[Note about the above photograph:
After the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway and the Russian Empire contributed the second largest number of Boer foreign volunteers in the Second Boer War, from a 1901 photograph of a group of commandos in the Scandinavian Corps
It is not mentioned often, that across Europe there was a lot of sympathy for the Boer cause.
The Boers bought their best artillery from Germany. A thing that messed up German and Boer co-operation were threats directly to Germany from the British Queen, since they were related. The power of the British Navy gave the British total control of the seas, and this worked to the detriment of the Boers so far away.
Generally, the Europeans were sympathetic to the Boers and later were quite outraged by the behaviour of the Jewish-controlled anti-white British when they burned down Boer farms and slaughtered millions of animals, as well as throwing the Boer women and children into concentration camps where over 30,000 died.
The Boer armies totalled about 50,000-60,000 white men. But, they had 5,400 whites from several European countries who came to fight the despicable British. That means that approximately 10% of the Boer armies was made up of whites from Europe! That is quite astounding. When you look at the list of whites and the many nations they came from, we really should be quite awed. It shows you how other whites felt about our cause. There were Swedes, Norwegians, French, Germans, Dutch, Italians, Poles, Russians, Greeks and others. That is really quite touching, and it should show us, that we, the Boers, the Afrikaners, are LINKED DIRECTLY TO EUROPE! That is our blood, and those are the people on whose side we should have always been. It is therefore a very bad thing, that in WW1 and WW2, that we fought on the side of the British. The British anyway came to betray us and knife us in the back with MacMillan’s Winds of Change speech, when the British decided to dump the whites of Africa!
As I’ve learned more about British history, I’d say that in the last 300 years the British would go anywhere to kill anyone as long as there was MONEY in it! Whether they were killing Chinese, to shove opium into their society or whether they wanted to steal and control the gold and diamonds of South Africa; there was no length the British wouldn’t go to for the Jews.
For the record, you’ll see below that some of the French had a disastrous incident. Thereafter all Europeans were put under the direct command of General De la Rey. He was the greatest general of the war. He became an icon among the Boers to this very day. He was an innovative tactician and a fine, determined leader. I’m also a fan of General De Wet, a short, determined angry Boer! He was pretty damned awesome too. As with all wars, you find that brilliant men come to the fore at all levels.
According to some figures there were 3,000 volunteers. But on wikipedia, they say the total was 5,400 and there is a breakdown of the countries they came from. I should mention that in Europe, as a general rule, especially in the last century, the British are hated. Britain is NOT LOVED by any of Britain’s “allies” in Europe. I suspect that “perfidious Albion” is the result of too much pandering to the Jews. The USA is walking down a path of the utmost hatred in the future due to their endless pandering to Jews and Israel.
We Boere-Afrikaners in South Africa need to cut out this crap:-
- That we are in any way linked to the blacks. They are an alien race competing against us, and they are direct enemies of ours.
- The only non-whites with any kinds of racial links to us are coloureds, because of some intermarriage. They are also the most loyal of all the non-white races in SA to us. They were the ONLY non-whites who voted for us under black rule until the stupid National Party disintegrated.
- We must cut out this Anglo-American loyalty nonsense. Britain was an enemy of the Boers since 1835. When they defeated us, they used us against the Germans and then dumped us.
- America has done nothing for us. America has used us. While America is more trustworthy than Britain, we have little to thank America for, if anything since they put pressure on all whites in southern Africa to surrender to the blacks. SA had to fight for stupid blacks in Angola to help America. Fighting for UNITA did nothing for us. Our troops were used for American purposes. America also NEVER complied with the South African request to mine the harbours in Angola to sink Russian ships. This is something PW Botha told me. We owe the American Govt nothing.
- Our roots are in Europe. Our family is European. Europe is where we come from. Europe and the whites, the common whites, of other countries like America, these are our current and future allies. Europe should always be the place we remember, and we in our turn should see to it that we are loyal to Europe and to whites everywhere. We must stop thinking that we are the fathers and carers for these useless black scum of South Africa. We have no ties to them. Leave them to die. They are fools. They are our enemies. If they want to destroy us, we must fight back.
Although there was a lot of sympathy for the Boer cause outside of the British Empire, there was little overt government support as countries were not willing to upset the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. As a result, no other government actively supported the Boer cause. There were, however, individuals from several countries who volunteered and formed Foreign Volunteer Units. These volunteers primarily came from Europe, particularly the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden-Norway. Other countries such as France, Italy, Ireland (then wholly part of the United Kingdom), and restive areas of the Russian Empire, including Poland and Georgia, also formed smaller volunteer corps. Finns fought in the Scandinavian Corps.
The influx of foreigners into the country began simultaneously with the war, and it continued thereafter at the rate of about four hundred men a month. These volunteers would have come for a number of reasons, not necessarily because of any sympathy with the Boer cause, including soldiers-of-fortune, professional soldiers and adventurers. Some of the more famous volunteers were:
Ernest Douwes Dekker, Camillo Ricchiardi, Niko the Boer (Niko Bagrationi), Yevgeny Avgustus, Witold Ścibor-Rylski, Alexander Guchkov, Leo Pokrowsky, Major Baron von Reitzenstein, Viscount Villebois-Mareuil and the men of the two Irish commandos, the Irish Transvaal Brigade of John MacBrideand John Blake, and the Second Irish Brigade of Arthur Alfred Lynch.
None of the foreigners who served in the Boer army received any compensation. They were supplied with horses, equipment, and food from the Boer Government, but no wages. Before a foreign volunteer was allowed to join a commando, and before he received his equipment, he was obliged to take an oath of allegiance to the Republic. A translation of it reads:
- I hereby make an oath of solemn allegiance to the people of the South African Republic, and I declare my willingness to assist, with all my power, the burghers of this Republic in the war in which they are engaged. I further promise to obey the orders of those placed in authority according to law, and that I will work for nothing but the prosperity, the welfare, and the independence of the land and people of this Republic, so truly help me, God Almighty.
Second Anglo-Boer War
At the time of the war, the Boers did not have the resources to record statistics about their forces. The statistics available were mainly collected by foreigners and by the testimony of the commanders. Table of foreign volunteers in the Second Anglo-Boer War
In the early stages of the war the majority of the foreign volunteers were obliged to join a Boer commando. Later they formed their own foreign legions with a high degree of independence, including the: Scandinavian Corps (Skandinaviens Korps), Italian Volunteer Legion, two Irish Brigades, German Corps (Deutsches Korps), Dutch Corps, Legion of France, American Scouts and Russian Scouts.
Foreign volunteer units
Legion of France
However, the free rein given to the foreign legions was eventually curtailed after George Henri Anne-Marie Victor de Villebois-Mareuil and his small band of Frenchmen met with disaster at Boshof, and thereafter all the foreigners were placed under the direct command of General De la Rey.
Italian Volunteer Legion
The Italian Volunteer Legion of Camillo Ricchiardi carried out the capture of an armoured train near Chieveley, Natal. Among the passengers who were taken prisoner was the young journalist Winston Churchill, whose life Ricchiardi spared by pretending not to see him dumping his pistol and dum-dum ammunition which had been declared unlawful on pain of death.
Irish Traansval Brigade
Second Irish Brigade
While the vast majority of people involved from British Empire countries fought with the British Army, a few Australians fought on the Boer side. The most famous of these was Colonel Arthur Lynch, formerly of Ballarat, who raised the Second Irish Brigade. Lynch, charged with treason was sentenced to death, by the British, for his service with the Boers. After mass petitioning and intervention by King Edward VII, he was released a year later and pardoned in 1907.
Notable foreign volunteers
- John Y. F. Blake
- John Hassell
- Arthur Alfred Lynch
- John MacBride
- Camillo Ricchiardi
- Adolf Schiel
- Christer Uggla
- George Henri Anne-Marie Victor de Villebois-Mareuil