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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Scandinavians and the Boer War
Author:Eklund, S.O.
Periodical:South Africa International
Geographic term:South Africa
Anglo-Boer wars
History and Exploration
Abstract:This article deals with an historical topic hardly known to anyone: the role played by the Scandinavian community in the affairs of the Transvaal Republic from the 1890's up to the time of the Anglo-Boer war. The contribution of the small body of Scandinavians who participated in the battle of Magersfontein (1900) under the command of General Gronjé to the fighting potential of the Boer forces, meagre though it may have been, was characterized by an idealism that scarcely seems to have fitted into the times of Rhodes and Kitchener. What motivated those Scandinavians to enter the fray in support of the Boer republics, who were poor, virtually unarmed and wholly untrained in the military arts, against an opponent so obviously superior in resources and technology? The Scandinavian Corps came into being through the efforts of Christer Uggla and Johannes Flygare, a surveyor from Natal. The Corps initially comprised 46 Swedes, 23 Danes, 13 Norwegians, 18 Finns, 7 Germans, 4 Hollanders, one Italian and one Russian. The corps' background is exposed and the motivations of its members to enlist are traced.