DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
B COMPANY, 442nd SIGNAL BATTALION
FORT GORDON, GEORGIA 30905
17 Feb 12
MEMORANDUM FOR TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, WOBC
SUBJECT: Book Review on The Defence of Duffers Drift by Ernest Swinton
1. The Defence of Duffers Drift was written by British Major General Ernest Swinton. Swinton’s main focus was to portray a series of events or battles he commanded during the South African War, occurring from 1899-1902. As a brand new officer, Swinton was giving the mission to protect Duffers drift at all costs. With no combat experience, this young officer had to devise a plan to protect his soldiers and to successfully complete his mission. As one reads this book they will gain knowledge and insight as to how one person can prevail by accumulating tactical combat mistakes and then devise a plan to use this power to defeat the enemy.
2. The first dream in the book tells a story of a brand new officer given a chance to have an independent command. His only guidance was to protect Duffers drift. This officer, Swinton, had no battle experience and only knew defensive measures from reading historical documents on the Battle of Bulls Run, Waterloo and Sedan. The first day, Swinton, his NCO’s, and soldiers did nothing to shield themselves from the enemy. They pitched tents, had bonfires, and even allowed farmers to walk around, talk, and sell goods on their camp. Needless to say, the operating base was never concealed and the troops advertised their positions freely. Their main source of communications from their sentries was for them to yell every thirty minutes back to camp to say they were good. This gave away all guard posts. All the soldiers not on duty fell asleep. They were awakened by gun fire and then enemy surrounding their camp with the farmer being a part of the crew ambushing them. The surviving soldiers to include Swinton were hauled off by the Boer enemy and stripped...
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