Synopses & Reviews
'John Laband is by far the most perceptive analyst of the wars in southern Africa in the 1870s and 1880s. The strength of The Transvaal Rebellion
lies not only its thorough account of the battles themselves - which in itself is the best and most comprehensive available - but in his description of the mis-matched military cultures of the opponants, which saw one of the most experienced, succesful but essentially conventional armies in the world struggling against an egalitarian citizen militia with no tradition of military glory.' Ian Knight, author of The National Army Museum Book of the Zulu War
'A brilliant, moving narrative that captures the drama and tragedy of armed conflict against the stunning backdrop of the South Africa veldt. It tells us much about the nature of frontier warfare and the perennial clashes between ethnic nationalism and the interests of great powers.' Roger Sarty, Professor of History, Wilfrid Laurier University and previously Deputy Director, Canadian War Museum.
In December 1880 the Boers of the Transvaal in southern Africa rebelled against their British rulers. The resulting First Boer War of 1880-1881 demonstrated a major clash of cultures at military, political and ideological levels and provided the Victorian British army with its first shocking experience of modern warfare.
This book takes a unique look at the first Boer war by concentrating on the events and battles of the First Boer War. Due attention is also given to the 2nd Boer War - it's origins, key players and significance for the future of South Africa. The personal stories of heroism and sacrifice, sieges, rebellions and battles, make for an enthralling and dramatic tale - a classic of military history that will find a ready audience amongst military enthusiasts.
According to Rudyard Kipling, The Boer Wars taught the British "no end of a lesson". This book tells the untold story of the Boer Wars - the disastrous British campaign of the First Boer War and how its outcome influenced the nature of the second Boer War and thus the future of the whole of South Africa.
- Numerous battles, sieges - all covered in glorious technicolour detail
- Unique take on the Boer Wars, by focusing on the First war
- Centenary has just passed, reawakening interest in the war
About the Author
Dr John Laband is presently Professor of History at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada. He was previously Professor of History at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He specialises in war and society studies and is a leading expert on the history of the Zulu kingdom. He is the author or co-author of over twenty books.
Table of Contents
Preface: A Clash of Military Cultures
1. The Imperial Factor and the Transvaal
2. The situation in the Transvaal Territory in 1880 and the outbreak of rebellion
3. The Boer and the British military systems
4. In open rebellion: the Boers seize the military initiative
5. 'Cribbed, cabined, confined, bound-in': the blockaded garrisons
6. The Natal Field Force
7. Laing's Nek
9. Seeking a way out of the war
11. Peace and betrayal
Conclusion: 'Remember Majuba!'