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Hence Olivier proposed that every single male be called up in order to force the ‘jingoes’ to leave town. 31 This forced all male citizens of the Cape Colony – British citizens – to rebel against their lawful government and to commit high treason. 34 This obviously placed the Cape Afrikaners before a considerable dilemma. Although they were generally sympathetic towards the Boer cause, they were reasonably happy under the Colonial authorities and had no particular axe to grind. In fact they were very loyal to Queen Victoria, against whom they were now forced to rebel.

28 Having provided the theoretical background we can now evaluate the demands of the practical situation on the eve of the Anglo-Boer War on the British and the Boer war plans. Two factors dominated the strategic and operational situation: the relative geographic location of the two Boer republics in a sea of British territory (which will be elucidated shortly) and the increasing importance of the railways. The railways started playing an increasingly important role during the second half of the nineteenth century.

S. Heilbron Kroonstad SWAZILAND Frankfort Bethlehem Harrismith Winburg Ladysmith Colenso je Estcourt la an BLOEMFONTEIN e Tug Or Kimberley Dundee NA TA L Johannesburg N PIETERMARITZBURG Or BASUTOLAND je an Durban De Aar Colesberg Noupoort Bethulie Stormberg Burgersdorp n Beaufort-Wes a ce CAPE COLONY East London Port Alfred Port Elizabeth Map 3 The Ideal Defensive Positions of the Boers, 1899 n ia O d In Railway line River Border The Boer Offensive 29 The Battle of Talana Hill near Dundee followed between the combined Transvaal commandos and a contingent of British troops.

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