British Brutality toward the Boer Population When Fighting the Boer Guerrilla Fighters

Pages: 2 (883 words) Published: February 25, 2013
I agree that the way the British soldiers treated the Boer fighters and civilians was in fact brutal. With the use of the ‘refugee camps’ and the scorched earth policy it made them seem that much more brutal. Sources P, Q and R all offer different insights into how brutally British soldier dealt with the Boer guerrilla fighters during the Second Boer war in 1899, with evidence to support the brutality of it all. Source R strongly agrees that the British treated the Boers badly, particularly the women and children, with this being said the source also has elements of disagreements. At a first glance source Q seems to disagree but that disagreement is later challenged within the source. Source P takes an agreeing approach to the statement. From the sources it appears that the way the British dealt with the Boers was brutally, but how brutal were they when trying to defeat the Boers guerrilla fighters is debatable. There is evidence in source Q and elements of source R would support the fact that the British soldier didn’t treat the Boers brutally. Source Q explains that ‘The English did burn down farm houses, but never shot the people within them’ and ‘Of course, brutal treatment did occur, but mostly the Boer prisoners were treated with respect.’ This links in with a certain part of source R where it ways ‘The high death rate was the result of incompetence and lack of foresight on the part of the British military authorities.’ The scorched earth policy was brought in by Kitchener, it involved British soldiers going into the Boer farm houses, evacuating them and then burning them down. By burning the houses down Boer men couldn’t use their farm houses as a way of hiding from the British and the women couldn’t resupply their men during the guerrilla warfare. The policy itself isn’t considered to be a brutal tactic as it wasn’t killing or harming anyone; if killings were taking place then this would have made it brutal. The none-brutality of this tactic suggests...
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