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Relief of Ladysmith.

Relief of Ladysmith.
Relief of Ladysmith.
Relief of Ladysmith.
Relief of Ladysmith.
Relief of Ladysmith.
  • SKU: SCAN-NOP-00544936


Relief of Ladysmith. When the Second Boer War broke out on 11 October 1899, the Boers had a numeric superiority within Southern Africa. They quickly invaded the British territory and laid siege to Ladysmith, Kimberley and Mafeking. Britain meanwhile transported thousands of troops both from the United Kingdom itself and from elsewhere in the Empire and by the time the siege of Ladysmith had been lifted, had a huge numeric superiority. On 28 February the Boer commanders ordered their troops to withdraw to the Biggarsberg, some 45 km to the north of Ladysmith. There was little organisation in the withdrawal, but the British forces were instructed not to go in pursuit. The British forces led by Lord Dundonald with Churchill by his side entered Ladysmith on the afternoon of 1 March 1900.[3] The Boers meanwhile established a line of defence along the Biggarsberg, but apart from the odd patrol, there was little movement by either side for two months – Buller was regrouping his forces while Botha, who took over as General Commander of the Boer forces after Joubert's death handed control in Natal to Lukas Meyer. The Boer forces in Natal had meanwhile shrunk to between 4500 and 6000. In the second half of May, Buller resumed the offensive and before the end of the month had taken the North Natal towns of Dundee, Glencoe and Newcastle.[7] Events in Natal were soon overtaken by events elsewhere in South Africa. On 15 February, before the siege of Ladysmith had been raised, Roberts had raised the siege of Kimberley and on the day that the British broke through the Tugela Heights, General Cronjé surrendered to Lord Roberts with 4000 men at Paardeberg. On 13 March Roberts captured Bloemfontein, the capital of the Orange Free State Republic and of 5 July 1900 he took Pretoria, the capital of the South African Republic. Meanwhile, in Natal, Buller had yet to secure the mountain passes between the colony and the Orange Free State – an objective that he achieved on 11 June 1900, effectively ending the Natal phase of the war.


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