What wars are completely misunderstood?

Feb 2016
4,301
Japan
#21
Breaker Morant was English. He just served in the Australian army.

Let’s look at these battles.
Talana.
Boers put the British troops in Dundee under fire from Talana Hill.
8th Infantry Brigade storm the hill Boers rout and flee.
Boer commando on Impari Hill won’t intervene and let the Talana hill commandos get routed. They do however accidentally capture a mounted British patrol.

Elsndslaagte
7th Infantry Brigade launches an attack on thecBoer position.
Devons make a frontal assault, Gordon’s, Manchester’s and Imperial Light Horse attacking from the flank.
Devons are forced to the ground but Manchester’s and Gordon’s hit home.
The Boer retreat is disorganised at first but 5th Lancers and 5th Dragoons charge into them turning it into a panicked flight.

First attack on Mafeking.
After a prepatory bombardment 1000 Boers attack the cannon Kop. BSAP do not open fire until Boers are at 200 yards.
Two mounted groups of Boers attempt a pincer movement butbare checked by detachements of the Protectorate regiment.
Two cannons are brought up to the cannon kop.
After a few artillery rounds are fired the Boers rapidly retreat.

Belmont.
Boers open fire on British troops as they move into position.
British assault by 9th Brigade and Guards Brigade causes the Boers to retreat after some close quarter fighting. British Persue.
Boers are driven back from 2nd position.
They make no attempt to defend their third line and flee in disorder.
British have only the 9th lancers who are too few to persue. They try but can achieve little.

Graspan
After a bombardment the 9th Infantry Brigade and attached sailors launch their attack. They take heavy losses but storm the hill. Boers retreat.
Imperial Mounted troops (including Aussies) attempt to cut off the fleeing Boers but are not quick enough.

Modder River
Boer Ambush triggers too early.
Guards flanking attack is kept at bay.
9th Brigade fight their way across Rosemead Drift successfully.
Seeing the 9th Brigade cross the river... many Boers give up and start to leave despite being asked to keep fighting. This trickle becomes a flood and Cronje, despite believing it is wrong, has no choice but abandon his position.
 
Feb 2016
4,301
Japan
#22
Magersfontein.
Newly arrived Highland is moving into position under cover of darkness. As dawn breaks both sides are surprised to see each other. At 400 yards Boers commense highlanders make several attempts to charge but Boer fire is heavy.
A boer flanking attack is repulsed and gives the Highland Brigade chance to flee which it does in some disorder Waunchope (Highland Brigade) is killed at this point.

Here the British had not fallen into a boer trick. They had attempted to do exactly what they had done with great success on previous occasions, but were let down by poor scouting. Wauchope was also slow at ordering his men into loose order which previous commanders had done ... so yeah Boers got lucky. 900 British casualties and 200 killed. Heavy losses but far from a massacre. The Boer Scandinavian contingent was almost destroyed here and most of the 236 boer casualties being taken by them.

Earlier at Stormberg a small British night attack was repulsed with 26 casualties (2000 attacking) but the 4-500 Northumbrian fusiliers were captured after becoming cut off. No massacre there. Stormberg is also notable as the Boers could have destroyed the British Force as it pulled back ... but Olivier the Boer commandment has been left scared by the attack and refused to leave his position. Gatacre was able to hold the line and keep the Boers in check for several months. Stormberg was a serious British defeat but also a major Boer blunder.

Cronje having lost 3 victories and won his first bow declares that he knows how to beat the British. Instead of preparing for further British attacks he sets about ethnic cleansing the area ...
“ this is the worst of this war, if you don’t join the republicans you are made prisoner, your wife and children turned out homeless, your farm destroyed”
“Men, women and children all hunted together in a flock with out shelter. Because they stick to their government, thisvis the way they are treated. Cronje says the “duivels” must suffer. I wonder what he would say if the Britisb were to do the same”
That’s a Boers thoughts on the matter.

Colenso.
Buller has not been a fan of frontal attacks despite their strong success rate agains Boers.
But with news of Stormberg and Magersfontein Buller felt compelled to act.
Buller had 20 000 men but only attacked with 2 brigades. Botha had 4500 men and 5 guns.
But when the British were seen preparing for an attack the Soutspanberg and Boksburg commandos withdrew ... and no other commandos could be forced to occupy them... Kruger has to telegram the Boers to compel them to do it. They chose lots...
no trap here. No massacre either.
Britain here failed due to very bad maps.
That hill the Boers were refusing to defend would have given the British an enfilading position but their maps showed it in the wrong place. So they ignored it.
5th Irish Brigade blundered into a loop in the river and came under fire from 3 sides.
2nd Brigade advanced on Colenso. Botha HAD intended to trap this force as they crossed a bridge ... but this plan relied on discipline and courage... not Boer hallmarks.
His men began firing immediately and while it stopped 2nd brigades advance it did not inflict anywhere near the casualties Botha had hoped.
2 artillery companies had advanced to far in support of these brigades and also came under fire.
Buller decided to call things off rather than escalate things and ordered his men back.
Botha (who was competent and clever) saw the opportunity to cut off and destroy/capture 5th Brigade. He orders Fourie’s commando to block the river loop.
Fouries men however think that’s silly and prefer to stay on they mountain. Botha is enraged. Bullers infantry extract themselves with little difficulty. But the two RA batteries are stuck. They come under rifle, pompom and artillery fire but stick to there guns and despite casualties are able to silence all the Boer guns. They could have kept fighting until nightfall but Buller wants them to withdraw and abandon all but two of their guns.
Boer casualties are recorded by the British as around 50. By the Boers as 115 dead mostly by artillery fire and hundreds wounded.
British losses are 143 killed, 200 prisoner and 700 wounded.
This is the high watermark of boer victory. After 1 and a half months of defeats they had 3 victories, in which they had stumbled upon, wasted and fudged...
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#23
Breaker Morant was English. He just served in the Australian army.

In Australia, he is thought of as Australian. Born in England, 1864, he migrated to Australia in 1883. He initially worked 'up north' as a stockman and horse breaker (hence the knick name) He joined the Australia army in 1899. He died whilst serving in the Australian army. That makes him an Aussie.

A very young country, a huge proportion of our population is either from another country, or has at least one parent who was. My mother was born in Canada in1926.. She came to Australia as a war bride, in 1946. MY father's family migrated from Ireland in 1870.

It could be argued that Harry Morant was English, but to so is overly pedantic in my opinion.

I'm afraid I have little interest in your revisionist position of the Boer War..This isn't because I think either side is admirable, but because this was a colonial war, about territory and control. Both sides were fighting for land they had stolen from its rightful owners.

So knock yourself out, I have no investment regardless of the spin put on raw stats.. To me, the Boer war was a great shame and a great pity, no matter how you look at it.There were no white hats. fighting black hats. Bot sides wore black hats, and both sides were drenched in blood, to us a somewhat emotional expression.I really couldn't careless about the outcome between England and the Boers. I only really care about the people who were dispossessed by both sides. Over the next hundred years, I think it was the Boers whose behaviour was more reprehensible than the British (just)

 
Feb 2016
4,301
Japan
#24
Moving into 1900.
January 1st. General French captures Colesberg. Pilcher captures Sunnyside Laager.
January 3rd Boer attack on Cyphergat defeated.
Jan 6th Wagon Hill Boers defeated
Jan 24th Spion Koo British defeated.
Feb 14th -27th Tugela Heights British win.
Feb 27th Paardeburg. British victory, Cronje defeated, boers surrender.
March 7th Poplar Grove. Boers defeated.
March 10th Dreifontein. Boers defeated.
March 31st. Sannahs Post. Boers win.
April 10th Boer attack Wepener and are defeated.
May 1st British attack Houtnek and win.
May 4th Ian Hamilton drives the Boers from Babiaansberg
May 5th Rooidam Boer defeat.
May 12th Boers attack Mafeking. Defeated.
May 13th Boers attack British column at Koedoesrand. Defeated.
May 14th Boers defeated at Biggersberg
May 16th De Le Rey’s commando defeated at Israel’s Farm.
May 20th Boers defeat Mounted Infantry Scheepers Nek.
May 29th Boers loss battle of Doornkop
June 7th Boers overwhelm Derbyshire’s at Rhenoster River.
June 11th Boers defeated at Allemans River.
June 12th Diamond Hill. Boer defeat.
June 14th Zand River Boer attack defeated.
June 22nd Boers defeated attacking Katbosch outpost.
July 21st Boer attack on Zuikerbosch outpost repulsed
August 27th Bergandal Battle. Boers defeated.
September 5th Canadian’s defeat Boers at Pan Station.
September 8th Botha defeated at Paardeplaats.
October 16th Jagersfontein. Boers defeated.
October 24th Lemberg commando defeated at Kruisriver.
October 25th Boer attempts to investvFrederikstad defeated.
October 26th. Boers defeated at Koffyfontein.
November 6th De Wet defeated at Bothaville.
November 19th Boers defeated at Wilge River and Balmoral.
December 3rd. De Wet captures a supply convoy.
December 7th. DevWet defeated at Commissie Ridge.
December 12th Vryheud. Boer attack repulsed.
 
Feb 2016
4,301
Japan
#25
Oh we are in quite a lot of agreement.
And my position is NOT revisionist.
The revisionist position was the one touted by left wing anit-imperial historians and apartheid era propaganda and is now accepted and repeated constantly ...

I don’t claim the British were innocent angels. Only that the popular Boer narrative which is believed ... even by some on this thread... is wrong and the war is misunderstood. And I agree the war was a sad pointless waste of lives.. and I hold Kruger responsible for this.

1. The British started the war to capture our land and gold. Is FALSE. The Boers started the war to kick the British out of Africa, reduce British migrants to second class citizens, and black native to slaves.

2. The British couldn’t win militarily so they rounded up Boers in concentration camps that they invented. FALSE in every respect.
The British were outclassing the Boers in every respect and had crushed them militarily. The refugee crisis, which was tragic , was caused by the Boers who made more people homeless than the British. Concentration camps were a necessary evil to help house and feed refugees, the British were overwhelmed by the volume of these and from 1901 would contribute to the problem by burning farms as well in retaliation. Note the Boers continued to inflict this suffering on their own kind too.
BUT this did not help them win the war. It actually helped the boers to keep men in the field. And they didn’t invent them the US and Spanish began operating them before the British.

3. The Wiley Boers outwitted and ran rings around the clueless British.
nationalistic legend making hyperbole. Touted mainly by bitter boers and anglophobes.
The Boers were a large amateur conscript force which, despite some talented and motivated veterans were largely a force of unwilling, unfit, unprepared conscripts who were mostly interested looting farms and killing natives than doing anything dangerous. They routed often, disobeyed orders, dawdled, argued and deserted frequently. They were terrified of cavalry and got lucky on their three biggest victories all of which involved no great tactical moves by them but sitting behind fixed positions hoping the British would botch something (which they didn’t do enough).
 
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Feb 2016
4,301
Japan
#26
Breaker might be considered Australian, but I find that to be weaker than his being English he was born and raised in England and reffered to himself as an Englishman. At the time he was serving in a British Army unit the Bushveldt Carabineers not an Australian one, which was made up of British, South African and Australian volunteers. Captain Hunt, Morants friend his killing and mutilation had triggered the BVCs anger and vengeance was English, and at least 40 members were Boers who had deserted.

Popular Aussie “revisionism” might like to portray the unit as entirely Australian as it fits the “poor colonials being hung out to dry by their overlords” narrative with a nationalist victim complex spin.

And while I agree Morant and Handcock were hung out to dry, I don’t buy the “because they were Aussie” line. It was because they were caught and it was made public. By all accounts so they sacrificed 2 men (1 Brit, 1 Aussie) which was far less than they could have done considering the number of incidents that unit was involved in... personally though I think they were simply using the Boers own tactics against them. The Boers has been shooting wounded soldiers, shooting men under flags of truce and killing prisoners since 1899 and there was a sad inevitablity to it that the Anglo-Imperial forces would sink to their level.
 
Apr 2017
138
Bayreuth
#27
What's a war that people get all wrong? For instance, a war that wasn't fought over what people think it was fought over?
WWII – a huge misunderstanding. It is similar to the big coffee marketing tour the Turkish tried a few times.

Boer War easily. (...)
Same thing. Exactly! Yes. Like the Second European Unification Progress (EUP II often referred to as WWII).

The French invasion of Russia in 1812. (,...)
Good one. EUP I. A huge misunderstanding.

People always believe it is about ressources, actually it is more about candy and who is prettier or animal treatments - human rights!
One of the most important reasons to go to war to. This is why NATO directly jumped on ISIS and ended that before it begun. It is how we are.
We kill you if you do not treat humans like you should do.
 
Likes: Edric Streona
Nov 2010
7,545
Cornwall
#28
People always believe it is about ressources, actually it is more about candy and who is prettier or animal treatments - human rights!
One of the most important reasons to go to war to. This is why NATO directly jumped on ISIS and ended that before it begun. It is how we are.
We kill you if you do not treat humans like you should do.
Ended before it began eh? Your recollections do not match mine