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History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902 v. 1 (of 4) Compiled by Direction of His Majesty's Government   By:

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In "History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902," compiled by Direction of His Majesty's Government by Great Britain's War Office, readers are presented with a comprehensive and meticulously documented account of the conflict that took place in South Africa from 1899 to 1902. Although primarily a military history, this volume encompasses a wide range of perspectives, including political, social, and economic aspects, offering readers a holistic understanding of the war's complexities.

One of the notable strengths of this book lies in its detailed analysis of the war's origins. The authors delve into the intricate web of political negotiations, imperial interests, and regional tensions that ultimately led to the outbreak of hostilities. By meticulously tracing the historical roots of the conflict, the book sets the stage for a comprehensive examination of the subsequent military operations.

The level of research undertaken by the War Office shines through in the wealth of primary sources incorporated into this volume. Letters, diaries, official reports, and personal testimonies are seamlessly weaved together to paint a vivid picture of the war's progression. This approach not only serves to provide readers with an authentic account of events but also adds a human dimension to the narrative, allowing us to empathize with the individuals who experienced the war firsthand.

As the first volume of a four-part series, this book successfully lays the groundwork for a thorough understanding of the war in South Africa. It meticulously chronicles the initial clashes, the evolution of military tactics, and the major battles and sieges that defined this conflict. Moreover, the book examines the strategies employed by both the British forces and the Boer republics, shedding light on their successes and failures and the shifting balance of power.

While the book's comprehensive approach is commendable, at times, it may overwhelm readers with an abundance of minute military details. However, for those with a keen interest in military history, this meticulous attention to detail will undoubtedly be appreciated.

Additionally, given that this volume is produced under the direction of His Majesty's Government, some critics might argue that there is a potential bias in favor of the British perspective. While it is important to acknowledge this potential bias, it is worth noting that the authors have made a concerted effort to include varying perspectives and offer a more balanced view of the conflict.

In conclusion, "History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902" stands as an indispensable resource for anyone seeking a comprehensive understanding of this significant historical event. Through its meticulous research, attention to detail, and inclusion of diverse perspectives, this volume provides an engaging and comprehensive account of the war's causes, progression, and overall impact. While it may be a dense read, its contribution to our understanding of the war cannot be overstated.

First Page:

[Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected, all other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has been maintained.

The sign around words have been used to mark bolded text.

The errors noted in the errata have been corrected in the text.]


1899 1902

[Illustration: Editor's arm.]









All rights reserved

[Illustration: The Chapel River Press Kingston Surrey.]


The decision of His Majesty's late Government, mentioned on the first page of this history, was not finally given till November, 1905. It was, therefore, not till December 12th, 1905, that I was able to obtain approval for the form in which the political facts connected with the war are mentioned in the first chapter. Since then the whole volume has necessarily been recast, and it was not possible to go to page proof till the first chapter had been approved. Hence the delay in the appearance of the volume. I took over the work from Colonel Henderson in July, 1903. He had not then written either narrative of, or comments on, the military operations... Continue reading book >>

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