The Great Boer War By Arthur Conan Doyle












 -  It began with a heavy shell-fire and with a
demonstration of rifle-fire from every side, which had for - Page 240
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It Began With A Heavy Shell-Fire And With A Demonstration Of Rifle-Fire From Every Side, Which Had For Its Object The Prevention Of Reinforcements For The True Point Of Danger, Which Again Was Caesar's Camp At The South.

It is evident that the Boers had from the beginning made up their minds that here lay the key of the position, as the two serious attacks - that of November 9th and that of January 6th - were directed upon this point.

The Manchesters at Caesar's Camp had been reinforced by the 1st battalion 60th Rifles, who held the prolongation of the same ridge, which is called Waggon Hill. With the dawn it was found that the Boer riflemen were within eight hundred yards, and from then till evening a constant fire was maintained upon the hill. The Boer, however, save when the odds are all in his favour, is not, in spite of his considerable personal bravery, at his best in attack. His racial traditions, depending upon the necessity for economy of human life, are all opposed to it. As a consequence two regiments well posted were able to hold them off all day with a loss which did not exceed thirty killed and wounded, while the enemy, exposed to the shrapnel of the 42nd battery, as well as the rifle-fire of the infantry, must have suffered very much more severely. The result of the action was a well-grounded belief that in daylight there was very little chance of the Boers being able to carry the lines.

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