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"Book recommendations for 1st Boer War 1880-1881..." Topic

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Blackhorse MP04 Jul 2022 4:43 a.m. PST

I'm looking for a good read about the 1st Boer War that features an overview of the whole war as opposed to any one particular battle. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.grin

parrskool04 Jul 2022 4:54 a.m. PST

Goodbye Dolly Gray by Rayne Kruger

Andrew LA04 Jul 2022 5:20 a.m. PST

The South African Military History Journal has a lot of its issues on line for free

Vol 5 No 2 December 1980 has loads of articles about that war

NCC171704 Jul 2022 6:20 a.m. PST

Lehmann, The First Boer War:


Barthorp, The Anglo-Boer Wars:


Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2022 7:00 a.m. PST


Goodbye Dolly Gray is a fine book, but Blackhorse PM is asking about the 1st Boer War, not the 2nd.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2022 7:05 a.m. PST

The Battle of Majuba Hill: The Transvaal Campaign, 18801881
by John Laband is good. Any book on Majuba is going to cover the whole campaign. The Osprey book on Majuba is also good and even has suggestions on how to wargame the campaign.

Blackhorse MP04 Jul 2022 8:48 a.m. PST

Thanks for the quick replies fellas. My own research turned up the Lehmann and Laband books as possibilities. I'll probably get them because they're available on for $12.50 USD for both, so the price is right. Also that SA Military History Journal looks great as well!

Thanks again for the help.thumbs up

4DJones04 Jul 2022 8:49 a.m. PST

The Transvaal War, by Lady Bellairs, covers the whole war, and the sieges, in some detail.

Col Durnford04 Jul 2022 12:52 p.m. PST

Lehmann's book is my go to reference.

Blackhorse MP04 Jul 2022 1:48 p.m. PST

Col D…Glad to hear that, as I just bought it about 4 hours ago.grin

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2022 10:53 p.m. PST

Lot's of books on the 2nd Boer War not that many on the 1st.

Col Durnford05 Jul 2022 10:21 a.m. PST

A little extra bonus from YouTube.

YouTube link

Blackhorse MP06 Jul 2022 2:59 p.m. PST

Old C, that's what I've discovered. I have Thomas Pakenham's "The Boer War" which is a great 2nd war book which I read back in the '90's. I always intended to read up on the 1st war…just didn't think it would take 30 years!

Thanks Col D.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2022 6:26 p.m. PST

I have nine books on he 2nd Boer War, not a one on the first. I game the 2nd Boer War. I have a large collection of figures for it.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2022 3:47 p.m. PST

If you game both the Anglo-Zulu War and the 2nd Boer War, then you're pretty well set for figures for the 1st Boer War. I game both.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2022 12:17 a.m. PST

Nope, the British were still in red for the 1st Boer War. In the 2nd Boer War they were in khaki. I can't imagine wearing red coats in front of Afrikaner Mausers.



Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2022 12:31 a.m. PST

Some of the Naval and Marine officers insisted on wearing their blue uniforms with polished boots, belts and scabbard. They were easy targets. The Highlander's at first went in with Kilts and they quickly started wearing khaki aprons in front. But once they went prone the Boers were merciless and shot them up. The worst were the white gaiters they wore. The Boers just kept shooting at their ankles.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2022 11:39 a.m. PST

Old Contemptible, I also game the 2nd Boer War, in both 15 and 54mm. What I meant to say was that if you game the Anglo-Zulu War, and the 2nd Boer War, you can use your red coat infantry, blue coat artillery, mounted colonials and mounted infantry against your 2nd Boer War Boers. I know the Boer styles of dress changed a little, but not enough to make a difference, especially in 15mm. I agree it was madness to wear red coats when fighting marksmen like the Boers. The Highlanders came straight from the war in Afghanistan and wore sensible khaki.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2022 10:10 p.m. PST

Your right about the Boers. The dress would be similar, any differences at 15mm wouldn't matter that much.

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