had moved their forces to the border of Natal, and the Government of that Colony requested protection. Similarly, the 8th Brigade was moved up from Ladysmith to Dundee to defend the coal mines there – against the wishes of the army command, and because of pressure from the Natal Government. You will note that the 8th Brigade had not even fully deployed to Dundee before the Boers invaded.

      Unless you make the effort to understand the timeline, you will keep making wild claims and embarrassing yourself. I would therefore encourage you to read the following:


      Please also note it is ‘corps’, not ‘core’. The fact that you are blissfully unaware of basic military terminology makes me wonder if you have ever read anything at all about the conflict. Or, indeed, about any other conflict.

      • Johan Posted March 26, 2022 2:57 pm

        I have already outlined a timeline in a different comment but tellingly you only addressed the claim of a British ultimatum and accused me of lying and “pulling it out my arse” when in reality it is a claim made by Thomas Pakenham in his book about the war. I have read several books about the second Anglo-Boer war and books about South African history which include it as part of the overall history of the country. I have also read books about other wars as well. It is rather petty to jump to conclusions based on the one time I have misspelled the word “corps” as English is not my first language and I have spelt it correctly in my other comments. It comes of as especially petty considering the fact that you complain about your critics pointing out spelling errors in your book. By the way your comment section seems to have a problem. It states that an error occurred after every time I most only for the comment to later appear.

        • Bulldog Posted March 28, 2022 4:22 pm

          Yes, you did indeed make-up a timeline. Well done: just a shame it bore no resemblance to historical reality. I have provided you with a more detailed and (more importantly) not-made-up one, which completely refutes your argument. I’ll provide you the link again, as you obviously did not read it:


          Do please take the time to read it, and learn a little about the conflict. Perhaps you can start by explaining how Kruger’s desperation to form an offensive alliance against Britain way back in 1887 fits in with your preferred Apartheid-regime-approved fiction?

          You actually mis-spelt ‘corps’ three times: twice in your post as ‘Boerboel’ and once in your (remarkably similar) post under your name. This naturally leads me to believe you have very little knowledge of military matters, and have read very little on the Boer War: ‘corps’ is a very basic military term.

          I note that you think it is ‘petty’ of me to help to educate you on such things, but perfectly OK when the worst that a certain bitter and blinkered ‘reviewer’ of my book can come up with, is that I mis-spelt ‘Colvile’ as ‘Colville’.

  • Johan Posted March 19, 2022 9:02 pm

    The Anglo-Boer war was caused by Great Britain’s attempt to force the ZAR to give into their demands regarding the Uitlanders issue. Paul Kruger eventually offered concessions that went beyond the Bloemfontein minimum demanded by the British but on the condition that the British renounce their suzerainity over the ZAR and to promise not to interfere with its domestic affairs again. The British were initially happy with this but later changed their minds. They decided to send additional troops to South Africa in order to intimidate President Kruger into giving into their demands. On the 8th of September they decided to send an additional 8000 troops to Natal. The Boers learned about this decision to following day. On the 22nd of September the Boers received the news that the British were sending an entire army core to South Africa. On the 25th of September they learned that British forces were moving to Dundee. The ZAR responded by mobilizing on the 28th of September on the Orange Free State followed suit on the 2nd of October. The Boers issued their ultimate on the 9th of October demanding that the British withdraw their forces from the borders of the republics , that the British troops in transit to South Africa be sent back home and that the British agree to have their disputes with the Boer republics be settled by arbitration. The British rejected these completely reasonable demands. The British had their own ultimatum which they had planned to issue on the 11 of October but the Boers beat them to it.

    • Bulldog Posted March 22, 2022 7:52 am

      The British did not have ‘their own ultimatum which they planned to issue on the 11th of October’. I know people like to tell each other this, but it is a flat out lie, and resorting to spewing out made-up rubbish does not further one’s cause. Britain had hardly any troops in theatre, no plans for war, and nothing to gain from starting one. There is no excuse for anyone to just make things up.

      There was ongoing diplomatic contact between London and Pretoria, and Chamberlain (who obviously did not have the power to declare war in any case) was drafting another proposal when Kruger’s farcical ultimatum arrived – but the new convention being drawn up in London cannot in any way be considered an ultimatum. It was simply the latest of many proposals to solve the long-running dispute, and was no more an ultimatum than any of the many other messages that had passed between the two governments over the previous months. The draft was just a list of seven provisions, relating to such things as the franchise laws, the end of religious discrimination against non-Protestants, and the independence of the Transvaal’s courts of justice.

      As John Stephens wrote in ‘Fuelling the Empire’:

      ‘…in return the British Government would fully guarantee the Transvaal against any attack on its independence, whether from any British dominion or from the territory of any foreign country … nothing in the draft seemed in any way to suggest a desire by Britain to annex the Transvaal. Also, from the draft form of the document it does not appear to be an ultimatum, since no sanction is included should the reaction from the Transvaal not be favourable.’

      I understand that you are desperately trying to defend the indefensible. Unfortunately, trying to argue that black is white, and up is down can only be done by pulling things out of one’s arse.

      • Johan Posted March 26, 2022 2:42 pm

        I did not make anything up, my comment was based on Thomas Pakenham’s book on the conflict which talked about an ultimatum. Your use of profanities and general attitude does not help your cause. Neither does dismissing Pakenham as a leftist or even more absurdly, calling your Afrikaner critics Apartheid propogandists.

        • Bulldog Posted March 28, 2022 4:20 pm

          And yet I have already explained that it was NOT an ultimatum, and provided references.
          Perhaps you can provide the text of this supposed (unsent, draft, unfinished) ‘ultimatum’?
          Of course, Pakenham didn’t provide this either… Now why do you suppose that would be? If one is going to make wild and explosive claims, one really should provide evidence – though, of course, Pakenham couldn’t.

          Pakenham’s God-awful book is chock full of other errors and anti-British bias – perhaps that is why it was so heartily recommended by the late Eugène Terre’Blanche? I tend not to treat as Gospel books which are highly recommended by neo-Nazis – I note you don’t have similar reservations.

          I really had no idea you were such a delicate and sensitive little flower, and that the word ‘arse’ would upset you so.

  • Johan Posted March 20, 2022 10:49 am

    Out of all the images of Paul Kruger you could have used you decided to use a Waffen SS recruitment poster. What reason could you have for doing this other than to associate Kruger with Nazism. Just because the SS used him on a poster because of his popularity in the Netherlands doesn’t mean that he would have endorsed their ideology.

    • Bulldog Posted March 22, 2022 7:37 am

      Why shouldn’t I have used the poster? Why would you wish to keep it a secret? Simply because it doesn’t portray Kruger as the innocent, benign hero of Apartheid-era myth?

      The fact is that Hitler’s propagandists felt Kruger’s image would be a perfect recruiting tool for the Waffen SS, and would encourage young extremists, racists, anti-Semites, psychopaths and other lunatics to serve in probably the most evil organisation in history.

      Make of that what you will.

      • Johan Posted March 26, 2022 3:14 pm

        That poster is not a secret and Paul Kruger’s positive image amongst Afrikaners was not something created during the Apartheid era it was established during his lifetime and never went away, even Kruger’s most fierce critics did not believe the Anglo-Boer war was started because of some vague desire to conquer British colonies, instead they blamed it on his handling of the Uitlanders situation. The Nazis used Kruger’s image on that poster because he was seen as a hero by the Dutch people, hoe like most Westerners were under no illusion that the British were responsible for the second Anglo-Boer war. Associateing Paul Kruger with Nazism is disingenuous and that is why I take issue with it. But clearly you are extremely biased against him and whether that is because you are extremely pro-British or extremely anti-Afrikaner or a combination of both only you would know.

        • Bulldog Posted March 28, 2022 4:26 pm

          I am not the one who associated Kruger with Nazism. It was Hitler’s propagandists who proudly viewed him as “one of us”, as you now admit. You seem to take exception to the fact that I had the temerity to point this out… hence why I asked why you wanted to keep this secret. It seems that we now agree it is a perfectly legitimate illustration of your ‘hero’ who, as I mentioned earlier, Hitler’s propagandists felt would be a perfect recruiting tool for the Waffen SS – a figure who would encourage young extremists, racists, anti-Semites, psychopaths and other lunatics to serve in probably the most evil organisation in history.

          For the record, I am no more ‘extremely biased’ against Kruger than I am against any other ill-educated, corrupt, quasi-insane, racist flat-earther who started a war by attacking and invading British territory. The fact that you are tying yourself in knots to defend such a person is rather telling.

          Describing invasions of someone else’s land as being just a ‘vague desire’ to conquer them is a very strange use of language. Do you equally think that Putin has just a ‘vague desire’ to conquer the Ukraine? Perhaps in your bizarre outlook, Saddam Hussein only had a ‘vague desire’ to conquer Kuwait? If someone invades a neighbour (especially after many years of planning), then this is rather more than a ‘vague desire’; it is an invasion and attempt at conquest, pure-and-simple. No amount of weasel words can alter this simple reality.

  • James Grant Posted April 12, 2022 11:57 am

    Johan, you got owned, mate. If you don’t have the first bloody clue about a subject, you’d be better off keeping your mouth shut. All you did was make a total fool of yourself. No wonder you disappeared, you bloody idiot.

    • Bulldog Posted April 12, 2022 3:48 pm

      James, please don’t be so hard on poor old Johan. The problem with True Believers is, thanks to being (gleefully) brain-washed by the Apartheid government, the myth is such an integral part of their identity, that they will never give it up. For this reason, it is bizarrely critical to them that (against all evidence to the contrary) Kruger’s Boers should be remembered as gallant, invincible freedom fighters… rather than a rag-tag and undisciplined force who attempted to invade / loot their way through British territory – and who then got soundly beaten by the British army. No amount of inconvenient facts will ever break through to people like Johan, as they are quite simply not interested in history, and only worried about maintaining their preferred fiction. Maybe it helps them sleep better at night?

      True Believers not only passionately believe that the Boers were the innocent victims in a war they blatantly started, but also that they won every battle (but then, somehow, lost the war – work that one out). The simple fact is that you cannot reason a man out of a position he didn’t reason himself into – it is rather like trying to debate with a suicide bomber or a born-again Christian. Still, I do find the likes of Johan highly entertaining, and hopefully (suitably fortified by another bottle of brandy), he will pop again to bang away on his little drum of victimhood.

    • Johan Posted April 28, 2022 10:16 pm

      James my comments were based on various books about the second Boer war, specifically Pakenham’s book. I presented a timeline of when each side deployed troops on the borders and showed that the Boers mobilized their troops in response to what the British were doing. Ash did not refute it. He did dispute my point about the British ultimatum and claimed that it was not an ultimatum but a mere proposal. Whether or not it was a proposal or an ultimatum does not effect my claim that the British precipitated the war by trying to interfere in the Transvaal’s internal affairs regarding the Uitlander issue. The British attempts at intimidating the Transvaal government by deploying troops on their borders and their refusal to comply with the Boers’s ultimatum was the immediate cause of the war. Associating Kruger with Nazism just because the SS used his image on their recruitment posters in the Netherlands is insane. They simply used his image because he was considered a hero by the Dutch people. The fact that you called me an idiot speaks volumes about your lack of maturity.

      • Bulldog Posted April 29, 2022 6:00 am

        Aha – just as I predicted, he’s back with yet more National Party apologia.

        Actually, ‘Ash’ completely refuted your unsubstantiated claims: I provided a detailed timeline which shattered your much-cherished Apartheid-regime propaganda. I showed you that the Boers had been planning for an offensive war against Britain as early as 1887, that they drew up detailed plans for the invasion in March 1898, and they were the ones who mobilised to the border. Did you even look at the timeline?

        I note that you do not even attempt to defend your earlier (ridiculous) claims about the British ‘ultimatum’. There is a world of difference between a proposal (which was, indeed, only the latest one of many) and an ultimatum, and it is completely disingenuous of you to pretend otherwise. You do understand what the word ‘ultimatum’ means, right?

        That said, I realise that one can only attempt to defend the Apartheid-regime version of events by resorting to dishonesty and weasel words.

        And why on earth should Great Britain have complied with Kruger’s arrogant ultimatum? Who was he to dictate to the Super Power of the Age? Do you honestly think Great Britain was going to be cowed and intimidated by such threats? You clearly have no understanding of the geopolitical situation of the period.

        Do you also claim that the Poles have only themselves to blame for being invaded in 1939, as they did not simply comply with Hitler’s demands to give up Danzig? Do you consider Germany to be the innocent party in this, and place all the blame on Poland? If not, then you are a frightful hypocrite.

        Just as Great Britain in the 1890s was applying diplomatic pressure to get Kruger’s Transvaal to be reasonable to the majority of its residents, so – a couple of generations later – virtually the whole world applied much more pressure (including sanctions) on Apartheid-era South Africa to change their (remarkably similar) unfair and discriminatory internal policies. To your mind, did that mean the Apartheid-era government therefore had some sort of ‘right’ to invade and annex any of the nations involved? Would you consider any such invasion to be perfectly justified?

        I note you trot out the old chestnut about Britain ‘deploying troops on the borders of the Transvaal’. Do please tell us where these mythical British troops were, and which regiments were involved? Of course, you can’t as, in reality, the only Imperial (not British) troops anywhere near the Transvaal border were the 800-odd men of the hastily-raised Rhodesia Regiment and Protectorate Regiment, which had been formed to DEFEND against Boer aggression. And luckily they were raised just in time, otherwise Rhodesia and Mafeking would have been taken by the invaders.

        As you admit, the SS used an image of your hero on a recruiting poster: they are the ones that made the association between Kruger and Nazism – not me. I realise it is painful for you to accept that, but you really do need to open your eyes to historical reality, and stop indulging in fantasies of victimhood.

        Judging from the ill-considered nonsense you continue to spout, your fanatical attempts to defend a regime even more vile than the later Apartheid-government, the fact that you don’t know the difference between a proposal and an ultimatum (or, indeed, between a ‘core’ and a ‘corps’), and your complete and utter lack of understanding of South African history, one can understand (if not condone) Mr Grant calling you an idiot.

  • Bulldog Posted April 29, 2022 7:47 am

    Johan, I suggest you read this before embarrassing yourself still further by making more far-fetched claims of British troop deployments on the borders / Boer innocence and victimhood:


  • James Grant Posted April 30, 2022 4:08 am

    At least try to get something right. I called you a bloody idiot, not just an idiot.

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