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Some reviews: 

My email inbox has been buzzing for some time with the most heart-felt and positive responses to the various podcasts I've hosted over the years. 

As we end 2022, I thought it an ideal moment to share some of these with you. 

Sam (South Africa) : I finished the Boer war podcast... and have picked up the Border war podcast. Have you thought of doing a cross over episode as I’m sure there was direct descendants of some of the characters you followed in the the Boer war series involved in the border war and surrounding events?

Now that is a great suggestion! I will take a look at this by the end of the Border War Series which still has some way to go. 

Jim (Wales)I have really enjoyed listening to both the Anglo Boer War and the Stalingrad podcasts in recent months.  Your voice is pleasant to listen to and the way you describe the historical events holds a person's attention.  I admire all the time and effort you have put into creating these two podcasts series.

That is such a lovely comment, the hours put into these projects are not funded directly, there is no sponsor so your comments are payback!

Political and social issues

A number of factors led to the  Anglo-Boer War including British imperialism and republicanism, the discovery of gold, tension between the uitlanders in Johannesburg (mainly English speaking) and Boers in Pretoria. The First Anglo-Boer War in 1881 led to defeat for the British but they wanted to control South Africa and unify the region under British rule. 


But the Orange Free State and the Transvaal maintained their desire for independence. The Boer republics were therefor a threat to the British Empire. 

After a series of negotiations, war was declared by the Transvaal and Free State Republics after an ultimatum to the British expired on 10th October 1899.  

Other series in the pipeline

There has been quite of planning going on here at AB War podcast alley - after years of comments from users and listeners. 

Some of the planned future podcasts include a follow up to the Anglo-Boer War series tracking the veterans into the First World War. 

Other listeners are suggesting a deep dive into the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 which has been covered by many other 

The Battle of Stalingrad listener group has asked for the Siege of Leningrad, or Kursk, or both!

I'm researching these suggestions and will make a decision soon. 

The Forces

The Boers had about 33,000 soldiers, and decisively outnumbered the British, who could move only 13,000 troops to the front line at the start of the war. The Boers army operated as companies of independent commandos. 

The British mobilised 180 000 men by 1900 making this the largest ever sent overseas. 

This war is split in two phases.  The first was dominated by a highly mobile Boer army which was roughly the same size as the British army. 

The second phase saw the British bring in tens of thousands more troops while the Boer numbers went into decline for a number of reasons. 

History of South Africa podcast 

This site is dedicated to my military podcasts. However, there are two other shows including History of South Africa and Plane Crash Diaries which are in production. 


History of South Africa Episode 1 was included in the Spotify Top Ten podcasts of 2022 in southern Africa. 

History of South Africa podcast_generic.png
Harvard University Crimson:
Opinions of Members of the Faculty on the South Africa Conflict.

Assistant Professor A. C. Coolidge says: "I believe that the Uitlanders have had many causes of just complaint, that the policy of the Boers has often been short-sighted and that England is acting as any other great power would probably act in her place. I sympathize with the Boers because they are fighting heroically for their national existence and for the right to govern their own land.


January 1900

The Times 
MP W. Burdett-Coutts

“…hundreds of men to my knowledge were lying in the worst stages of typhoid with only a blanket and a thin waterproof sheet between their aching bodies and the hard ground, with no milk and hardly any medicines, without beds, stretchers… with only three doctors to attend 350 patients. In many of these tents there were ten typhoid cases lying closely packed together, the dying with the convalescent, the man in his crisis pressed against the man hastening to it.”




     Take a community of Dutchmen of the type of those who defended themselves for fifty years against all the power of Spain at a time when Spain was the greatest power in the world. Intermix with them a strain of those inflexible French Huguenots who gave up home and fortune and left their country for ever at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The product must obviously be one of the most rugged, virile, unconquerable races ever seen upon earth.



— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, London

     You have to remember that although Gandhi and Churchill only met physically once, their paths crossed again and crossed again all over the globe, from London and South Africa and India and back to London. In fact, I discovered that during the Boer War in 1899 they literally passed yards from each other on the battlefield.



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