Welcome to this blog. It is generally focused on South African military history and covers a wide range of topics. Occasionally these will be outside of South Africa, but usually with some South African connection.

South Africa has a varied, unique and sometimes tragic military history extending back to pre-colonial times. The aim of this blog is to highlight aspects of it, including some of the more controversial issues, as ‘objectively’ as possible.  Where relevant, key references are given to enable follow up by those interested in pursuing the topic further.

The header picture is a replica ‘Long Tom’ (Creusot 155mm gun) used by the Boers during the Anglo-Boer War, 1899 -1902. This gun is located at the summit of Long Tom Pass near Lydenburg, in what was then known as the Eastern Transvaal, near the place where some of these guns were last used in October 1900, as the Boers retreated eastwards before the onset of their guerrilla campaign. The Boers had four of these guns and there are four replicas. There will be more about them in a future posting.

I am an amateur military historian with a broad and eclectic view of military history which I believe should be framed within political, social and economic contexts.  My other interests include wildlife, ecology, environmental issues, and general history.

Pat Irwin


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