Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > European History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

European History European History Forum - Western and Eastern Europe including the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 11th, 2017, 07:03 AM   #11
Archivist
 
Joined: Dec 2016
From: UK
Posts: 192

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
https://www.britannica.com/event/South-African-War

Well, Britannica states that the Boers had 88,000 troops. And I am inclined to believe that because the war was fought on their turf and they fought the British for 3 years. I doubt 15,000 men could do it.
Ok i'll have a read of that my sources are from Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Boer_War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Boer_War
TheMilitaryHistoryAddict is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 11th, 2017, 07:07 AM   #12

Junius's Avatar
Lecturer
 
Joined: Oct 2016
From: India
Posts: 262
Blog Entries: 4

We're talking about a guerilla war. I'm sure the true number exceeds whatever has been reported.
Junius is offline  
Old January 11th, 2017, 07:18 AM   #13
Lecturer
 
Joined: Dec 2011
From: N. Ireland
Posts: 414

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMilitaryHistoryAddict View Post
Ok i'll have a read of that my sources are from Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Boer_War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Boer_War

Your first link seems to refer to the battle of Majuba, the only large engagement of the first Boer war, where numbers on both sides were small.

The second mentions 25,000 Transvaal Boers, plus 15,000 Free State Boers, plus other volunteers at the start of the war - making 40-50,000, perhaps? Maybe 80-90,000 over the course of the war?
The Boers were a flexible force, men coming to join, and leaving to work their farms, etc. so numbers are hard to be sure of. This was a guerrilla war for the last couple of years, with most of the major battles coming in the early stages, so the British numbers were large - a lot of men chasing a few small, very mobile, Boer 'Commando' units.
Giraffe is offline  
Old January 11th, 2017, 07:26 AM   #14
Archivist
 
Joined: Dec 2016
From: UK
Posts: 192

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giraffe View Post
Your first link seems to refer to the battle of Majuba, the only large engagement of the first Boer war, where numbers on both sides were small.

The second mentions 25,000 Transvaal Boers, plus 15,000 Free State Boers, plus other volunteers at the start of the war - making 40-50,000, perhaps? Maybe 80-90,000 over the course of the war?
The Boers were a flexible force, men coming to join, and leaving to work their farms, etc. so numbers are hard to be sure of. This was a guerrilla war for the last couple of years, with most of the major battles coming in the early stages, so the British numbers were large - a lot of men chasing a few small, very mobile, Boer 'Commando' units.
Yes i agree but the chances are the British did outnumber them in both wars, because the boers also fought in small squads compared to the British.
TheMilitaryHistoryAddict is offline  
Old January 11th, 2017, 09:15 AM   #15

notgivenaway's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2015
From: UK
Posts: 4,430

Britain has never defeated a major foe by itself. To be fair, neither has the USA or France. France had Scottish support in the Hundred Years War. The USA only beat the CSA by itself, and Iraq, Afghanistan, and Grenada aren't major powers.

It's pretty much based in truth, as France had more troops in the Crimea. That said, France had many colonial wars too, and had defeats as bad as Isandlwana.
notgivenaway is offline  
Old January 11th, 2017, 11:16 AM   #16

Aelfwine's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Nov 2008
From: England
Posts: 736

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junius View Post
Well that is the popular image of colonial warfare. Fierce natives that could still never hold their own against the mighty British regulars. Don't forget that between 1815 and 1914, the only European enemy the Brits fought was Russia in Crimea. By 1880, Bismarck could safely quip that if Britain were to invade Germany, he'd simply have the police arrest him.
Well that was bravado and perhaps sarcasm by Bismark. He knew that in 1880 the Royal Navy was all powerful and the British would have had no need to invade Germany if there had been a conflict. His fear was of the British forming an alliance with a continental power such as France or Russia, and he used his excellent diplomatic skills to prevent such an eventuality.
Aelfwine is offline  
Old January 11th, 2017, 02:22 PM   #17

Kevinmeath's Avatar
Acting Corporal
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Navan, Ireland
Posts: 12,164

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junius View Post
Well that is the popular image of colonial warfare. Fierce natives that could still never hold their own against the mighty British regulars.
It stems not from 'mighty British regulars' but from a 'Eurocentric' 19th century view that their militaries were superior to the rest of the world (a bias not without some foundation) and dealing with these 'primitive' people should be relatively easy.

Most European militaries looked down on the British because they only had to deal with such weak forces as those in 'India' for instance. Despite the fact that many Indian armies were very effective and well armed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junius View Post
Don't forget that between 1815 and 1914, the only European enemy the Brits fought was Russia in Crimea. .
But they also fought all of the world against many different foes and had to adapt (and this adaptation was often painful) to their fighting styles and often the environment, the Boars, Sikhs, Gurkhas and a many Indian Princes militaries were not poor quality or poorly armed. Tribes like the Zulu (not alone among African people at all) were highly effective and organised providing a formidable foe. Added to that the environment was often as large an obstacle as the enemy.

Its noticeable that when other 'European' (including USA) force have to deal with 'primitive natives' suddenly their enemies become respectable and dangerous foes.

Native American barely out of the stone age effectively, suddenly become 'the finest light cavalry in the world'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junius View Post
By 1880, Bismarck could safely quip that if Britain were to invade Germany, he'd simply have the police arrest him.

It depends what you take this quip to mean, he may have meant that the British army was so small that it wasn't worth worrying about or that it was just comprised of 'Imperial Policemen' who would not cope on the 'world' stage.

Bismarck wasn't wrong on either count, the British army was small and as 1914 proved was too small for a European conflict. It was also effectively just a 'para-military police force'. However (thanks to reformers in the army) in 1914 the BEF's performance shows that the troops to be of very high quality.
Kevinmeath is online now  
Old January 11th, 2017, 04:17 PM   #18

Edric Streona's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Feb 2016
From: Japan
Posts: 2,117

The Sikhs also fought in "european" style. Drilled and formed into lines and columns.
Britain also fought Canadian rebels, US/Irish Fenians (though they usually ran away from regulars), Chinese, Japanese, Russians, Boers and were deployed in the Portuguese troubles in the 1820s and the carlist wars of the 1830s.
As well as these they also fought against Ashanti, Ghurkas, Pindaris, Xhosa, Zulu, Maori, Kandys,Ottoman Turks, Burmese, Irish and German mercenaries, Jamaicans, Afghans, Mughals, Persians, Egyptians, Bhutanese, Abyssinians, Sudanese, Tibetans, Zanzibaris, Aros.

British volunteers also fought in the Carlist Wars and were a major contingent in Latin American wars where many English and Irish Napoleonic veterans went to fight the Spanish.
Several regiments of the British Legion of the carlist wars had volunteered directly out of the army. And Garibaldi had an English Volunteer battalion with him in his campaigns.

Prior to this Britain had fought against Spain, France, Prussia, Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands/Belgium/Holland, The US, Various Indian people's and various Italian states. She had also been allied to them all at some point too.

Last edited by Edric Streona; January 11th, 2017 at 04:20 PM.
Edric Streona is online now  
Old January 11th, 2017, 04:55 PM   #19

weber the weaver's Avatar
Citizen
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: New Zealand
Posts: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMilitaryHistoryAddict View Post
why is it that some people suggest that Britain fought against only native tribes that had bows and arrows? What about all of the European powers like France, Spain and the Netherlands who they took on that had almost equal armies and even formidable navies of their own, look at India as well, the armies of the Khalsa were a tough enemy trained in european standards of combat. not every enemy was like the Maoris or Zulus, as some seem to think.
Your characterization is a pretty simplistic way of looking at it. The Maoris had Muskets and were brilliant at guerrilla warfare, I suggest you read about the Battle of Gate Pa.

Last edited by weber the weaver; January 11th, 2017 at 04:58 PM.
weber the weaver is offline  
Old January 11th, 2017, 04:55 PM   #20

Kahu's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: May 2015
From: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 685
Blog Entries: 1
The War Britain Lost


Kahu is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > European History

Tags
british, empire, foes



Search tags for this page
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mongol Empire is the largest empire ever in history. British Empire wasn't bushido General History 145 June 18th, 2017 01:56 AM
Could the British Empire have conquered the Japanese Empire Thessalonian Speculative History 29 May 26th, 2017 08:49 AM
Was the British Empire the most powerful empire of all time? BlackEurope600 General History 200 September 9th, 2016 06:40 AM
Britains Greatest Foes. (GMC?) Kevinmeath War and Military History 95 June 7th, 2012 08:54 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.