‘Grokking’ the Boer War

In his 1961 novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, American science-fiction writer, Robert A. Heinlein, coined the word ‘Grok’. This has been variously described as meaning: “to understand intuitively or by empathy, to establish rapport with” or “to...

For he’s a jolly good Fellow

Ever since I started ruffling feathers by writing ‘Kruger, Kommandos and Kak’, my books have been frantically dismissed by a certain type of South African ‘academic’. Not only did I dare to challenge their cosy, self-serving myths, but I continue...

“In Victory, Magnanimity…”

Sir Winston Churchill famously stated his outlook as being: ‘In War, Resolution; In Defeat, Defiance; In Victory, Magnanimity; and in Peace, Good Will’. It is interesting to note the lasting impact that these very British values of ‘magnanimity...

Natal Police at Ladysmith

Of all the many myths which surround the Boer War, one of the most amusing is the idea that the conflict was fought between ‘Britain and South Africa’. As ‘South Africa’ did not exist at the time, this is self-evidently...

“I need 500,000 men…”

As the last few thousand British and American troops leave Afghanistan this month, after almost 20 years, there was an interesting comment in a letter to the Telegraph: ‘the alliance would do well to reflect on the words of the former coalition...

Advice for True Believers

I was recently told by one True Believer / Defender of the Myth that he would never read any of my books ‘on principle’. I asked him if that was the ‘principle of not wanting to learn anything about the Boer War’, and he...