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Elandslaagte 7 months 1 week ago #70641

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Conan Doyle sets the scene the battle at Elandslaage:

While the Glencoe force had struck furiously at the army of Lucas Meyer, and had afterwards by hard marching disengaged itself from the numerous dangers which threatened it, its comrades at Ladysmith had loyally co-operated in drawing off the attention of the enemy and keeping the line of retreat open.

On October 20th--the same day as the Battle of Talana Hill--the line was cut by the Boers at a point nearly midway between Dundee and Ladysmith. A small body of horsemen were the forerunners of a considerable commando, composed of Freestaters, Transvaalers, and Germans, who had advanced into Natal through Botha's Pass under the command of General Koch. They had with them the two Maxim-Nordenfelds which had been captured from the Jameson raiders, and were now destined to return once more to British hands. Colonel Schiel, the German artillerist, had charge of these guns.

On the evening of that day General French, with a strong reconnoitering party, including the Natal Carabineers, the 5th Lancers, and the 21st battery, had defined the enemy's position. Next morning (the 21st) he returned, but either the enemy had been reinforced during the night or he had underrated them the day before, for the force which he took with him was too weak for any serious attack. He had one battery of the Natal artillery, with their little seven-pounder popguns, five squadrons of the Imperial Horse, and, in the train which slowly accompanied his advance, half a battalion of the Manchester Regiment. ...

It was about eight o'clock on a bright summer morning that the small force came in contact with a few scattered Boer outposts, who retired, firing, before the advance of the Imperial Light Horse. As they fell back the green and white tents of the invaders came into view upon the russet-coloured hillside of Elandslaagte. Down at the red brick railway station the Boers could be seen swarming out of the buildings in which they had spent the night.






Boers at a second Elandslaagte station building
Dr David Biggins
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Elandslaagte 7 months 1 week ago #70642

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View of the collieries around Elandslaagte.


Elandslaagte mine train


Elandslaagte colliery
Source: Cunliffe
Dr David Biggins
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Elandslaagte 7 months 1 week ago #70643

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View of the two hills defended by the Boers. The British advance came from the right.
Dr David Biggins
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Elandslaagte 7 months 1 week ago #70644

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The arrival of Boer transport at Elandslaagte.

Source: Rompel
Dr David Biggins
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Elandslaagte 7 months 1 week ago #70645

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The British view of the two hills occupied by the Boers

Picture courtesy of Pat Rundgren
Dr David Biggins
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Elandslaagte 7 months 1 week ago #70646

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The ground behind the two hills over which the cavalry charge took place.
Dr David Biggins
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