❤ Sharing Folkworthy Stuffs ❤
2 Comments | Vintage
Seeing pictures of this particular conflict always reminds me of how the Boer’s former enemies described them after the bloodletting abated. Individuals such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes, and a medic during the Anglo-Boer War) famously [wrote](https://books.google.co.za/books?id=xJ6Z4TsdkX4C&pg=PA7&dq=Take+a+community+of+Dutchmen+of+the+type+of+those+who+defended+themselves+for+fifty+years+against+all+the+power+of+Spain&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjil9DfkaTeAhWlJ8AKHahsAS4Q6AEIQTAE#v=onepage&q=Take%20a%20community%20of%20Dutchmen%20of%20the%20type%20of%20those%20who%20defended%20themselves%20for%20fifty%20years%20against%20all%20the%20power%20of%20Spain&f=false):
“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 their name and left their country forever 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 the face of the earth. Take these formidable people and train them for seven generations in constant warfare against savage men and ferocious beasts, in circumstances in which no weakling could survive; place them so that they acquire 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 fine 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 bard-bitten farmers with their ancient theology and their inconveniently modern rifles. Look at the map of South Africa, and there, in the very centre of the British possessions, like the stone in a peach, lies the great stretch of the two republics, a mighty domain for so small a people. How came they there? Who are these Teutonic folk who have burrowed so deeply into Africa? It is a twice-told tale, and yet it must be told once again if this story is to have even the most superficial of introductions. No one can know or appreciate the Boer who does not know his past, for he is what his past has made him.”
There are other fascinating quotes out there (including from General George Patton and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery), but this one – coming from an adversary – has always stuck with me.
I wrote a 30 page paper on this war in college. Quoted extensively from the memoirs of the clean-shaven man in the middle. Hell of a soldier, he was