The Advance Of Lord Roberts Was Made, As His Wont Is, With Two
Widespread Wings, And A Central Body To Connect Them.
movement leaves the enemy in doubt as to which flank will really be
attacked, while if he denudes his centre in order to strengthen
both flanks there is the chance of a frontal advance which might
cut him in two.
French with two cavalry brigades formed the left
advance, Pole-Carew the centre, and Buller the right, the whole
operations extending over thirty miles of infamous country. It is
probable that Lord Roberts had reckoned that the Boer right was
likely to be their strongest position, since if it were turned it
would cut off their retreat upon Lydenburg, so his own main attack
was directed upon their left. This was carried out by General
Buller on August 26th and 27th.
On the first day the movement upon Buller's part consisted in a
very deliberate reconnaissance of and closing in upon the enemy's
position, his troops bivouacking upon the ground which they had
won. On the second, finding that all further progress was barred by
the strong ridge of Bergendal, he prepared his attack carefully
with artillery and then let loose his infantry upon it. It was a
gallant feat of arms upon either side. The Boer position was held
by a detachment of the Johannesburg Police, who may have been
bullies in peace, but were certainly heroes in war. The fire of
sixty guns was concentrated for a couple of hours upon a position
only a few hundred yards in diameter.
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