In the Battle of Nooitgedacht on 13 December 1900, Boer commandos led by Generals Koos de la Rey and Christiaan Beyers combined to deal a defeat to a British brigade under the command of Major General R. A. P. Clements during the Second Boer War.
Jacobus Herculaas de la Rey, better known as Koos de la Rey, was a Boer military officer who served as a general during the Second Boer War. De la Rey also had a political career and was one of the leading avocates of Boer independence.
The Second Boer War was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa. It is also known variously as the Boer War, Anglo-Boer War, or South African War. Initial Boer attacks were successful, and although British reinforcements later reversed these, the war continued for years with Boer guerrilla warfare, until harsh British counter-measures brought them to terms.
Lord Roberts captured Pretoria on 5 June and the armies soon passed to the east. After the guerrilla war began, a force under Clements harried the Boers in the Moot, a valley in the Magaliesberg mountains. By the end of the year, the British grew careless. On 2 December, De la Rey's commando ambushed an ox-wagon convoy east of Rustenburg, killing and wounding 64 British soldiers and capturing 54 men and 118 wagons. De la Rey's deputy, Jan Smuts had a close call when a bullet intended for him killed another Boer. The raiders appropriated the boots and clothing and burned the rest of the supplies, while setting their prisoners free.
Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, was one of the most successful British military commanders of his time. He served in the Indian Rebellion, the Expedition to Abyssinia and the Second Anglo-Afghan War before leading British Forces to success in the Second Boer War. He also became the last Commander-in-Chief of the Forces before the post was abolished in 1904. He was known and referred to as "Bobs". His son was called "Young Bobs".
Pretoria is a city in the northern part of Gauteng province in South Africa. It straddles the Apies River and has spread eastwards into the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the seat of the administrative branch of government, and of foreign embassies to South Africa. Pretoria has a reputation for being an academic city with three universities, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Human Sciences Research Council. The city also hosts the National Research Foundation and the South African Bureau of Standards making the city a hub for research. Pretoria is the central part of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality which was formed by the amalgamation of several former local authorities including Centurion and Soshanguve. There have been proposals to change the name of Pretoria itself to Tshwane, and the proposed name change has caused some public controversy.
Magaliesberg is a mountain range extending west and north from Pretoria, Gauteng to just south of Pilanesberg, and extending for some 50 km (31 mi) east of Pretoria where it peters out just south of Bronkhorstspruit. The highest point of the Magaliesberg is reached at Nooitgedacht, about 1,852 metres (6,076 ft) above sea level.
De la Rey scouted Clement's camp at Nooitgedacht for three days. The camp had good water supply and a nearby mountain allowed communication by heliograph with Major General Robert Broadwood at Rustenburg. However, the site was dominated on the north by a 300-metre (980 ft) mountain. A 1500-man commando led by General Beyers soon arrived, giving the Boers numerical superiority over their adversaries. Smuts later wrote, "I do not think it was possible to have selected a more fatal spot for a camp."
A heliograph is a wireless telegraph that signals by flashes of sunlight reflected by a mirror. The flashes are produced by momentarily pivoting the mirror, or by interrupting the beam with a shutter. The heliograph was a simple but effective instrument for instantaneous optical communication over long distances during the late 19th and early 20th century. Its main uses were military, survey and forest protection work. Heliographs were standard issue in the British and Australian armies until the 1960s, and were used by the Pakistani army as late as 1975.
Lieutenant General Robert George Broadwood, CB was Commander of British Troops in South China.
The Boer leaders soon agreed on a plan. Half of Beyers' men would stay behind to keep Broadwood from marching to the rescue. The remainder, about 1500 men, were split into three attacking groups. Beyers would lead his commando against 300 British pickets on the mountaintop. Beyers detached Commandant Badenhorst to attack the camp from the west. De la Rey would capture several kopjes in the Moot to the south. If all went well, Clements' brigade would be trapped and destroyed.
In the event, Badenhorst's column blundered into the British picket lines in the pre-dawn darkness. In a brief fusillade at close range, the Boers were driven back, with losses on both sides. The alerted British now manned their defensive positions. Beyer then launched his attack on the mountaintop, but his tired men were soon stopped by sturdy resistance from the Northumberland Fusiliers. After witnessing De la Rey's initial attack being repulsed in the valley below, Beyer's men became inspired and stormed the British positions on the mountaintop.After losing about 100 casualties, Captain Yatman surrendered at about 7:00 am. Reinforcements climbing the mountain lost heavily when Beyers' men suddenly poured fire into them.
That morning it was too hazy to flash a message to Broadwood, so Clements was entirely on his own. Meanwhile, De la Rey and Smuts had managed to capture all the kopjes in the Moot except one, Yeomanry Hill (Hartebeestfontein). Clements alertly and swiftly concentrated his survivors on this position. At 8:00 am, the British drove away a group of Boers who had gained a foothold on Yeomanry Hill. They then worked furiously to make the hill defensible. A 4.7-inch naval gun was even saved by rolling it downhill from its original perch and dragging it back to the main British position.
Meanwhile, the men under Beyers turned aside to loot the British camp and nothing the Boer general could do would get them back to the battle. One Boer remarked, "We were refitted from head to heel."At 4:00 pm, Clements and the remnant of his brigade rode off with his artillery toward Pretoria. Their retreat was virtually unopposed because the Boers were exhausted and by this time De la Rey's men had joined the other Boers in plundering the enemy camp.
Thanks to his quick response to the crisis, Clements saved his brigade from annihilation. However, the general lost half his brigade due to his poor choice for a camp. The Imperial forces suffered no consequences from their defeat aside from the casualties suffered and the supplies lost. Within a short time, a column under Clements was again harassing the Moot.
The Maritz rebellion, also known as the Boer revolt or Five Shilling rebellion was an armed insurrection which occurred in South Africa in 1914 at the start of World War I, led by Boers who supported the reestablishment of the South African Republic in the Transvaal. Many members of the government were themselves former Boers who had fought with the Maritz rebels against the British in the Second Boer War, which had ended twelve years earlier. The rebellion failed, and the ringleaders received heavy fines and terms of imprisonment.
Nicolaas Pieter Johannes Janse van Rensburg was a Boer from the South African Republic – also known as the Transvaal Republic – and later a citizen of South Africa who was considered by some to be a prophet of the Boers. Consequently, his nickname became Siener. Van Rensburg's visions were typically wrapped in a patriotic, religious format, and have been interpreted by believers as predictions of future events. During the Boer War he became a trusted companion, if not advisor to General de la Rey and President Steyn. The extent of his influence with these figures is disputed, though the devoutly religious de la Rey seemed to have considered him a prophet of God.
The Battle of Modder River was an engagement in the Boer War, fought at Muddy River, on 28 November 1899. A British column under Lord Methuen, that was attempting to relieve the besieged town of Kimberley, forced Boers under General Piet Cronjé to retreat to Magersfontein, but suffered heavy casualties themselves.
Jan Christiaan Smuts, OM was a prominent South African and Commonwealth statesman and military leader. He served as a Boer General during the Boer War, a British General during the First World War and was appointed Field Marshal during the Second World War. In addition to various Cabinet appointments, he served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 to 1924 and from 1939 to 1948. He played a leading part in the post war settlements at the end of both world wars, making significant contributions towards the creation of both the League of Nations and the United Nations.
The Battle of Colenso was the third and final battle fought during the Black Week of the Second Boer War. It was fought between British and Boer forces from the independent South African Republic and Orange Free State in and around Colenso, Natal, South Africa on 15 December 1899.
The Battle of Magersfontein was fought on 11 December 1899, at Magersfontein near Kimberley, South Africa, on the borders of the Cape Colony and the independent republic of the Orange Free State. British forces under Lieutenant General Lord Methuen were advancing north along the railway line from the Cape in order to relieve the Siege of Kimberley, but their path was blocked at Magersfontein by a Boer force that was entrenched in the surrounding hills. The British had already fought a series of battles with the Boers, most recently at Modder River, where the advance was temporarily halted.
The Battle of Belmont was an engagement of the Second Boer War on 23 November 1899, where the British under Lord Methuen assaulted a Boer position on Belmont kopje.
The Battle of Diamond Hill (Donkerhoek) was an engagement of the Second Boer War that took place on 11 and 12 June 1900 in central Transvaal.
The Battle of Rooiwal was an engagement of the Second Boer War. It took place on 11 April 1902 and resulted in a victory by a British force commanded by Colonel Robert Kekewich over a Boer commando led by Generals Ferdinandus Jacobus Potgieter and Jan Kemp.
The Battle of Bothaville (Doornkraal) on 6 November 1900 was a rare defeat of Christiaan de Wet's Boer commando at the hands of a force of British Mounted Infantry (MI).
In the Battle of Blood River Poort or Scheeper's Nek on 17 September 1901 a Boer commando led by Louis Botha crushed a British force commanded by Major Hubert Gough during the Second Boer War.
The Battle of Elands River took place near the Elands River Poort mountain pass on 17 September 1901 during the Second Boer War. During the battle a Boer raiding force under Jan Smuts destroyed a British cavalry squadron led by Captain Sandeman, a cousin of Winston Churchill, on the Modderfontein farm. This battle is therefore also known as the Battle of Modderfontein.
In the Battle of Groenkop on 25 December 1901, Head Commandant Christiaan de Wet's Boer commando surprised and defeated a force of Imperial Yeomanry under the command of Major Williams.
In the Battle of Tweebosch or De Klipdrift on 7 March 1902, a Boer commando led by Koos de la Rey defeated a British column under the command of Lieutenant General Lord Methuen during the final months of the Second Boer War.
In the Battle of Groenkloof on 5 September 1901, a British column under Colonel Harry Scobell defeated and captured a small Boer commando led by Commandant Lotter in the Cape Colony during the Second Boer War.
The Battle of Elands River was an engagement of the Second Boer War that took place between 4 and 16 August 1900 in western Transvaal. The battle was fought at Brakfontein Drift near the Elands River between a force of 2,000 to 3,000 Boers and a garrison of 500 Australian, Rhodesian, Canadian and British soldiers, who were stationed there to protect a British supply dump that had been established along the route between Mafeking and Pretoria. The Boer force, which consisted of several commandos under the overall leadership of Koos de la Rey, were in desperate need of provisions after earlier fighting had cut them off from their support base. As a result, they decided to attack the garrison along the Elands River in an effort to capture the supplies located there.
Bloemhof Commando was a light infantry regiment of the South African Army. It formed part of the South African Army Infantry Formation as well as the South African Territorial Reserve.
The Battle of Boshof was a battle fought during the Second Boer War on 5 April 1900 between British forces and mostly French volunteers of the Boer army.
Major General Ralph Arthur Penrhyn Clements,, commonly known as R. A. P. Clements, was a senior British Army officer.