Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Amateur vs. Professional I.

This is coolbert:

I am once again on the subject of the amateur soldier [commander in particular] who is able to beat the professionals. A man in command, often of a force that best be described as motley, who is able to out-think, out-maneuver, and generally out-perform his professional adversaries.

Commanders such as:

(1) Koos de la Rey.

South African [Afrikaner] military man. Noted for his skills at guerrilla warfare during the Second Boer War. Was able to lead and sustain a protracted insurgency when other Boer [Afrikaner] forces had folded and surrendered. A leader of the highest repute, admired and trusted by friend and foe alike.

"Jacobus Herculaas de la Rey (22 October 1847 - 15 September 1914), known as Koos de la Rey was a Boer general during the Second Boer War and is widely regarded as being one of the strongest military leaders during that conflict."

[and not a young man either. Was in his early 50's when the war began [1899]. Koos was a man used to extreme privation, hard work, tough living!!]

"He is generally regarded as the bravest of the Boer generals during the Second Boer War and as one of the leading figures of Afrikaner independence. As a guerrilla, his tactics proved extremely successful."

Again, we have the UNEDUCATED military leader who is an amateur at war, but still able to beat the professionals at their own game!!

"As a child De la Rey received very little formal education"

Prior to the Second Boer War, did have some military experience of a minor nature. But NOT TRAINED OR EDUCATED AS A PROFESSIONAL SOLDIER!!

"De la Rey fought in the Basotho War of 1865 and Sekhukhune's War of 1876. He did not take a very active part in the First Boer War"

As has been said, continued to fight when other compatriots had given up. And fought well, even when the odds were even more stacked against him.

"for . . . two years he led a mobile campaign, winning battles . . . and inflicting large losses of men and material on the British at Ysterspruit where enough ammunition and supplies were captured to reinvigorate the Boer forces"

Most insurgencies are noted for their often brutal-no-holds-barred-combat, "no surrender, no prisoners mentality". This was not the case during the latter stage of Second Boer War. The Afrikaner forces under the command of de la Rey comported themselves with dignity, honor, and CHIVALRY toward vanquished British troops!!

[The Second Boer War has been described as the last gentlemanly war!]

"De la Rey was noted for chivalrous behaviour towards his enemies."

Jacobus Herculaas! Hercules! Koos was able to emulate the mythic hero on the battlefields of South Africa. But with honor and poise much to his credit!




Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home