- Apr 25, 2006
It was a lot more complicated then that, there was issues with the "rights" given to English citizens trying to live in Johannesburg, eventually Cecil had to step in and try resolve the issue.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.