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Commando: A Boer Journal Of The Boer War
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Commando: A Boer Journal Of The Boer War

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  312 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Deneys Reitz was 17 when the Anglo-Boer War broke out in 1899. Reitz describes that he had no hatred of the British people, but "as a South African, one had to fight for one's country." Reitz had learned to ride, shoot and swim almost as soon as he could walk, and the skills and endurance he had acquired during those years were to be made full use of during the war. He fou ...more
Published (first published 1930)
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Mike Hankins
The Boer War of 1899 is perhaps a textbook example of dualities in war, and Deneys Reitz’s brilliantly vivid account: Commando: A Boer Journal of the Boer War embraces and examines these inherent polarities. Despite being published in 1929, it still reads as fresh as if it were published today, working both on the level of a primary account of the Boer War and as a subtle reflection on the nature of the war and its strange dichotomies. Reitz manages to accomplish this deftly with an engaging sty ...more
John Cass
Great first hand account of the Anglo-Boer war, from the perspective of an unusually astute young boer foot soldier.

Deneys Reitz not only saw a lot of action in the war, being involved in many of the most notable battles of which he gives a full personal account, but he also met many of the leaders and most prominent dignitaries involved in the conflict (Kruger, de la Rey, Smuts, Churchill, and others). As such, he is able to provide intimate details on the day to day life of the fighting men, a
Jan 09, 2013 Jason rated it it was amazing
This is first hand account of the 2nd Boer War from the perspective a young Boer soldier. The book is well written and the account shows the hardships of both conventional war and the guerrilla war that was fought thereafter.
Considering that this book was never written in the authors first language, it was a huge achievement.
This is a great read if you are into historical accounts from a first hand perspective.
Gerold Whittaker
The narrative of (later to be) Colonel Reitz who, as a 17-year-old, fought against the British in the Anglo-Boer War, and 30 years later commanded a British Regiment in France. If you have ties to South Africa, this book will be of interest to you as it is packed with history.
Aug 26, 2012 Predrag rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic. One of the most capable and brave Boer commandants wrote this memoir. Everybody who would like to more about the Boer War should read this. Also, Thomas Packenham: Boer War and memoirs of Jan Smuts.
Bas Kreuger
Jan 11, 2014 Bas Kreuger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Het boek van Reitz is een sterk en invoelbaar verhaal door zijn eenvoud van verteltrant en gewoonheid van het leven in oorlog. Reitz heeft een open oog voor de mensen in de strijd van Boer en Rooinek, van zijn medestrijders, de paarden en muilezels, de zwarte bedienden (die hij opvallend modern beschrijft) tot de Britten die weliswaar de tegenstander zijn, maar niet een hatelijke vijand.
Vooral het tweede deel over de guerillaoorlog die hij onder bevel van Jan Smuts voerde, op weg en in de Kaapko
Richard Mayer
Sep 24, 2014 Richard Mayer rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully written, the best memoir of the Anglo-Boer War by a burgher who was son of a President of the Free State who fought in almost all theatres of the conflict. It would make an epic motion picture or TV series as Reitz's escapades, adventures and narrow escapes which make for great reading would make for great viewing. This is the only book I have read three times - at 12, at 20 and 46. In the preface to the copy I have recalls the visit to Reitz one dark London afternoon in 1944 when he ...more
Katherine Graham
There is no better way to immerse yourself in history than by reading a first-hand account. I loved Reitz's gritty truthfulness, giving you an insider's peek into the hardships he endured as a Boer soldier in the Anglo-Boer War. It's incredible that he was involved in so many campaigns - Natal, the Orange Free State and the Northern Cape, which gives you a sweeping sense of the drama of the war. A hallmark of his writing is his unflinching honesty. I really hope this book gets made into a film s ...more
Aug 02, 2011 Fra007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a violent, tragic and moving story of men fighting against the British Empire, to defend their land... a lost cause for these soldiers, but an incredible courage and an unbreakable tenacity they had. This war was one of the first modern conflicts, with shells, dynamite bombings, concentration camps (created by the English !!) and scorched-earth strategy... Well-written and vivid storytelling styled. To my opinion a masterpiece of military history. Hail to the Boers.
Simon Green
Nov 11, 2014 Simon Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A seminal work and a must read to capture the spirit and the way the Anglo-Boer War was fought from the Boer perspective. Written soon after the end of the war it is highly descriptive and an east read. I was left with an over whelming feeling of admiration for this man, his views and impartiality.
Dave Glass
May 18, 2009 Dave Glass rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books. A must-read for any South Africans, or those with an interest in the Anglo-Boer war.
Aug 15, 2012 Gregarious rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Also read Packenham. Both books are
insightful and well-researched.
Mar 25, 2014 Relstuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy memoir because it usually takes you away from dry recitations of facts and lets you experience history thru the the thoughts and remembrances of people who were there. It gives history an added layer of humanity and reality. I've read just a little about the Boer war. A Henty book years ago perhaps and a book on Churchill's experiences. Reitz (pronounced "rates") was a older teen when the conflict started. He grew up hunting and riding horses and his experience stood him and his companio ...more
Julian Cribb
May 02, 2015 Julian Cribb rated it really liked it
One of the best and most vivid firsthand accounts of a personal wartime experience I have read (and I have read many). And possibly the most exceptional from the Second Boer War - Winston's adventures notwithstanding. Commando captures the valour, resolve and desperation of the "bitter enders" in their losing struggle against the might of the British Empire. It is a young man's perspective and thus naïve, but nonetheless, compelling. It throws a personal light on the more stilted (and political) ...more
David Pappas
Apr 21, 2016 David Pappas rated it it was amazing
An absolutely fascinating personal account of a scorched earth genocidal war mostly forgotten and wholly irrelevant by today's contemporary lights. This is not about strategy and tactics although those are found here, this is about one man's willingness to fight for his freedom against an oppressive world power willing to indulge in torture and concentration camps just to ensure its access to wealth. This is about introspection and observation from the viewpoint of a participant not a officer, n ...more
John Walters
Apr 02, 2016 John Walters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great book of derring-do. I'd love to know more of Reitz; he is a real Boy's Own hero. The book gained my respect in the way he described his enemy - the British as honest and humanitarian. He did not vilify or condemn them for their actions. General Roberts and Kitchener with their scorched earth and internment camp policy were criticised for lengthening the war and strengthening the Boer resistance by those action: a fair point. Well written and interesting to follow his journeys on Goo ...more
Jul 24, 2012 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reitz was certainly a hard-assed bastard, fighting wars in South Africa during the turn of the last century at age 17. The book details some of the battles he was in as he was starving and reduced to fighting while wearing nothing but a blanket and homemade sandals during the winter when the British cut off his supply lines.

It's a good biography, but it doesn't contain much direct information about his individual gunfights or tactics.
Sep 10, 2016 Garth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A fascinating and very readable account of one man's experiences and adventures in the Second Anglo-Boer War. Covers events that were untouched by history in my school days.

I enjoyed it so much I'm now reading his WW1 account, and plan to read his post-war book too.
Sherrie Lynn Grimes

It was very interesting I have heard of the boer war's but never Read a bout. People involved I enjoyed
Roland Elferink
Mar 31, 2015 Roland Elferink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating account of what the boer war was like from the boer's perspective. It was amazing that he actually survived unscathed when so many around him didn't.
Mar 25, 2010 Desmond rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, history
julian rated it really liked it
Dec 25, 2016
Johnny rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2014
Stephen A. Jones
Stephen A. Jones rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2016
Evert Bouwer
Evert Bouwer rated it it was amazing
Jul 12, 2015
Dennis R Foster
Dennis R Foster rated it liked it
Nov 18, 2016
Paul Erasmus
Paul Erasmus rated it it was amazing
Oct 13, 2015
Robert Eales
May 13, 2015 Robert Eales rated it really liked it
A wonderful book of adventure in war-time. Also important as a historical source.
Chris Amato
Chris Amato rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2016
Paul Probert
Paul Probert rated it really liked it
Oct 09, 2014
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