1899-1902 Boer War

The Second Boer War started on 11 October 1899 and ended on 31 May 1902. Great Britain defeated two Boer states in South Africa: the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State. Britain was aided by its Cape Colony, the Colony of Natal and some native African allies. The British war effort was further supported by volunteers from the British Empire, including Southern Africa, the Australian colonies, Canada, India and New Zealand. All other nations were neutral, but public opinion in them was largely hostile to Britain. Show less Inside Britain and its Empire there also was significant opposition to the Second Boer War. The British were overconfident and under-prepared while the Boers were very well armed and struck first, winning several important battles. The British brought in large numbers of soldiers and fought back, quickly seizing control of all of the Orange Free State and Transvaal. In conventional terms the war was over, however the Boers refused to surrender and reverted to guerrilla warfare under new generals. Two more years of surprise attacks and quick escapes followed with the British forced to set up complex nets of block houses, strong points, and barbed wire fences, partitioning off the entire conquered territory. The war ended in surrender and surprisingly lenient British terms at the Treaty of Vereeniging in May 1902. The British successfully won over the Boer leaders, who now gave full support to the new political system. Both former republics were incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910, which Boers controlled.
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