The Boer War

The history of the last great war of the Victorian British Empire, and its surprising effects on the course of history.

An Online History

A comprehensive archive or the Boer War including photographs, maps, and historical accounts.

The Boer War

The Boer War (1899 to 1902) also known as the Anglo-Boer War and the Transvaal War, saw the might of the British Empire at its height, pitted against the small Boer Republics of southern Africa. It should have been an easy fight; instead the vastly outnumbered and under equipped Boers inflicted a series of humiliating losses on the British, who were forced to call upon reinforcements from all corners of the Empire to crush the Boer resistance. The unequal David versus Goliath struggle captured the imagination of the world and news headlines in the United States, Europe and the Empire announced every engagement and development. The public was so fascinated by the struggle of the unyieldingly independent Boers that showmen in the United States staged extravagant recreations of Boer War battles, complete with explosions and staged massacres.

The British Empire expected a rapid victory over the tiny Boer republics whose armies were outnumbered and outgunned. In fact, the Boer's strategy of mobile warfare inflicted numerous defeats on the British and forced the Empire to commit its world wide resources. In order to win, the British had to resort to rounding up the population into concentration camps.

The Boer took place just before the First World War and was in many ways a rehearsal for that conflict, one which the British failed to learn from. Instead of understanding the value of mobility as proven by the Boer commandos,, the British would embrace the concept of static trench warfare, leading to the carnage of World War 1.

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Boer War Soldier



The history of the Boer War, with detailed accounts of the main battles and tactics used by both sides..


The Boer War was one of the first wars to be extensively documented by journalists and photographers. Here is an archive of amazing photos of the war as well as soldiers and civilians caught up on both sides of the conflict.

The Boers

This plucky people consisting of descendants of Dutch settlers took on the might of the British Empire, a Victorian Era superpower, and nearly won. Who were they?

Political Cartoons

A collection of political cartoons and pro and anti war propaganda posters from the Boer war.