Kruger, Kommandos & Kak

The second Boer War is the most important war in South African history; indeed, without it, South Africa would likely have not existed. But it’s also one of the least understood conflicts of the era. Over a century of Leftist bleating and insidious, self-serving revisionism, first by Afrikaner nationalists and then by the apartheid regime, has left the layman with a completely skewed view of the war. Incredibly, most people will tell you that the British attacked the Boers to steal their gold, and that when the clueless, red-jacketed Tommies advanced under orders of bumptious, incompetent British generals they were mowed down in their thousands. Others think of the conflict in terms of ‘Britain against South Africa’ and many believe that the Boers actually won the war; the marginally more enlightened explain away the Boer defeat by claiming it took millions of British troops to beat them, or that it was only the ‘genocide’ of the concentration camps which forced the plucky Boers to throw in the towel.

It’s all bosh. This book will take everything you thought you ‘knew’ about the war and turn it on its head. From Kruger’s expansionist dream of an Afrikaans empire ‘from the Zambesi to the Cape’, to the murder and devastation wrought on Natal by his invading commandos, to the savage massacres of thousands of blacks committed by the ‘gallant’ bitter-einders, the reader will have his eyes opened to the brutal realities of the conflict, and be forced to reassess previously held notions of the rights and wrongs of the war. Hard-hitting and uncomfortable reading for those who do not want their bubble of ignorance burst, Kruger, Kommandos & Kak exposes that side of the Boer War which the apartheid propaganda machine didn’t want you to know about.


‘This is revisionist history at its absolute best. With meticulous scholarship but also an attractively waspish turn of phrase, Chris Ash turns everything we thought we knew about the Boer War on its head. After reading this, you won’t think of that conflict in the same way again.’
Andrew Roberts, best selling author of ‘Napoleon the Great’ and ‘Salisbury, Victorian Titan’

‘well researched revisionist history that debunks established myths of the war and meticulously reconstructs its pivotal battles, actions and events… Revisionist history serves the purpose of discerning historical fact from evidentiary sources through research and inquiry to reveal new perspectives and truths. It is the essence of historical scholarship. This book delivers on all these counts. As a well researched, ground breaking piece of scholarship the text is effective and defendable on these grounds.’
SitRep, the Journal of the Royal Canadian Military Institute