Roberts and Kitchener in South Africa


Rodney Atwood

Date Published :
February 2012
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
8 pages b/w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848844834

Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 272
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The British Army was shocked by three military defeats during one week in South Africa in late 1900. The commanding General Sir Redvers Buller lost his nerve. ‘Something must be done’ was the cry across the Empire. Britain sent forth not one, but two military heroes. Field Marshal Lord Roberts and Major General Lord Kitchener spent their first five weeks in South Africa restoring morale, reorganizing their forces and deceiving the enemy as to their intentions. In the next four weeks their offensive transformed the war: Kimberley and Ladysmith were relieved from Boer sieges and an enemy force of 4000 under General Cronje was captured on the Modder River. A long and bitter guerrilla war ensured in a terrain ideally suited to fast-moving Boer commandoes.

On the dark side, deeds were committed of which no civilized empire priding itself on justice and fair play could be proud, including the first use of ‘concentration camps’. The comradeship-in-arms of Roberts and Kitchener, their differing yet complementary personalities, their strategic and tactical decisions are described and assessed using a wide variety of sources including, personal papers and official correspondence. Through their resourcefulness the British Army, despite its unpreparedness and poor leadership at many levels, won a remarkable victory in the first of the twentieth century ‘People’s Wars’.

About The Author

Rodney Atwood BA PhD is a graduate of the McMaster University, Canada and Churchill College, Cambridge. He served in the Royal Tank Regiment before pursuing an academic career. While this is his first book with Pen and Sword, he is a published author. He is also a regular contributor to historical journals and a frequent lecturer.


“…examines the comradeship in arms of Roberts and Kitchener…draws from a variety of resources including their official correspondence and personal papers…272 pages of good reading…”

- Toy Solder & Model Figure

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