“Story of the War in South Africa: 1899-1900” is Alfred T. Mahan’s compelling rendition of the Boer War in South Africa which details the battles fought during the first half of the war.
Captain Alfred T. Mahan (1840–1914) was a US naval officer and strategic analyst. He was also a professor and president of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Arthur Conan Doyle made his reputation as a novelist, but far stranger than fiction is the creator of Sherlock Holmes’ tale of the Boer War in South Africa. The then 40-year-old novelist wanted to see the war first hand as a soldier, but the Victorian army balked at having a popular author wielding a pen in its ranks. The army did accept him as a doctor and Doyle was knighted in 1902 for his work with a field hospital in Bloemfontein.
Doyle’s vivid account of the battles is in part thanks to the eye-witness accounts he got from his patients. Doyle has thoroughly mastered the details of the campaign, and presents them in a form that can be easily understood. Furthermore, his descriptions of the various engagements are masterpieces of graphic writing.
By Deneys Reitz
A Boer Journal of the Boer War
(Revised in May 2009). Deneys Reitz was 17 when the Boer War broke out in 1899. Reitz describes that he had no hatred of the British people, but “as a South African, one had to fight for one’s country.” Reitz had learned to ride, shoot and swim almost as soon as he could walk, and the skills and endurance he had acquired during those years were to be made full use of during the war.