Books on the Boer War

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Boer Wars
General Works
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Books - Boer Wars

General Histories of the War

Despatches from the Front: The Boer War 1899-1902, John Grehan and Martin Mace. A selection of official reports written during the Boer War, giving us a view of the war as seen by the senior British commanders. Most of these accounts are fairly factual, although few of the commanders are willing to accept the blame for their setbacks early in the war. Focuses on the major battles of the war, so is strongest on the first year or so, and less so on the period of guerilla warfare that came after the occupation of the Boer republics. [read full review]
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Searching for the Queen's Cowboys, Tony Maxwell. A book with three main strands: a travelogue that follows the author around South Africa as he filmed a documentary about the Strathcona Horse; reflections on his childhood in apartheid South Africa and on the history of the country; and an account of the role of the Strathcona Horse, a Canadian cavalry unit, in the fighting during the Boer War [read full review]
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Link to review of Great Boer WarThe Great Boer War, Byron Farwell. A very good general history of the Boer War, with a good introduction to Boer history and a clear well written narrative of the war [see more]
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link to view of Fremont Evens boer warThe Boer War, 1899-1902 , Gregory Fremont-Barnes. If you want a shorter history of the Boer War then you should consider this book. Fremont-Barnes puts the Boer War firmly into context, with good sections on the background in South Africa, and a good chapter on the war itself. [see more]
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link to review of encyclopedia of Boer WarEncyclopedia of the Boer War, Martin Marix Evans. This is a very useful A-Z encyclopedia of the Boer War, covering battles, biographies, Afrikaner words, weapons and a miriad of other topics. The major events each get a couple of pages, with good cross references to related topics. [see more]
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Link to review of Boer War by Martin EvansThe Boer War, Martin Marix Evans. This is a good general history of the Boer war, but what makes it stand out is its use of contemporary maps and photographics, and a good selection of modern pictures of blockhouses, battlefields and other items of interest. [see more]
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Contemporary Works

link to review of handbook of boer warA Handbook of the Boer War, Anonymous (1910). The anonymous author of this book served in South Africa for twenty six months during the Boer War, and so was an eye witness to many of the events he describes. Our unknown author provides an accurate account of the war from the British point of view, and was perfectly willing to critise the senior British commanders in South Africa. [see more]
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link to review of Commandy by Deneys ReitzCommando: A Boer Journal of the Boer War, Deneys Reitz (1929). This is one of the best first person accounts of the Boer War. Deneys Reitz was the son of a prominent Orange Free State politician. He fought in the campaign in Natal, in the guerilla warfare in the western Transvaal and took part in Smut's raid into Cape Colony. After the war he was reconciled to the British, and ended up commanding the 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front. [see more]
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