Battle of Colenso

by Eric Elder

Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902
Battle of Colenso, December 15,1899

The outbreak of war in October 1899 between the British in South Africa and the Boer caught the British completely unprepared for war with the Boers. The British were continually being pushed back on all fronts and being surrounded. Britain decided that reinforcements were necessary and sent General Buller with a fresh force to South Africa. His immediate concern, upon arrival in Natal, was the town of Ladysmith with a 13,000 strong British force under siege by Boers. An assault through the town of Colenso and across the Tugela River was chosen as the breakthrough point to relieve Ladysmith. This happened to be the most direct route to Ladysmith. The Boers were in defense along the Tugela River, but the British were uncertain as to the number of Boers in the Colenso area.

This scenario recreates this battle in its entirety.. Further scenario details are in the British and Boer scenario sections.

British Scenario

Boer Scenario

Orders of Battle (Excel format)