One of the most significant wars of the 20th century is the (second) Anglo-Boer War (1899 to 1902).
In short, it was a battle between the British Empire and the two Boer republics in South Africa (or what was then considered to be South Africa). One of the triggers was the discovery of gold which led to an influx of “foreigners” mostly from the Cape Colony.
A number of interrelated factors led to the war, including conflicting political ideologies of imperialism and republicanism, the discovery of gold near Witwatersrand, tension between political leaders, the Jameson Raid and the Uitlander franchise.
After the first Anglo-Boer War the British Empire did not let go of its ambition to “unify” South Africa under imperial British rule. The two Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (also the Transvaal) still maintained their desire for independence.
The Boer republics were a stumbling block for the British Empire because the Boers were unbelievably brilliant fighters, in spite of being heavily outnumbered by the poms.
I watched a very good 30-minute summary on YouTube.
Sure, the Boers lost, but only because the British Empire was too overwhelming in the end. What matters is that the Boers held the British back for about two years, while the British thought that they’d defeat the Boers within a month or two and be home for Christmas.
Mark Weber is a historian and director at the Institute For Historical Review (IHR) and is one of the few individuals, that I’ve managed to track down, who knows a lot about the war.
Our conversation is largely based on his article about the Anglo-Boer War, which is recommended reading.