Pieter Arnoldus Cronje, Generaal (1836 - 1911) MP

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Nicknames: "Piet Cronjé"
Birthplace: Colesberg, Bo-Karoo, Northern Cape, South Africa
Death: Died in Ventersdorp, North West, South Africa
Occupation: Soldier, Generaal
Managed by: Douw Gerbrand Steyn b1c8d2e7f2g1h4i2j2
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About Pieter Arnoldus Cronje, Generaal

Pieter Arnoldus Cronjé, commonly known as Piet Cronjé (Colesberg, Cape Colony, 4 October 1836 – Potchefstroom, Transvaal, 4 February 1911) was a general of the South African Republic's military forces during the Anglo-Boer wars of 1880-1881 and 1899-1902.

Born in the Cape Colony but raised in Transvaal, Cronjé made his reputation in the First Boer War, besieging the British garrison at Potchefstroom. He had a distinctive appearance, being short with a black beard and was reputed to have considerable personal courage.

He was in command of the force that rounded up Jameson at Doornkop at the conclusion of the Jameson Raid on 2 January 1896. During the Second Boer War Cronjé was general commanding in the western theatre of war. He began the sieges of Kimberley and Mafeking. At Mafeking, with a force varying between 2,000 and 6,000 he laid siege against 1,200 regular troops and militia under the command of Colonel Robert Baden-Powell.

His novel tactics at the Battle of Modder River, where his infantry were positioned at the base of the hills instead of on them (in order to increase the effectiveness of their rifles' flat trajectories) earned him a place in military history.[citation needed] However the tactics ascribed to him were not his own; he was convinced by General Koos De La Rey and President M.T. Steyn.

He was an attritionist and did not see the value in manoeuvre battles. He was defeated at the Battle of Paardeberg where he surrendered with 4000 men being enveloped by Lord Roberts forces

After his surrender with 4,150 of his commandos at Paardeberg on 27 February 1900, he was imprisoned as a prisoner of war in St. Helena Island where he remained until the conclusion of peace negotiations in 1902. Boer morale sank after his defeat, with the capital Bloemfontein taken without a shot being fired.

On 11th April 1900, (Jackson says 14th) the troopship SS Milwaukee, escorted by HMS Niobe, arrived off St Helena with 514 Boer prisoners on board including the Boer General Piet Cronje, (accompanied by his wife), who had surrendered on the 27th February with 4,000 of his men to Lord Roberts after the battle of Paardeburg. He left, with 994 other prisoners, on board the Tagus on August 21st 1902.

Wikipedia: Piet Cronje participated in this "Military spectacle"

Anglo-Boer War Concession

Frank Fillis produced what was supposedly "the greatest and most realistic military spectacle known in the history of the world". Different portions of the concession featured a British Army encampment, several South African native villages (including Zulu, Bushmen, Swazi, and Ndebele) and a 15-acre (61,000 m2) arena in which soldiers paraded, sporting events and horse races were held and major battles from the Second Boer War were re-enacted twice a day. Battle recreations took 2–3 hours and included several Generals and 600 veteran soldiers from both sides of the war. At the conclusion of the show, the Boer General Christiaan de Wet would escape on horseback by leaping from a height of 35 feet (11 m) into a pool of water. Admission ranged from 25 cents for bleacher seats to $1.00 for box seats, and admission to the villages was another 25 cents. The concession cost $48,000 to construct, grossed over $630,000, and netted about $113,000 to the Fair—the highest grossing military concession of the Fair.

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Generaal Piet Cronje's Timeline

1836
October 4, 1836
Colesberg, Bo-Karoo, Northern Cape, South Africa
1857
December 24, 1857
Age 21
1860
1860
Age 23
1904
June 28, 1904
Age 67
1911
February 4, 1911
Age 74
Ventersdorp, North West, South Africa
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