The Battle of Spion Kop was fought about 38 km (24 mi) west-south-west of Ladysmith on the hilltop of Spioenkop along the Tugela River, Natal in South Africa from 23–24 January 1900. It was fought between the South African Republic and the Orange Free State on the one hand and British forces during the Second Boer War campaign to relieve Ladysmith. It resulted in a Boer victory. The battle, collectively with its location at a hill, has gone down in British football lore as the namesake of a common British term for single-tier terraces and/or stands at football stadia.
British troops captured the summit by surprise during the early hours of 24 January 1900, but as the early morning fog lifted they realised too late that they were overlooked by Boer gun emplacements on the surrounding hills. The result was 350 men killed and nearly 1,000 wounded and a retreat across the Tugela River into British territory. There were nearly 300 Boer casualties.
Roberts launched his main attack on 10 February 1900 and although hampered by a long supply route, managed to outflank the Boers defending Magersfontein. Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts was a British Victorian era general who became one of the most successful British military commanders of his time. Born in India to an Anglo-Irish family, Roberts joined the East India Company Army and served as a young officer in the Indian Rebellion during which he won a Victoria Cross for gallantry. He was then transferred to the British Army and fought in the Expedition to Abyssinia and the Second Anglo-Afghan War, in which his exploits earned him widespread fame. Roberts would go on to serve as the Commander-in-Chief, India before leading British Forces to success in the Second Boer War. He also became the last Commander-in-Chief of the Forces before the post was abolished in 1904.
In Natal, the Battle of the Tugela Heights, which started on 14 February was Buller's fourth attempt to relieve Ladysmith. The losses Buller's troops had sustained convinced Buller to adopt Boer tactics "in the firing line—to advance in small rushes, covered by rifle fire from behind; to use the tactical support of artillery; and above all, to use the ground, making rock and earth work for them as it did for the enemy." Despite reinforcements his progress was painfully slow against stiff opposition.
On 14 February, a cavalry division under Major General John French launched a major attack to relieve Kimberley. Although encountering severe fire, a massed cavalry charge split the Boer defenses on 15 February, opening the way for French to enter Kimberley that evening, ending its 124 days' siege.
On 17 February, a pincer movement involving both French's cavalry and the main British force attempted to take the entrenched position, but the frontal attacks were uncoordinated and so were easily repulsed by the Boers. Finally, Roberts resorted to bombarding Cronjé into submission, but it took a further ten precious days, and with the British troops using the polluted Modder River as water supply, there was a typhoid epidemic killing many troops. General Cronjé was forced to surrender at Surrender Hill with 4,000 men.
The Battle of Paardeberg or Perdeberg ("Horse Mountain") was a major battle during the Second Anglo-Boer War. It was fought near Paardeberg Drift on the banks of the Modder River in the Orange Free State near Kimberley. Lord Methuen advanced up the railway line in November 1899 with the objective of relieving the besieged city of Kimberley (and the town of Mafeking, also under siege). Battles were fought on this front at Graspan, Belmont, Modder River before the advance was halted for two months after the British defeat at the Battle of Magersfontein. In February 1900, Field Marshal Lord Roberts assumed personal command of a significantly reinforced British offensive.
On 26 February, after much deliberation, Buller used all his forces in one all-out attack for the first time and at last succeeded in forcing a crossing of the Tugela to defeat Botha's outnumbered forces north of Colenso.
Battle of Poplar Grove. was an incident on 7 March 1900 during the Second Boer War in South Africa. It followed on from the Relief of Kimberley as the British Army moved to take the Boer capital of Bloemfontein. The Boers were demoralized following the surrender of Piet Cronjé at the Battle of Paardeberg.
After a succession of defeats, the Boers realized that against such overwhelming numbers of troops, they had little chance of defeating the British and so became demoralized. Roberts then advanced into the Orange Free State from the west, putting the Boers to flight at the Battle of Poplar Grove and capturing Bloemfontein, the capital, unopposed on 13 March with the Boer defenders escaping and scattering. Meanwhile, he detached a small force to relieve Baden-Powell.
On 15 March 1900, Lord Roberts proclaimed an amnesty for all burghers, except leaders, who took an oath of neutrality and returned quietly to their homes. It is estimated that between 12,000 and 14,000 burghers took this oath between March and June 1900.
British observers believed the war to be all but over after the capture of the two capital cities. However, the Boers had earlier met at the temporary new capital of the Orange Free State, Kroonstad, and planned a guerrilla campaign to hit the British supply and communication lines. The first engagement of this new form of warfare was at Sanna's Post on 31 March where 1,500 Boers under the command of Christiaan de Wet attacked Bloemfontein's waterworks about 37 kilometres (23 mi) east of the city, and ambushed a heavily escorted convoy, which caused 155 British casualties and the capture of seven guns, 117 wagons, and 428 British troops.
Roberts was forced to halt again at Kroonstad for 10 days, due once again to the collapse of his medical and supply systems, but finally captured Johannesburg on 31 May and the capital of the Transvaal, Pretoria, on 5 June.
The set-piece period of the war now largely gave way to a mobile guerrilla war, but one final operation remained. President Kruger and what remained of the Transvaal government had retreated to eastern Transvaal. Roberts, joined by troops from Natal under Buller, advanced against them, and broke their last defensive position at Bergendal on 26 August.