n Journal for Contemporary History - Die Britse militêre strategie vir oorlog in Suid-Afrika, 1899




On the eve of the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War on 11 October 1899, the British Army had no comprehensive strategy for the war in South Africa. In this article the reasons why no detailed strategic planning was done, are discussed. The limited strategic planning that was done is analysed, and it is pointed out that in the run-up to the war, British planning was influenced by geographic factors in the potential war zone, by the position of the Orange Free State (would that Boer republic side with the Transvaal or stay neutral?), and by matters pertaining to the defence of Natal and of the Cape Colony. Finally, it is indicated what line of advance was eventually decided upon; albeit that after Gen. Sir Redvers Buller had arrived in South Africa, he decided to deviate from the original plan.


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