Welcome to this week’s History Thread!
This week’s topic: Historical pet peeves? A recycled topic I fear, but always a fun one. This thread enjoys complaining about the bad things in history, whether specific topics or the poor ways it’s taught, discussed or interpreted. Feel free to vent about issues that may grind your gears or drive you into a psychotic nerd rage.
Today’s picture: On February 27th, 1881 a British force of about 400 men commanded by Major General George Pomeroy Colley encamped on Majuba Hill in Natal, shortly after commencement of the First Anglo-Boer War. Colley, being an arrogant idiot, did nothing to fortify his position despite having a commanding hilltop position. Imagine Colley’s surprise, then, when a Boer force of roughly equal size managed to creep up the hill and decimate his command with long-rage rifle fire. Colley died early in the battle, shot through the head, along with nearly a quarter of his command; another 59 were taken prisoner, including a young Sergeant named Hector Macdonald, who gained some notoriety for decking a Boer who demanded his surrender. Macdonald served with some distinction in the Mahdist Wars, only to commit suicide after being outed as a homosexual in 1903. Another survivor was Ian Hamilton, later notorious for commanding British troops at Gallipoli during WWI.
Anyway, the shock of Majuba Hill embarrassed the British government so much that they sued for peace, allowing the Boers to retain their independence for another few decades. They evidently learned nothing from the experience, as the opening rounds of the Second Anglo-Boer War resulted in even more humiliating defeats.