The essays in this volume concentrate on imperial conflict. Until recently, most historians of empire have concerned themselves with economic issues. More recently, scholarship has turned to social and cultural aspects of Empire. The role of the military, however, continues to be largely ignored. Historians have traditionally viewed the military as an arm of the civil power, an institution which did not create policy but faithfully obeyed the directives given to it. These essays show that indeed the military thought for itself: its officers made policy, introduced new strategies and tactics, and utilized the services of local settlers and indigenes to pursue the interests of empire, and the rank and file informed ideas in Great Britain concerning Africa and Africans.
Contributors are Edward M. Spiers, Ian F.W. Beckett, Bill Nasson, John Laband, Paul Thompson, Fransjohan Pretorius, Tim Stapleton, Ian van der Waag, James Thomas, Jeffrey Meriwether, and Bruce Vandervort.
Stephen M. Miller, Ph.D., F.R.Hist.S. is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maine. He is the author of
Lord Methuen and the British Army (Cass, 1999) and
Volunteers on the Veld: Britain's Citizen Soldiers and the South African War (Oklahoma, 2007).
Table of contents
1. Introduction // Stephen M. Miller
The Experience of Soldiers in South Africa
2. “Valuable, Gallant and Faithful Assistants”: The Fingo (or Mfengu) as Colonial Military Allies during the Cape-Xhosa Wars, 1835-1881 // Tim Stapleton
3. African Levies in Natal and Zululand, 1838-1906 // John Laband & Paul Thompson
4. From Mercenaries to Military Settlers: The British German Legion, 1854-1861 // John Laband
5. Blacks who backed the Boers: Republican Commando Auxiliaries in the Anglo-Boer or South African War, 1899-1902 // Bill Nasson
Shaping the Politics of Africa
6. British Military Perspectives on Africa in the Late Nineteenth Century // Edward M. Spiers
7. War Secretaries and their Commanders-in-Chief: South Africa, Professional Rivalries, and the Politics of Reform // Jeffrey Lee Meriwether
8. Confronted with the Facts: Why the Boer Delegates at Vereeniging Accepted a Humiliating Peace to End the South African War, 31 May 1902 // Fransjohan Pretorius
The Role of Officers in Africa
9. Manipulating the "Modern Curse of Armies": Wolseley, the Press, and the Ashanti War, 1873-1874 // Ian F. W. Beckett
10. Sir Redvers Buller and the South African Light Horse // James Thomas
11. Rural Struggles and the Politics of a Colonial Command: The Southern Mounted Rifles of the Transvaal Volunteers, 1905-1912 // Ian van der Waag
12. New Light on the East African Theater of the Great War: A Review Essay of English-Language Sources // Bruce Vandervort
All those interested in military history, African history, colonial history and the history of the British Empire.