Sunday 04th of August 2002 11:40 AM 
New Books on the Anglo-Boer War

Book jacket - The Bushveldt Carbineers and the Pietersburg Light HorseThe Bushveldt Carbineers and the Pietersburg Light Horse.

This book on the Bushveldt Carbineers and the Pietersburg Light Horse (which the name of the unit was changed to after the scandals) is the most comprehensively researched study yet written on the BVC and the men who filled its ranks. The book contains much background information which makes it easier to understand the war, the unit, its area of operations and the active service of the men involved.

The Bushveldt Carbineers is written for military historians, genealogists and readers who appreciate stories of the Boer War. The author's presentation of the trial of Morant and Handcock and the subsequent controversy arising from their executions makes this book a compelling read.


Click here or on the book cover to order this book from Slouch Hat Publications.



Book jacket - Shoot Straight You Bastards!Shoot Straight You Bastards!
The Book Australians have waited 100 years to read
By Nick Bleszynski: Foreword by Tim Fischer MP
Published: 2 February 2002 Price: $32.95 ISBN 174051081X

A larrikin, buckjumper, bush balladeer and rebellious spirit, 'Breaker' Morant was sent to fight a bloody battle that ended with himself centre stage in one of Australia's greatest military controversies.

27 February 2002 marks the 100-year anniversary of the execution of Second South Australian Mounted Rifleman, Lieutenant Harry 'Breaker' Morant and Lieutenant Peter Handcock. Found guilty by court martial of murdering Boer prisoners, both men claimed that they were acting under orders. The lies, deceit and political skullduggery that lay behind the executions are exposed for the first time in Nick Bleszynski's controversial new book 'Shoot Straight, You Bastards!'

As Tim Fischer, MP says in his foreword:
"There is no doubt this book is about a hundred years too late, but it is certainly a case of better late than never...a trumped up court martial, a conviction of guilty and subsequently the execution of two brave Australians on a clear blue morning, thousands of kilometres from their
If you wish to purchase this book when it comes out, please contact Kylie Field on or phone on 02-8923-9951


Book jacket - Words of War"Shells burst all round and pom-pom burst at my elbow, and, instead of killing me as it should have done, covered me with dust."

Listen to the Words of War from the letters of Australian soldiers fighting in the South African War, a century ago. Smell the dust of the dry South African veldt and hear the crash of shells and the cries of the wounded. In their own words, the young volunteers tell the story of Australia's first major military action. The bravery, the VCs, the deaths and destruction.
Words Of War takes you on an unforgettable journey back to the first war of the 20th century – the days of cavalry and Empire.
This book was supported by the Australian Government's Their Service – Our Heritage program.

Click here to purchase this book.


Christiaan De Wet, commander of the Boer forces in the Anglo-Boer War, had the ability to lead his burghers, many of them individualists, with a strong hand, subjecting them to his stringent discipline. He was also a masterful strategist who could anticipate the moves of his opponents. But it was his ability to evade the British forces in what became known as the 'First De Wet Hunt' that contributed significantly to his legendary status.

Lord Roberts, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in South Africa, believed that the capture of De Wet would lead to the end of the Anglo-Boer War. When therefore De Wet slipped over Slabberts Nek on 15 July 1900 , breaking through Lieutenant General Sir Archibald Hunter’s cordon and taking with him 2 000 Free Staters, including President Steyn and the government of the Orange Free State, Roberts organised a massive pursuit. From all sides British columns entered the chase. However, from July to August 1900 De Wet, along with 2 500 men, managed to evade the elaborate net Lord Roberts had so carefully prepared to ensnare him. In so doing, the ‘Boer Pimpernel’ ran rings around 50 000 British troops. Significantly, De Wet’s successful evasion of the British ultimately led to the adoption of guerilla tactics by the Boers.

This compelling story of a watershed event in the course of the war and the colourful personality of the man behind it, is masterfully told and brings an important personal dimension to the many books available on the Anglo-Boer War.

The University of Natal Press is proud to announce the publication of The Great Escape of the Boer Pimpernel, Christiaan de Wet - The Making of a Legend.

Click on the book for details and/or purchase

Covos Day Books succeeds "against all odds"

Excitement mounted among the staff of Covos Day Books at the Sefika Awards evening held on Tuesday 21 August, hosted by the Publishers' Association of South Africa, sponsored by Whittaker.
This young, independent, Johannesburg-based publishing house has been publishing books in earnest for the past three years, initially penetrating the market with non-fiction Africana titles, a niche market, it has successfully managed to root itself into. Covos Day Books is known in many circles as the leader in southern African military history publishing.
2000 saw its inception into the international market with distributors as far afield as Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. This year has brought with it Covos Day's expansion into other exciting publishing categories such as fiction, children's books, poetry and natural heritage. Next year sees Covos day testing the water with books as diverse as sports and political biographies, cooking and jazz. Though its growth has been more than expedient and all of its experience gained on a trial and error basis, Covos Day strives to maintain its reputation of Africana publishing, professionalism and individual, personal attention. With that in mind and the knowledge of a nomination for a Sefika Award the final announcement at the ceremony that Covos Day Books had actually won the Best Publisher "Against All Odds" Award, was indeed a sign of both its success in the publishing industry and a reflection of its future as a formidable competitor.
Covos Day had a wide selection of Boer War books, covering numerous aspects of the war as well as many regional battles, stories of heroes, oppressors, victors and the plights of the women and children involved in the war.
To better view these books and their contents visit Covos Day's website where you'll find them under the military category.

Fire in the Sky coverEx-Argus Man's Book Gets into the Top Ten

Fire In The Sky, the gruesome story of the destruction of the Orange Free State during the Boer War, by Cape Town author and former Argus journalist Owen Coetzer, has been chosen as one of the Top Ten South African books for the year 2000.

The list, compiled by The Star newspaper, is an annual listing of events under the headline Top 100 of the Year, in which there are 10 categories such as Newsmakers, Sports stars, and headings like Arts, Politics and Books.
Fire in the Sky comes in at No 9, selected by The Star's literary editor, James Mitchell.

The Top Ten books, fiction and non-fiction, are:

Hate No More, by Arthur Maimane (Kwela)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by JK Rowling (Bloomsbury)
The Merciful Woman, by Frederico Andahazi (Doubleday)
The Jukebox Queen of Malta, by Nicholas Rinaldi (Black Swan)
Tides of War, by Steven Pressfield (Doubleday)
The Rights of Desire, by Andre P Brink (Secker & Warburg)
Provocative Cuisine, by Kitchenboy (Zebra)
The Bang-Bang Club by Greg Marinovich & Joao Silva (Heinemann)
Fire in the Sky - The Destruction of the Orange Free State 1899-1902, by Owen Coetzer (Covos Day)
Like Water in Wild Places by Pamela Jooste (Doubleday)

Fire in the Sky publisher Chris Cocks says he is delighted with the accolade, and says: "Our warmest congratulations to Owen Coetzer. He is in some fine company here. The book has already gone into a second impression. It is a story that needs to be told today - and he tells it brilliantly."


A new historical novel by Sidney Allinson, titled KRUGER'S GOLD, is set in South Africa in 1902, during the Second Anglo-Boer War.

Lt. Harry Lanyard is a Canadian serving in the British Army with Howard's Scouts, an actual elite mounted unit of the time. He is released from a charge of murdering a prisoner so he may lead a patrol to recover fifteen million dollars' worth of gold bullion looted by "Oom Paul" Kruger, fugitive President of the Transvaal Republic. To do it, he must battle tough burgher commandos, roving bandits, hostile civilians, and a vengeful enemy spy among his own mutinous troopers. His staunchest supporter is Australian Sergeant Ned Coveyduck. Lanyard also strives to regain the love of his half-American Boer sweetheart, who is now allied with a ruthless Czarist agent.

The novel is based on many actual events, and meticulously researched in everyday details of the period. It conveys the war from both the Boer and British points of view. Though written as fast-paced fiction, KRUGER'S GOLD also conveys factual military realities and social conditions of the era, including British "scorched earth" policy, civil war among the Afrikaners, the oft-forgotten role of Anglo-South Africans, and the political split between Canadians for and against the war. It reveals the horrors of concentration camps and ruthless guerilla fighting, while over 27,000 white civilians and 30,000 black Africans died in the "last of the gentleman's wars".

Sidney Allinson is author of four previous published books, including "THE BANTAMS: The Untold Story of World War One, and JEREMY KANE: a Canadian historical adventure novel of the 1837 Mackenzie Rebellion and its brutal aftermath in the penal colonies of Australia. He is a past Director of the Royal Canadian Military Institute, Toronto, and now lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

"KRUGER'S GOLD" (Available September, 2001) 298 pages, maps, glossary, participants, bibliography. ISBN 0-7388-6585-0 Hardback ($25), 07388-6586-9 Trade Softback ($16). LOC 2001116470.
Published by Xlibris Corp.,436 Walnut
Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA.
Phone 1-609-278-0075.
Soon also available on-line via Amazon, Coutts, Indigo, Borders, Barnes & Noble.

Free sample chapter at:
To contact the author,
tel/fax: (250) 478-0457


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For further works on the war, see the Bibliography section.