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The Boer generals realised that Spion Kop would have to be stormed quickly if certain defeat were to be averted. The Boers began to bombard the British position, dropping shells from the adjacent plateau of Tabanyama at a rate of ten rounds per minute. Meanwhile, Commandant Hendrik Prinsloo of the Carolina Commando captured Aloe Knoll and Conical Hill with some 88 men, while around burghers, mainly of the Pretoria Commando, climbed the kop to launch a frontal assault on the British position. Prinsloo told his men: Do your duty and trust in the Lord.

It was very unusual for the Boers to launch a daytime massed attack quickly resulting in vicious, close-quarters combat. This was not a custom of the Boers' style of warfare.


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However, both sides exchanged fire at close range and engaged in hand-to-hand combat, with the British wielding fixed bayonets and the Boers wielding hunting knives and their own rifles used as bludgeons. After suffering serious losses, the Boer assault carried the crest line after several minutes of brutal hand-to-hand combat, but could advance no further. A kind of stalemate now settled over the kop. The Boers had failed to drive the British off the kop, but the surviving men of the Pretoria and Carolina commando now held a firing line on Aloe Knoll from where they could enfilade the British position and the British were now under sustained bombardment from the Boer artillery.

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The British had failed to exploit their initial success, and the initiative now passed to the Boers. Morale began to sag on both sides as the extreme heat, exhaustion and thirst took hold. On one hand the Boers on the kop could see large numbers of burghers on the plains below them who refused to join the fight.

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The sense of betrayal, the bloody failure of the frontal assault, the indiscipline inherent in a civilian army and the apparent security of the British position proved too much for some Boers, who began to abandon their hard-won positions. On the other hand, the bombardment began to take its toll on the British. Woodgate fell at about Massy, and Woodgate's brigade major , Captain N. The British artillery, positioned lower down the slopes of Spion Kop, were unable to hit back at the Boer guns.

Colonel Malby Crofton of the Royal Lancasters took charge and semaphored a plea for help, "Reinforce at once or all is lost.


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  • Battle of Spion Kop - Wikipedia.
  • Thorneycroft seems to have taken charge, leading a spirited counterattack that failed in the face of withering fire. Warren had already dispatched Major General John Talbot Coke 's brigade of two regular battalions and the Imperial Light Infantry raised in Durban to reinforce the summit. However, he refused to launch an attack on Tabanyama and barred his guns from firing on Aloe Knoll, believing this to be part of the British position.

    The first runner to Thorneycroft was shot dead before he could utter a word. Finally, a second runner brought the news, "You are a general. Winston Churchill was a journalist stationed in South Africa and he had also been commissioned as a lieutenant in the South African Light Horse by General Buller after his well-publicised escape from Boer captivity. Churchill acted as a courier to and from Spion Kop and Buller's headquarters and made a statement about the scene: Many of the wounds were of a horrible nature.

    The splinters and fragments of the shells had torn and mutilated them. The shallow trenches were choked with dead and wounded. Thorneycroft personally intervened and shouted at the Boers who advanced to round up prisoners, "I'm the commandant here; take your men back to hell sir.

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    I allow no surrenders. A vicious point-blank firefight ensued but the British line had been saved. Meanwhile, Coke never reached the summit. He saw Thorneycroft's message for help but then did nothing to assure the lieutenant colonel of his nearby presence or support. The Middlesex Regiment and the Imperial Light Infantry, under Colonel Hill, who was senior to Thorneycroft in the army list and who also believed he was overall commander on the kop, held the British right for two and a half hours until a second crisis occurred when they too began to give way.

    The Cameronians Scottish Rifles arrived at this point, and drove the Boers back with a bayonet charge. The fighting on the British right now became a stalemate. In the morning, Warren had asked for reinforcements from Lyttelton's division, even though he had eleven battalions of his own to draw upon. Without asking Buller, Lyttelton sent two battalions toward Spion Kop.

    Battle of Spion Kop

    After losing Lieutenant Colonel Riddell killed and other casualties, the rifles cracked the thin Boer line and carried the double summit at Shattered by the loss of Twin Peaks, General Schalk Willem Burger took his commando out of the battle line that night. On Spion Kop, the Boers who had fought bravely since morning abandoned their positions as darkness fell. They were about to retreat, when Botha appeared and persuaded them to stay. Back to tab navigation Download options Please wait Supplementary information PDF K.

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    • Back to tab navigation. In that regard you could say he's the Dutch Michael Bay. He spends more time on preparing and shooting an action sequences than on its script or characters. And the action has always been the one main thing that made Tim Oliehoek stand out from the rest. His action definitely has a Hollywood-vibe to it but he should learn to focus on more things as well. Who knows, he's still young, so he might learn someday, though it seems somewhat doubtful that people are still willing to give Oliehoek a change with a big movie again, since his last couple of movies had flopped big time, this one included.

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      Perhaps it's not fair to put most blame on Oliehoek, since it's actually the script by Tijs van Marle that makes the movie such a weak and lame one. But on the other hand, great directors have often managed to turn weak scripts into great and fun movies in the past, so perhaps Tim Oliehoek just isn't all that great as we all thought he was. If it wasn't obvious yet; this movie really isn't worth your time and investment. Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

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      Most expensive Dutch films of all time. SvdW Movies I've seen. Share this Rating Title: Spy of Orange 3. Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Learn more More Like This. Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Ulli Plien van Bennekom Bewaker Brunocorp Maaike Martens Jonge Irma Dina van der Linden