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SOME CONSIDERATIONS WHEN WARGAMING THE BOER WAR
· Armoured Trains. Used for scouting and supply. Armoured truck either side of the train.
· Balloons. Used at Ladysmith, Colenso, Modder River and Paardeberg. The Royal Engineer Balloon Corps in 1900 consisted of one section of three officers and 31 other ranks.
· Barbed Wire. Not extensively used except for farm fencing and linking blockhouses (3,700 miles). The Boers put rolls of barbed wire in the river at a bridge crossing at Modder River.
· Blockhouses. Twenty experienced men could build three blockhouses in two days. An infantry battalion could garrison up-to 38 (a Subaltern commanding three or four). 8,000 were built.
· Field Telegraph. 80 miles of cable in 1899 to over 18,000 miles laid.
· Signalling. A small heliograph mirror could transmit 30 mile or more at 16 words a minute. Subsidiary use of semaphore flags, signalling lamps and pigeon post.
· Mounted Infantry. Since about 1888 each British infantry battalion had a mounted detachment. These were increased to companies and often supported by mobile artillery during the war.
· Photographic Section. A photographic section of and officer and NCO, mounted on bicycles were part of the 1st cavalry Division.
· Steam Traction Engine. A number were under the command of Lt Col Templer. Used to haul stores but were not used beyond 20 miles of ports or supply depots.
· Mapping. Generally Boer mapping was superior to the 1 inch to the mile British version.
· Trenches. Two types. Well prepared, by Boers at Modder River and Magersfontein (1,000 yards). Hasty, by British forces at Spionkop. Dummy trenches were used to deceive.
Source: Wargaming In History, the Second Anglo-Boer War, Edwin Herbert, Argus Books, 1990. Edited by Stuart Asquith, this little gem of a book is a wonderful introduction to any wargamer wanting to build Boer War armies. The three battle scenarios provided are particularly useful.
Jacklex Miniatures Colonial Nineteenth Century 20mm metal wargame figures.