The Extent and Effects of German-Boer Collaboration During the First World War: A Comprehensive and Chronological Analysis

Christian De Jager


The Boer Rebellion of 1914 provides a fascinating example of how ethno-linguistic bonds can directly influence the development and formation of pragmatic military and political alliances. What had begun in the late nineteenth century as reciprocal perceptions of shared ethnic heritage had, by the fall of 1914, developed into an official military and political alliance between the German Empire and the Boers of South Africa. Contributing to scholarship in colonial military and cultural history, this essay offers an original interpretation of the often misrepresented and under-studied extent and effects of German-Boer collaboration during the First World War. The author makes use of sources in English, Afrikaans and German to provide a comprehensive account of the events, concluding that German-Boer collaboration was remarkably extensive and ultimately decisive for the course of the South-West Africa campaign and demonstrating the important link between military decision-making and cultural and political structures.

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