I was recently made aware that one of the more entertaining online True Believers / Defenders of the Myth has publicly conceded he cannot challenge the facts I present, the quality of my research, or the historical veracity of my writing:
You will note that this fellow now (albeit begrudgingly and poutingly[i]) admits he cannot deny the inconvenient, myth-busting facts which I present in my books – facts which shatter decades of Apartheid-era propaganda. Despite all his previous online huffing-and-puffing, and his knee-jerk attempts to defend his cherished myths from the safety of his keyboard, he has now (rather belatedly) conceded that he simply cannot dispute any of my ‘factual content’.
So if he accepts that I am factually correct, what does that leave for him to get upset about, one wonders?
Tying himself in knots, he has changed his tune, and now pretends that his issue is actually that I am ‘insulting’ toward Kruger and De Wet. What he fails to understand is that all I do is tell the truth about his ‘heroes’, and it is by daring to relate historical reality (rather than repeating National Party fairy tales?) that I seem to have upset him.
In my books I explain that Kruger, for example, presided over a racist and corrupt republic which was, by any measure, even more unfairly run than the later Apartheid-South Africa, and which constantly grabbed land from its neighbours. Kruger also did everything he could to deny giving a fair franchise to any but his ‘Chosen People’, started the biggest war in the region’s history, ran away (leaving his wife behind) as soon as the tide turned, and was so intergalactically ignorant that he died believing the Earth is flat.
Describing him in this way is not being ‘insulting’ – it is telling the truth… which is surely what a historian is meant to do[ii].
Similarly, my writing and the facts I present (facts which, let us not forget, this fellow now concedes he cannot dispute), clearly show that De Wet led his men into disaster on numerous occasions, then fled, shamelessly leaving them to their fate. For example, he made sure he was among the few to get away from the self-created trap he had ineptly led them into at the Brandwater Basin, blithely leaving behind well over 4000 of his men to be captured. He also ran away as soon as his force was attacked at Bothaville (by a tiny number of MI), abandoning his men and guns to be captured by the British once again. And that is not all: his ludicrous ‘invasion’ of the Cape was one of the most ridiculous and incompetently-run campaigns of the war, and throughout the whole tragi-comic affair, De Wet only seemed interested in saving his own skin – which is really the only thing he truly excelled at.
He was certainly not an officer I would have wanted to serve under.
Again, by relating these events (all of which are fully referenced in my books), all I am ‘guilty’ of is telling the truth, dealing in historical reality, and presenting facts (facts which this chap now admits he cannot dispute); if a British General of the Boer War had behaved in a similarly cowardly fashion, I would be the first to present this.
So what my ‘crime’ really seems to be is that I do not simply trot out the National Party version of events in my books – a version which still seems to be highly appealing to some (much more so than the truth), and perhaps helps them sleep better at night.
But at least this chap’s belated admission that he cannot dispute any of the facts I present means we continue to make good progress in putting the Apartheid-era myths to bed.
[i] What is it with these (completely unsubstantiated) claims of ‘plagiarism’ all of a sudden? This seems to be the last straw that the True Believers are desperately (pathetically?) clutching at.
[ii] Of course, True Believers are not actually interested in historical fact at all. Those few that do ever read about the war are only interested in books which trot out the old rubbish of Boer victimhood, amazing Boer Generals, incompetent British ones, and farcical claims about the Boers winning every battle.