Colenso, Battle of


Colenso, Battle of
(1899)
   The third and most disastrous for British forces of three early engagements in the Second Boer War - the others being at Magersfontein and Stormberg - in which the Boer forces under General Louis Botha inflicted heavy losses on British regulars led by General Sir Redvers Buller. Buller subjected the Boers to a preliminary and ineffective bombardment before launching a frontal assault of three brigades against the Boer positions. As the Boers were in well-concealed trenches and firing Germanmade Mauser rifles loaded with smokeless cartridges, British forces were never sure of the exact location of their enemy. Buller’s forces suffered 145 killed, 762 wounded, and 220 missing or captured. Of Botha’s forces only 8 were killed and 30 wounded.
   FURTHER READING:
    Pakenham, Thomas. The Boer War. New York: Random House, 1979.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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