Why did the British win the Anglo-Boer War? The Boers had several chances to force favourable terms. However, they squandered whatever chance of victory they did have through bad organization and by making the wrong choices at crucial stages. At the beginning of the war, they had no coherent war plan beyond taking defensive positions and awaiting the British offensive, although geography dictated an offensive campaign into the two colonies. Even then they neglected taking up the most favourable positions. Later in the war, a sound plan to invade the two colonies again was nullified by distrust between the Boer generals. In contrast, after a disastrous start, the British did rather well, Lord Roberts conducting an excellent campaign, although he was badly mistaken in underestimating the Boers' determination to continue with a guerrilla war. Lord Kitchener tied the noose ever tighter by laying waste to the countryside and removing almost the entire civilian population to concentration camps. The writer has extensively used Boer sources to reconstruct the Boers' strategic and operational thinking and opens up their side for the first time in the English language.

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