The author has endeavoured in this Handbook to compile, for the use of students and others, a general account of the various phases of the Boer War of 1899-1902, in which he served for twenty-six months.
With some exceptions, every statement of fact relating to the military operations may be verified in one or more of the following publications—
The "Times" History of the War;
The War Office Official History of the War;
The Minutes of Evidence taken before the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the War.
To the two Histories, which have been but recently completed, the Author is much indebted. Other authorities have, however, been consulted.
The Sketch Maps and Plans of certain areas and battlefields are only intended to give, by means of a few hachures, contours, and form-lines, a general impression of topographical features.
The Author has from time to time in the course of the narrative indicated what he believes to have been the chief causes of the prolongation of the War:—
The inefficacy of modern Tactics as a means of dealing with partisan warfare;
The moral reinforcement derived from a confident belief in the justice of a cause, by which the enemy was continually encouraged to persevere;
The reluctance of the British leaders to fight costly battles;
The constitutional inability of the British Officer to take War seriously;
The waste of British horses due to inexpert Horsemastership.