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Battle of Kraaipan, ABO 12 October 1899 – 13 October 1899

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  • Genl. Piet Cronje (1836 - 1911)
    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 ...
  • Generaal Koos de la Rey (1847 - 1914)
    General Jacobus Herculaas de la Rey (22 October 1847 - 15 September 1914), known as Koos de la Rey was a Boer general during the Second Boer War and is widely regarded as being one of the strongest mil...
  • Jacobus Francois Joubert (1874 - 1979)
    Toe hy 26 jaar oud was met die Anglo Boere Oorlog veg hy onder genl De La Rey en vkdt Cronje. By Magersfontein is 2 van sy broers (Gert Louis en Casper Hendrik) langs hom doodgeskiet en hy was lig gewo...
  • Daniel Johannes Stephanus Theron (1872 - 1900)
    Daniël Johannes Stephanus Theron, (9 May 1872 - 5 September 1900) , often called Danie Theron, was born in Tulbagh, Cape Colony, and raised in Bethlehem, Orange Free State. Originally trained as a sc...

Date: 12 October 1899 – 13 October 1899

Location: Kraaipan, Mafikeng, South Africa (26°17′49″S 25°18′23″E)

Result: Boer Victory

Belligerents: United Kingdom VS South African Republic and Orange Free State

From Wikepedia:

The Battle of Kraaipan was the first engagement of the Second Anglo-Boer War, fought at Kraaipan, South Africa on 12 October 1899.

On 11 October 1899 President Paul Kruger of the South African Republic in alliance with the Orange Free State declared war on the British. That night 800 men of the Potchefstroom and Lichtenburg commandos under General Koos de la Rey (one of General Piet Cronjé's field generals) attacked and captured the British garrison and railway siding at Kraaipan between Vryburg and Mafikeng, some 60 kilometres (37 mi) south west of Mafikeng.

Oswald Frank and Neel Maartins, who slept in a cart next to the breach in the rail, only realised that the train was on its way when they heard the whistle. Someone gave the alarm and the Boers took up position on the left and the right of the rail.

At 22:45 Field-cornet Coetzee fired the first shot of the war. The other men immediately started shooting.

The armoured train, "Mosquito", carrying two 7-pounder cannons, rifles, ammunition and supplies was derailed and after a five-hour fight the British surrendered the next morning. The cannons, rifles, ammunition, supplies and prisoners were taken.

At the start of the war there were 22 104 British soldiers in South Africa or on their way to South Africa. Their ranks were supplemented by reinforcements from Britain, Natal, the Cape Colony, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Britain and the colonies of the British Empire had a collective army of 1 053 865 men in October 1899.

On the Boer side there were 54 667 able-bodied men between 16 and 60 years. 32 353 were from Transvaal and 22 314 from the Free State. They received support from Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, America, Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Montenegro and Switzerland.

Boer Commandos

Commanders and Leaders

Troops under General Piet Cronje


Troops under General Koos de la Rey


Commonwealth Troops

Commanders and Leaders

Lieutenant RH Nesbitt