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Volunteers on the Veld: Britain's Citizen-Soldiers and the South African War, 1899-1902 (Campaigns and Commanders) Hardcover – December 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0806138640 ISBN-10: 0806138645

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Product Details

  • Series: Campaigns and Commanders (Book 12)
  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (December 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806138645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806138640
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,374,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Stephen M. Miller is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Maine. He is the author of Lord Methuen and the British Army: Failure and Redemption in South Africa.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Lynn on October 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
VOLUNTEERS ON THE VELD: BRITAIN'S CITIZEN-SOLDIERS AND THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR, 1899-1902
STEPHEN M. MILLER
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA PRESS, 2007
HARDCOVER, $29.95, MAPS, PHOTOGRAPHS, 236 PAGES

The British Empire suffered one of its greatest crises as the 19th Century ended. In December, 1899, the Boers inflicted three reverses on the regular British Army in South Africa in "Black Week". A nation grown accustomed to success was stunned. Part of the answer was a very British blend of patriotism and pragmatism. For the first time, civilian volunteers and part-time soldiers were allowed to fight overseas, sparking a popular frenzy. The main rush to join up came as the new century dawned and, by the end of the Boer War, more than 90,000 men had volunteered to serve. Much of the sporting high society joined the newly formed Imperial yeomanry. The volunteers sent infantrymen to serve alongside the regulars and the City of London financed the raising of the City Imperial Volunteers. Men also came forward from the colonies. The involvement of civilians and part-timers horrified traditionalist professional soldiers but it changed the Boer War from the last of the 19th Century's colonial campaigns into the first of the 20th Century's national conflicts. Rudyard Kipling caught the mood with his poem entitled The Absent-Minded Beggar (also known as A Gentleman In Khaki). These volunteer units were sent to South Africa amid a wave of jingoistic enthusiasm with little training and, as this book describes, their contributions to Britain's war effort ranged from the heroic to the farcical. In VOLUNTEERS ON THE VELD: BRITAIN'S CITIZEN-SOLDIERS AND THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR, 1899-1902, author Stephen M.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm Abrams on December 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Miller's book provided the definitions, the distinctions in the constitution, motivation and military skill, among the many volunteers entities participating for the British in the the Anglo-Boer War. Too many military history books fail to provide such needed clarifications. Miller's successful effort should be applauded, and hopefully should provide a standard for other military history authors.
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