By Lock, Ron
The Battle for Spion Kop, 1900
The Battle of Spion Kop was fought during the campaign to relieve Ladysmith
Published By: Casemate
OUT OF STOCK
“A complete and detailed account of a devastating South African conflict, Includes Winston Churchill’s battle report”
The Battle of Spion Kop was fought during the campaign to relieve Ladysmith, South Africa, and was the single bloodiest episode in the campaign, as well as a harbinger of the bitter and desperate fighting still to come in the Second Boer War.
Spion Kop, just northeast of Ladysmith, was the largest hill in the region, being over 1,400 feet high, laying almost exactly at the centre of the Boer line. If the British could capture this position and bring artillery to the hill, they would command the flanks of the surrounding Boer positions.
On the night of 23 January 1900, a large British force under Major General Edward Woodgate was dispatched to secure the height, with Lt. Colonel Alexander Thorneycroft selected to lead the initial assault. However, the Boers refused to give up the position and a bitter two days of fighting ensued. In the initial darkness the British mistakenly entrenched at the centre of the hill instead of the crest, and suffered horribly from Boer marksmen clinging to the periphery. Suffering badly themselves, the Boers were finally inclined to admit defeat when they discovered that the British had retreated, leaving behind their many dead. Yet, in light of the devastation wrought on both sides, the British were finally able to rally and relieve Ladysmith four weeks later.
§ Back to list