Colenso 1899 The Boer War in Natal
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In 1899 Great Britain was at the height of its Imperial power. The Queen Empress had been on the throne for more than 50 glittering years, and her domain touched upon every continent. Yet, even at this pinnacle of Imperial pomp and majesty, the British army, guardian of the Empire in countless wars across the globe, was destined to be humiliated by poorly-organised citizen militia consisting of men whom the British professionals despised as back-wood farmers. In one week in December 1899 the farmers of the South African Boer Republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal inflicted three serious reverses on British troops.