By A. Adu Boahen
This heritage bargains with the twenty-year interval among 1880 and 1900, while nearly all of Africa used to be seized and occupied via the Imperial Powers of Europe. Eurocentric issues of view have ruled the examine of this period, yet during this ebook, certainly one of Africa’s top historians reinterprets the colonial studies from the point of view of the colonized.
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Colonel Ian Hamilton, in overall command of the British infantry, had a score to settle with the Boers which had been outstanding for 19 years, ever since his wrist had been shattered at Majuba leaving his hand withered and claw-like, a wound subsequently applauded by the young Winston Churchill as a ‘glorious disfigurement’. Hamilton addressed the assembled infantry with a stirring speech, assuring them that news of their victory would be shouted through the streets of London by the following day.
There was utter confusion amongst the soldiers and sailors and some began to run back down the hill the way that they had come. Despite the efforts of brave men who tried to stem the rout, there was soon an avalanche of panicking troops bolting down the mountain. The ignominy of Britain’s finest soldiers fleeing in dismay before a riffraff army of farmers would be for the British almost impossible to comprehend as British soldiers were not supposed to flee: they fixed bayonets and died like British soldiers do.
Ingogo was fought days after Laings Nek, well before reinforcements arrived from around the Empire. However, by mid-February, troops by the thousands were disembarking in Durban. Accompanying the reinforcements was Brigadier-General Sir Evelyn Wood VC, one of Britain’s most distinguished fighting soldiers and undoubtedly an admired hero of the recent Anglo-Zulu War. The British Government hoped that he would assume command but, being junior to Colley in rank, Wood would have to serve as his subordinate; Colley promised Wood the honour of leading a column into the Transvaal.
African Perspectives on Colonialism by A. Adu Boahen