The Defense of Duffer's Drift

Topics: Second Boer War, Ernest Dunlop Swinton, Boer Wars Pages: 4 (2340 words) Published: November 4, 2014

The Defence of Duffer's Drift
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The Defence of Duffer's Drift
Author Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop SwintonLanguage English Genre Military art and science
Publisher W. Clowes & Sons, London, reprinted from the United Service Magazine Publication date 1904

Map of Duffer's Drift
The Defence of Duffer's Drift is a short 1904 book by Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton. It purports to be a series of six dreams by "Lieutenant Backsight Forethought" about the defence of a river crossing in the Boer War. The infantry tactics in the early dreams are disastrous, but each time BF learns something until in the final defence he is successful. Contents  [hide] 

1 History
2 Storyline
3 Lessons learned
4 Influence
5 References
6 External links
History[HYPERLINK "§ion=1"edit] The Defence of Duffer's Drift was published in 1904 when Swinton was a Captain. It appeared in the British United Service Magazine under the pseudonym, Lieutenant N. Backsight Forethought ("BF"), who is the narrator of the book. The book is an exploration of small unit tactics in a fictional encounter in the Boer War. Swinton served in South Africa during the Boer War, and the book "embodies some recollections of things actually done and undone in South Africa, 1899–1902." Lieutenant Backsight Forethought and his command of fifty men are given the task to defend Duffer's Drift, a natural ford to a river. A large force of Boers, unknown to BF, is moving toward his position. This scenario is played out six separate times, in six "dreams." In the early scenarios, BF and his British troops are ignominiously defeated. After each defeat, BF learns lessons and adapts his strategy for the later encounters. The later dreams end more inconclusively, and in the final dream, BF and his command successfully hold out long enough to be...
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