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The Refights
The Re-fight of Colenso, 15-19 May 2000

We have re-fought Colenso at the Centre of Conservation Education (The Education Museum) the first time during the week of 15-19 May 2000, where the British Field Force has once again been beaten off by the Boer Forces under Louis Botha, despite attempts to fling in all four infantry brigades and the cavalry brigade simultaneously. Highly effective rifle and gun fire from the Boer positions caused havoc under the British, who was battling to locate the drifts. The gunners, once again, got the bulk of the guns under direct enemy rifle fire, losing four guns before being able to unlimber, and forced to withdraw, thereby losing the ability to fully support the attacking infantry. The British General was just unable to exercise enough command and control to get the guns effectively deployed and firing. Out of 39 guns, a single battery of six guns finally started bombarding Boer positions, while the Naval Guns, tasked with counter-bombardment, could only manage a single half-hour bombardment on two Boer guns, but to no effect. In the end the British located a single drift on the far left flank, but there was no time left to cross it and attempt a flanking move. They took the town of Colenso and the 13th Hussars drove a kommando out of a donga on the right with only slight casualties. That was the only successes the British could experience. The Boers lost a total of 5 dead and some 32 wounded, while we are still counting the British casualties - expected to exceed 500!

Here's some pictures of the battlefield as exhibited at the Centre:

 







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