Battle of Kraaipan

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Battle of Kraaipan
Part of Second Boer War
CGR 3rd Class 4-4-0 1889-108.jpg
Derailed armoured CGR 3rd Class 4-4-0 1889 at Kraaipan
Date12–13 October 1899
Location
26°17′49″S25°18′23″E / 26.29694°S 25.30639°E / -26.29694; 25.30639 (Kraaipan)
Result Boer Victory
Belligerents
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Flag of Transvaal.svg  South African Republic
Flag of the Orange Free State.svg  Orange Free State
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Lt. RH Nesbitt Flag of Transvaal.svg Piet Cronjé
Flag of Transvaal.svg Koos de la Rey
Strength
unknown 800
Casualties and losses
9 wounded none

The Battle of Kraaipan was the first engagement of the Second Anglo-Boer War, fought at Kraaipan, South Africa on 12 October 1899.

Ratlou Local Municipality Local municipality in North West, South Africa

Ratlou Local Municipality is a local municipality in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, North West Province, South Africa.

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

On the 11 October 1899 President Paul Kruger of the South African Republic in alliance with the Orange Free State declared war on the British. That night 800 men of the Potchefstroom and Lichtenburg commandos [1] under General Koos de la Rey (one of General Piet Cronjé's field generals) attacked and captured the British garrison and railway siding at Kraaipan between Vryburg and Mafeking, some 60 kilometres (37 mi) south west of Mafeking. Thus began the Second Anglo-Boer War. Under the orders of Cronjé the Mafeking railway and telegraph lines were cut on the same day.

Paul Kruger Former President of the South African Republic

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The South African Republic, also referred to as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent and internationally recognised country in Southern Africa from 1852 to 1902. The country defeated the British in what is often referred to as the First Boer War and remained independent until the end of the Second Boer War on 31 May 1902, when it was forced to surrender to the British. After the war the territory of the ZAR became the Transvaal Colony.

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The Orange Free State was an independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, which ceased to exist after it was defeated and surrendered to the British Empire at the end of the Second Boer War in 1902. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province. Extending between the Orange and Vaal rivers, its borders were determined by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1848 when the region was proclaimed as the Orange River Sovereignty, with a seat of a British Resident in Bloemfontein.

The armoured train, "Mosquito", carrying two 7-pounder cannons, [1] rifles, ammunition and supplies was derailed and after a five-hour fight the British surrendered the next morning. The cannons, rifles, ammunition, supplies and prisoners were taken. The Boer troops discovered British Mark IV ammunition (better known as dumdum) on the train. [2]

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This incident made De la Rey famous, but exacerbated his conflicts with the cautious and unimaginative Cronjé, who sent him to block the advance of the British forces moving to relieve the Siege of Kimberley in the north-east of the Cape Colony.

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References

  1. 1 2 "The First Shots of the War – 12 October 1899" Archived December 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine by Elria Wessels in KEUR, 2 October 1998.
  2. "Boer War" from History-net.com.