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Vestigia, Reminiscences of Peace and War Charles à Court Repington

Vestigia, Reminiscences of Peace and War

Charles à Court Repington

Published September 12th 2013
ISBN : 9781230280486
Paperback
118 pages
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 About the Book 

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1919 edition. Excerpt: ... him when he landed on October 31 at Cape Town. Nor do I think that the wisdom of his decision to postpone the advance from Cape Colony upon Bloemfontein until he had cleared Natal and released Whites 13,000 men at Ladysmith can be seriously impugned. It was in Natal that the Boers were making their chief effort, and all the best of the Transvaal Boers were there. It was nothing to do with Buller that the Boers had the initiative. It was the inevitable result of policy, time, and distance. Sir Alfred Milner had declared that the loyal colony Natal would be defended by the whole strength of the Empire, and had Buller not made his chief effort in Natal, Ladysmith would have fallen and Natal had been overrun before any such advance on Bloemfontein as was practicable to us at that time, with such troops as we had, would necessarily or even probably have diverted the Transvaalers from their prey. It is not reasonable to suppose that the Army Corps could have effected in a few weeks a work that took 300,000 British troops nearly three years to carry out. Judging after the event, with all the facts, figures, and maps at our disposal, we see clearly enough that our home authorities had hopelessly miscalculated the strength and the nature of force to be employed, and had not the vaguest conception of the problem before us, whether with regard to our rebels, or the Boers, or geography. I need only recall, as a small example, the railway staff which we took with us on the Dunnottar Castle to organise railways in a region as large as Central Europe. This staff consisted of Girouard, one batman, one horse, and one groom. Girouard said on landing that he would spare the Government the expense of the horse and the groom, but would require a little...