Kop is a South African term for a hill. It comes from the Afrikaner for “head”. It is most often used to describe the flat topped hills found in the Orange Free State or the Transvaal, but is also found elsewhere and can refer to other types of hills. Kopje refers to small hills. At the start of the Boer War the Boers believed the steep sides Kops to be ideal defensive positions, but in fact their steep sides worked against troops on the top, providing cover for advancing soldiers. Battles such as Lombard's Kop or Spion Kop actually took place on the flat tops of the hills, while the Boers soon worked out that their modern rifles were best used on level ground, as at Magersfontein.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 February 2007), Kop, http://www.historyofwar.org/glossary/kop.html

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