The Orange Free State's strategy to continue the Anglo-Boer War in July 1900: A lost opportunity?


  • Jaco de Bruin University of the Free State
  • André Wessels University of the Free State
  • Johan Henning University of the Free State



Anglo-Boer War, Orange Free State, Brandwater Basin


More than 4 000 Orange Free State (OFS) burghers, inclusive of their most senior officers, surrendered in the Brandwater Basin in the Eastern Orange Free State (OFS) during the period 30 July to 9 August 1900. It was a military catastrophe from which the OFS would never recover. This contribution endeavours to provide new perspectives on the events leading up to the surrender by evaluating the various strategic options considered by the OFS military command during July 1900 to continue the war. It appears that two basic strategies were considered. An analysis of these provides new insights into the confusion prevailing in the Brandwater Basin, as well as the lack of effective and decisive leadership, the contradictory decisions and the concomitant conflicting orders.


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How to Cite

de Bruin, J., Wessels, A., & Henning, J. (2011). The Orange Free State’s strategy to continue the Anglo-Boer War in July 1900: A lost opportunity?. Southern Journal for Contemporary History, 36(2), 112–134.




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