An excerpt about the Boers from Conan Doyle’s History.

Great Quote by the writer of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about the Boers, the bit at the bottom is priceless.

“Take a community of Dutchmen of the type of those who defended themselves for fifty years against all the power of Spain at a time when Spain was the greatest power in the world. Intermix with them a strain of those inflexible French Huguenots who gave up home and fortune and left their country for ever at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The product must obviously be one of the most rugged, virile, unconquerable races ever seen upon earth. Take this formidable people and train them for seven generations in constant warfare against savage men and ferocious beasts, in circumstances under which no weakling could survive, place them so that they acquire exceptional skill with weapons and in horsemanship, give them a country which is eminently suited to the tactics of the huntsman, the marksman, and the rider. Then, finally, put a finer temper upon their military qualities by a dour fatalistic Old Testament religion and an ardent and consuming patriotism. Combine all these qualities and all these impulses in one individual, and you have the modern Boer—the most formidable antagonist who ever crossed the path of Imperial Britain. Our military history has largely consisted in our conflicts with France, but Napoleon and all his veterans have never treated us so roughly as these hard-bitten farmers with their ancient theology and their inconveniently modern rifles.”

Excerpt From: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. “The Great Boer War

9 Replies to “An excerpt about the Boers from Conan Doyle’s History.”

  1. after British were defeated at Majuba Hill (first South African war) they were not going to be happy until they had showed the world that a bunch of farmers couldn’t beat them. So they had another go with the excuse of taking the gold fields. They eventually prevailed but at enourmous cost. 500,000 British troops and Britain was broke at the end. Seven of every 10 soldiers who died was from disease, only 3 from battle. What a fiasco and left a legacy of hate.

      1. Through the war, the Brittish only had 347,000 soldiers, 103,000–153,000 colonials and 100,000 black south africans fighting for them. The South african side only had
        Transvaal Boers
        Free State Boers
        Cape Boers
        Black Boer Auxillaries:
        Foreign Volunteers:

        1. ONLY ???? So, to be clear, the British marshalled 600,000 men against the Boers.

  2. Not even talking about all the innocent lives lost of the Sout African women and children during the second boer war. More than 20 000 deaths in the concentration camps from disease, starvation and horrid conditions they were kept in. I tend to feel more sorrry for the 20 000 innocents who died, and not for the invading Brittish troups.
    Innocent lives lost on the South African side: 46,370, of which 26,370 were Boer women and children who died in concentration camps, along with another 20, 000+ black Africans of the 115,000 interned in separate concentration camps.
    On the Brittish side, the deaths were all military, and were only 22,092.

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