If the Boer War(s) never happened?

Urist

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
1,372
#22
I think a war between the Boers and Brits was inevitable. If not over resources, then as a part of WW1. It is highly likely that the Boers would've sided with the Germans and then either during the war or at a later date they'd would've been defeated and subjugated by the British.
That brings up an even more interesting question of how WW1 could have turned out, if the Boers could have tipped the balance in favour of the central powers, would Britain still have have had the resources if one of the African colonies was pre-occupied with a civil war and they didn't have the wealth of resources coming from SA. The Boers wasn't a big power i the greater scheme of things, but they weren't pushovers either, and WW1 was quite balanced.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
4,358
#23
Hmm, wonder if Oranje Vrystaat and Transvaal would have remained separate republics, think SA may have been balkanised, would have sucked being landlocked, so maybe they would have invaded one of the coastal countries sparking war with Brittain anyway.
The Boer republics DID just that
Invaded Natal and the Cape ( British colonies WITH self government at the time )
Britian did not declare war OR invade the OVS or the ZAR

One wonders WHY the OVS had to get involved ?
NO Gold mines in the OVS in those days
Perhaps one needs to ask Steyn and De Wet ..........
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
4,358
#24
if the Boers could have tipped the balance in favour of the central powers, would Britain still have have had the resources if one of the African colonies was pre-occupied with a civil war .
The British would have called upon the INDIAN army -- at that time run by British Officers , who would have then taken care of SA
The British never used this army in 1899 - 1902 as it was meant to be a -- "White mans War"
Have a look at how many other GLOBAL conflicts the British were involved in during this time period.
 

Lupus

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
13,984
#25
That brings up an even more interesting question of how WW1 could have turned out, if the Boers could have tipped the balance in favour of the central powers, would Britain still have have had the resources if one of the African colonies was pre-occupied with a civil war and they didn't have the wealth of resources coming from SA. The Boers wasn't a big power i the greater scheme of things, but they weren't pushovers either, and WW1 was quite balanced.
Don't think it would've, the boers weren't large enough to tip the scales, push comes to shove the Yanks would've come in earlier and tipped the scales back in favour of the allies. The yanks for all their pomp do bring a sheer amount of numbers to the party.
 

Compton_effect

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
11,545
#26
The British would have called upon the INDIAN army -- at that time run by British Officers , who would have then taken care of SA
The British never used this army in 1899 - 1902 as it was meant to be a -- "White mans War"
Have a look at how many other GLOBAL conflicts the British were involved in during this time period.
Where the hell have you been? White man's war my ass.

Agterryers were either conscripted by the Boers or joined the commandos voluntarily. The Boers utilized agterryers for guarding spare ammunition, looking after the horses, cooking, collecting firewood and loading firearms. Not only were auxiliaries used in a labour capacity, but they were also used in fighting. Some photographs of Boer commandos and their agterryers attest to the fact that auxiliaries were armed during the war. Some of the Boers had a very strong attachment to their servants who had served them before the commencement of the war. Fransjohan Pretorius worked out the numeric ratio and concluded that a ratio of 1:4 or even 1:5 (agterryer pro rata to Boers) may be taken as realistic.(1) Pretorius has suggested that roughly 15 000 agterryers served in the war.(2) In his diary, C A Cronjé wrote about his agterryer, Kleinbooi Sabalana, and confirmed that he was given a rifle and fought in many battles. Keinbooi was only 15 years old when he joined the commandos, but proved himself to be brave in these battles.(3)

On 10 September 1899, C Bird, the Principal Under-Secretary for Native Affairs in Natal, instructed all white magistrates in the Natal Colony to appeal to Zulu ama-khosi to remain neutral in case of war between the Boers and the British.(4) In the kingdom of Zululand, this agreement was only observed until January 1900, when the Boers captured the Nquthu Magistracy, including the fifty Zulu policemen who were defending it.(5)

For many black people in South Africa, active involvement in the Anglo-Boer War was voluntary. In some cases, for instance, the Swazi wanted to settle old scores with the Boers who had confiscated their land before the war. Thus the Swazi people entered the war with a specific aim of reclaiming their land from the Boers.

Black despatch runners and scouts were an essential part ofthe system of field communication. R C A Samuelson, a member of the Natal Carbineers and the brother of the under-secretary for Native Affairs, was sent to Driefontein and Edendale to raise a unit of men for intelligence work, to be known as the Zululand Native Scouts. Samuelson served as an officer of the Natal Carbineers and not as the captain in charge of these men. The success of the unit indicates that these men worked amicably together and had a good relationship with each other.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
4,358
#27
BEFORE
You get all hot under the collar -- please note I said MEANT to be
I am QUITE aware of what actually happened
Fact remains the INDIAN army was NEVER called upon

You would do well to please note your references --
[EDIT]
Ok I see done under a quite confusing word link
Could you not have just typed -- "Black involvement in the South African War"
Instead of going all -- GUNG-HO
PS ;
I am a member of the organisation you reference
[/EDIT}
 

thestaggy

Honorary Master
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
13,765
#28
That brings up an even more interesting question of how WW1 could have turned out, if the Boers could have tipped the balance in favour of the central powers, would Britain still have have had the resources if one of the African colonies was pre-occupied with a civil war and they didn't have the wealth of resources coming from SA. The Boers wasn't a big power i the greater scheme of things, but they weren't pushovers either, and WW1 was quite balanced.
The outcome in Europe does not change, with the Allies emerging victorious. The African theater in WW1 was a sideshow, with little influence over what happened in Europe. So even if the Boers had the upper hand down here and took Natal and the Cape, they'd still be on the losing side and there are two outcomes here;

1 - Surrender conquered territory - and more - in peace agreements, as was the case with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
2 - Hold on to conquered territory and then deal with Britain returning after the war to reclaim her colonies.

Also, with British dominance over the seas as well as the southern African coastline, it would've been almost impossible for Boer troops to make their way to Europe.
 
Last edited:

Prawnapple

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
461
#29
I like questions like this, but believe it impossible to even fathom the difference it would have had on the world. Imagine if the car was invented 10-20 years later. Something like the car being created and being shifted forwards by such a small amount of time would change everything as we know it.
 

Cius

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
5,084
#30
Interesting question. The Boer war really shaped SA as it is today. Some of the bigger potential consequences:
1. Union of SA never happens, so SA would perhaps be 4 seperate countries, or perhaps 2 if the english and afrikaans area merged.
2. SA could well have joined Germany during WW1 and WW2, leaving us on the wrong side of the war and meaning we would have been invaded by England during both wars potentially.
3. Definitely a higher population. The Boer war took about 30K white lives and perhaps 150K black lives although the later is harder to estimate as no one kept records. Compared to the total population of the day that was a big chunk especially of the white Afrikaner population.

Anyways, these exercises are always academic. It happened. The 2nd war was not justified and was due to that snake Milner wanting to set himself up as Viceroy of SA like his mate in Egypt. He sabotaged the peace talks at every turn as revealed in his private letters and telegrams. I lay the blame mainly on him but a little on the Boers for using their government power to rip off the English miners on stuff like Dynamite prices etc. Both sides had their faults but Milner was the biggest cause.
 

Urist

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
1,372
#31
The outcome in Europe does not change, with the Allies emerging victorious. The African theater in WW1 was a sideshow, with little influence over what happened in Europe. So even if the Boers had the upper hand down here and took Natal and the Cape, they'd still be on the losing side and there are two outcomes here;

1 - Surrender conquered territory - and more - in peace agreements, as was the case with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
2 - Hold on to conquered territory and then deal with Britain returning after the war to reclaim her colonies.

Also, with British dominance over the seas as well as the southern African coastline, it would've been almost impossible for Boer troops to make their way to Europe.
I never pictured the Boers fighting in Europe, just the British maybe never even getting involved in the great war in the first place, and without the economic resources and experience they gained from South Africa, if they would have been powerful enough to stop the Germans, and maybe even the possibility to fight a WW1 and Boer War simultaneously being too daunting, with the poms not entering, it would have dissuaded the yanks to join as well, they had large german populations in their county as well, and weren't that keen on a war, the whole world might have looked different today, Nazis and Soviets might not even have been a thing.
 

thestaggy

Honorary Master
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
13,765
#33
I never pictured the Boers fighting in Europe, just the British maybe never even getting involved in the great war in the first place, and without the economic resources and experience they gained from South Africa, if they would have been powerful enough to stop the Germans, and maybe even the possibility to fight a WW1 and Boer simultaneously being too daunting, with the poms not entering, it would have dissuaded the yanks to join as well, they had large german populations in their county as well, and weren't that keen on a war, the whole world might have looked different today, Nazis and Soviets might not even have been a thing.
Conflict in Europe was inevitable. The creation of a German nation state had upset the status quo and guaranteed this. Overnight it had displaced France as the continental power and with colonial ambitions of its own (this means a fleet which directly threatens the Royal Navy), it had spooked both France and Britain.

Then there is still Austria-Hungary and the Balkans. That was always going to kick off and trigger something. European leaders had been warning about that for years.
 

Urist

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
1,372
#34
I think the combined boer republics and Südwest would have torn Natal and Cape a new one while the Brits were pre-occupied in Belgium.
 

Mortymoose

Honorary Master
Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
10,801
#35
WHY bring up this old contentious , emotional and hoary old bit of history NOW ?
Actually my Opening post of this thread was way back in August 2013, since then my interest in the Boer War after I managed to visit Magersfontein a few months back has increased....

What is of interest in particular is the young Afrikaaners of today seemed to have "forgotten" this integral part of their history.....
 
Last edited:

HunterNW

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
5,005
#36
Actually my Opening post of this thread was way back in August 2013, since then my interest in the Boer War after I managed to visit Magersfontein a few months back has increased....

What is of interest in particular is the young Afrikaaners of today seemed to have "forgotten" this integral part of their history.....
Even young black south africans don't know real history. Had a chat earlier to some of them about the bafokeng tribe, Rustenburg history etc.... Not a single one knew anything.
 

Mortymoose

Honorary Master
Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
10,801
#37
Even young black south africans don't know real history. Had a chat earlier to some of them about the bafokeng tribe, Rustenburg history etc.... Not a single one knew anything.
I was watching that movie on Youtube and was interested to see how much there was of black involvement in this so called "White's War" , there is a part where the black maid hid with the white Boer Tannie in caves up in the Eastern FS.......
 
Last edited:

HunterNW

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
5,005
#38
I was watching that movie on Youtube and was interested to see how much there was of black involvement in this so called "Black War" , there is a part where the black maid hid with the white Boer Tannie in caves up in the Eastern FS.......
Yip. Real history is a different story than what's being told around tables. FYI.... The boers and Tswana fought together against the Matabele early 1800's. Matabele was a common enemy to both parties.
 

rambo919

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
2,708
#39
The Boer republics DID just that
Invaded Natal and the Cape ( British colonies WITH self government at the time )
Britian did not declare war OR invade the OVS or the ZAR

One wonders WHY the OVS had to get involved ?
NO Gold mines in the OVS in those days
Perhaps one needs to ask Steyn and De Wet ..........
What a small scope of history and/or war you have. The invasions were defensive pre-empting a looming offensive British invasion of Transvaal.

The British had kept up a steady buildup of troops for the later coming invasion of Transvaal. Diplomatic ttempts were made to make the buildup stop but were essentially ignored. The OVS not only had alliance type agreements with Transvaal but knew they would eventually be next British ambition being what it was.

War being inevitable they invaded British Proxies that would have been conscripted anyway and conscripted as many as possible themselves. They had to do this quickly before the buildup grew too large which is how the war was prolonged initially.... basically fighting waves of reinforcements instead of the whole force at once. They could at this stage have won too except their head generals never adapted their tactics from earlier wars and were extremely arrogant. Later as the older generals fell away new one's (on both sides of the fight though faster for the Boere than the British) that actually understood the then modern combat took their places and further extended the war.

Basically it was a desperate fight against a giant that was only possible because of how contemptful and thus slow and stupid the giant initially was.... not unlike most modern American wars when it comes to actual strategy ignoring the politics.
 
Top