I was staying at a Lodge in the Natal Battlefields earlier this year and got chatting to one of the other guests. Upon hearing that I had written a bit on the Boer War, he asked me what I think is probably the $64,000 question: “There’s one thing that just doesn’t make sense to me:
A visit to Pretoria’s Fort Klapperkop (and the attached South African Defence Force Memorial) is well worth it and makes for an interesting afternoon out. Entry is very cheap, the Fort is well preserved and there is plenty to see there – indeed, it is worth going just for the views over Pretoria if nothing
There are those who, for whatever reason, delight in declaring that virtually every advance in modern warfare was ‘taught’ to the world by the wily old Boers. One of the more widely accepted such claims is that the British were so impressed by ‘the Boer way of fighting’ that, 40 years later, Churchill was inspired
In one of the more thoughtful reviews of Kruger, Kommandos & Kak, it was mentioned that I use the name ‘the Boer War’ to describe the conflict, and then suggested that this was inaccurate: In the very first footnote Ash rubbishes the need to assign proper titles to events because “Boer War” is “the established name”.