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Encyclopedia > Maritz Rebellion

The Maritz Rebellion or the Boer Revolt or the Five Shilling Rebellion1, occurred in South Africa in 1914 at the start of World War I, in which men who supported the recreation of the old Boer republics rose up against the government of the Union of South Africa. Many members of the rebellion were themselves former allies of the Boers who had fought together against the British in the Second Boer War, which had ended eleven years earlier. 1914 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... Union of South Africa is also the name of a LNER Class A4 locomotive, preserved on the Severn Valley Railway The Union of South Africa came into being on May 31, 1910 when the old Cape Colony and Natal Colony were combined with the defeated South African Republic and Orange... Boer guerrillas during the Second Boer War There were two Boer wars, one in 1880-81 and the second from October 11, 1899-1902 both between the British and the settlers of Dutch origin (called Boere, Afrikaners or Voortrekkers) in South Africa that put an end to the two independent...

Contents

Lead-up

At the end of the Boer War eleven years earlier, all Boer soldiers had been asked to sign an undertaking that they would abide by the peace terms. Some, like Deneys Reitz, refused and were exiled from South Africa. Over the following decade many returned home, and not all of them signed the undertaking upon returning. At the end of the Boer War those Boers who had fought to the end were known as "bitter enders"; by the time of the rebellion, those who had not taken the oath and wanted to start a new war had also become known as the "bitter enders".


A German journalist who interviewed the former Boer general J.B.M. Hertzog for the Tagliche Rundschau wrote: James Barry Munnik Hertzog, better known as Barry Hertzog, (1866-1942) was Prime Minister of South Africa from 1924 to 1939. ...

"Hertzog believes that the fruit of the three-year struggle by the Boers is that their freedom, in the form of a general South African Republic, will fall into their laps as soon as England is involved in a war with a Continental power."

Paraphrasing the Irish Nationalists' "England's misfortune is the bitter enders' opportunity", the "bitter enders" and their supporters saw the start of World War I as an opportunity eleven years after the end of the Second Boer War, particularly since England's enemy, Germany, was their old supporter.


The First World War starts

The outbreak of hostilities in Europe in August 1914 had long been anticipated, and the government of the Union of South Africa was well aware of the significance of the common border South Africa shared with the German colony of South-West Africa. Prime Minister Louis Botha informed London that South Africa could defend itself and that the Imperial Garrison may depart for France; when the British government asked Botha whether his forces would invade German South-West Africa, the reply was that they could and would. World map showing location of Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is geologically and geographically a peninsula, forming the westernmost part of Eurasia. ... 1914 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Flag of German South West Africa German South-West Africa (German: Deutsch-S dwestafrika or DSWA) was a colony of Germany from 1884 to 1915, when it was taken over by South Africa and administered as South-West Africa, later becoming Namibia. ... Louis Botha Louis Botha (1862-1919) was an Afrikaaner and first Prime Minister of the modern South African state, then called the Union of South Africa. ...


South African troops were mobilised along the border between the two countries under the command of General Henry Lukin and Lt Col Manie Maritz early in September 1914. Shortly afterwards, another force occupied the German port of Lüderitz. 1914 is a common year starting on Thursday. ...


The rebellion

When the South African government had offered to invade the German colonies, the commander-in-chief of the Union Defence Force general Christiaan Beyers resigned, writing "It is sad that the war is being waged against the 'barbarism' of the Germans. We have forgiven but not forgotten all the barbarities committed in our own country during the South African War", referring to the atrocities committed during the Boer War. A nominated senator, general Koos de la Rey, who had refused to support the government in parliament over this issue, visited Beyers. On 15 September they set off together to visit major J.C.G. Kemp in Potchefstroom, who had a large armoury and a force of 2000 men who had just finished training, many of whom were thought to be sympathetic to the rebels' ideas. Koos de la Rey (Jacobus Herculaas de la Rey) (22 October 1847 - 15 September 1914) was a Boer general during the Second Boer War and is widely regarded as being one of the greatest military leaders during that conflict. ... September 15 is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years). ... Categories: South Africa stubs | North West Province ...


Although it is not known what the purpose of their visit was, the South African governmentit belived it to be an attempt to instigate a rebellion, as stated in the Government Blue Book2 on the rebellion. According to general Beyers it was to discuss plans for the simultaneous resignation of leading army officers as protest against the government's actions, similar to what had happend in Britain two years earlier in the Curragh incident over the Irish Home Rule Bill. On the way to the meeting de la Rey was accidentally shot by a policeman at a road block set up to look for the Foster gang. At his funeral, however, many Nationalist Afrikaners belived and perpetuated the rumour that it was a government assassination, which added fuel to the fire; this was even further enflamed by Siener van Rensburg and his controversial prophecies. The Curragh incident July 20, 1914 is also known as the Curragh Mutiny. ... The Government of Ireland Act 1914, more generally known as the Third Home Rule Act (or Bill) or the (Irish) Home Rule Act 1914, was an Act of Parliament passed by the British House of Commons in May 1914 which sought to give Ireland internal self_government within the United Kingdom...


General Maritz, who was head of a commando of Union forces on the border of German South-West Africa, allied himself with the Germans and issued a proclamation on behalf of a provisional government which stated that "the former South African Republic and Orange Free State as well as the Cape Province and Natal are proclaimed free from British control and independent, and every White inhabitant of the mentioned areas, of whatever nationality, are hereby called upon to take their weapons in their hands and realize the long-cherished ideal of a Free and Independent South Africa." It was announced that Generals Beyers, De Wet, Maritz, Kemp and Bezuidenhout were to be the first leaders of this provisional government. Maritz's forces occupied Keimoes in the Upington area. The Lydenburg commando under General De Wet took possession of the town of Heilbron, held up a train and captured government stores and ammunition. Some of the prominent citizens of the area joined him, and by the end of the week he had a force of 3000 men. Beyers also gathered a force in the Magaliesberg; in all, about 12,000 rebels rallied to the cause. Flag of German South West Africa German South-West Africa (German: Deutsch-S dwestafrika or DSWA) was a colony of Germany from 1884 to 1915, when it was taken over by South Africa and administered as South-West Africa, later becoming Namibia. ... Lydenburg is a town in Mpumalanga, South Africa. ... Heilbron is a small farming town in the Free State Province of South Africa which services the cattle, dairy, wheat, sunflower and maize industries. ...


The government declared marshal law on 14 October 1914, and forces loyal to the government under the command of General Louis Botha and Jan Smuts proceeded to destroy the rebellion. General Maritz was defeated on 24 October and took refuge with the Germans. The Beyers commando was attacked and dispersed at Commissioners Drift on 28 October, after which Beyers joined forces with Kemp, but drowned in the Vaal River on 8 December. General De Wet was captured in Bechuanaland, and General Kemp, having taken his commando across Kalahari desert, losing 300 out of 800 men and most of their horses on the 1100 kilometer month-long trek, joined Maritz in German South-West Africa, but returned after about a week and surrendered on 4 February 1915. October 14 is the 287th day of the year (288th in Leap years). ... 1914 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Jan Christiaan Smuts, (May 24, 1870 - September 11, 1950) was a prominent South African statesman and soldier. ... October 24 is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 68 days remaining. ... October 28 is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 64 days remaining. ... The Vaal River is the largest tributary of the Orange River in South Africa. ... December 8 is the 342nd day (343rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Bechuanaland Protectorate (BP) was a protectorate established in 1885 by Britain in the area of what is now Botswana. ... The Kalahari Desert is a large, arid to semi-arid sandy area in southern Africa that covers about 500,000 km². It covers 70% of Botswana, and parts of Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. ... In South African history, the Great Trek was an eastward and north-eastward migration of the Boers, descendants primarily of immigrants from western mainland Europe. ... February 4 is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1915 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


Compared to the fate of leading Irish rebels of the Easter Rising in 1916, the leading Boer rebels got off lightly with terms of imprisonment of six and seven years and heavy fines. Two years later they were released from prison, as Louis Botha recognised the value of reconciliation. After this, the "bitter enders" concentrated on working within the constitutional system and built up the Nationalist Party which would come to dominate the politics of South Africa from the late 1940s until the early 1990s, when the apartheid system they had constructed also fell. The Easter Rising (Irish: Éirí Amach na Casca) was a militarily unsuccessful rebellion staged in Ireland against British rule on Easter Monday in April 1916. ... 1916 is a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar) Events January-February January 1 -The first successful blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled. ... National Party or Nationalist Party can refer to several political parties, including: Australia - National Party of Australia, Nationalist Party of Australia Bangladesh - Bangladesh National Party, National Party, National Party (Manju), National Party (Naziur) Bohemia - National Party Britain - British National Party, Cornish Nationalist Party, Constitutional Movement Canada - National Party of Canada... Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century Decades: 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s - 1940s - 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s Years: 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 Events and trends Technology First nuclear bomb First cruise missile, the V1 flying bomb and the first ballistic missile, the... Events and trends Technology Explosive growth of the Internet; decrease in the cost of computers and other technology Reduction in size and cost of mobile phones leads to a massive surge in their popularity Year 2000 problem (commonly known as Y2K) Microsoft Windows operating system becomes virtually ubiquitous on IBM... Apartheid ( International Phonetic Alphabet in English and in Afrikaans) is the policy and the system of laws implemented and enforced by White minority governments in South Africa from 1948 till 1990; and by extension any legally sanctioned system of racial segregation. ...


Further reading

  • "Agter Die Skerms met Die Rebelle" by C. F. McDonald, (1949)
'"Coenrath Frederik McDonald's inimitable 5 volume account of his adventures on the South African frontier, between 1895 and 1915, has acquired cult status. Collectively, his account is probably the finest & most informative frontier memoir ever to appear in South Africa. It covers experiences in the Boer War, on the Orange River among the trekboers, the Nama–German war, 1914 Rebellion and aftermath. This volume is an insider account of Maritz's Rebellion in the North-West, the alliance with the Germans, the clashes on the Orange River (including the little-known Battle of Kakamas), and the arrival of Kemp's commando. Much also on Siener van Rensburg and his prophecies."

1895 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1915 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...

Footnotes

  1. General De Wet publicly unfurled the rebel banner in October, when he entered the town of Reitz at the head of an armed commando. He summoned all the town and demanded that the court shorthand writer take down every word he said, among which he complained: "I was charged before [the Magistrate of Reitz] for beating a native boy. I only did it with a small shepherd's whip, and for that I was fined 5/–". On hearing the contents of the speech, General Smuts christened the rising as "the Five Shilling Rebellion".
  2. The "Blue Book" was issued by the Union of South Africa government on 26 February 1915, entitled "[The] Report on the Outbreak of the Rebellion and the Policy of the Government with regard to its Suppression".

February 26 is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1915 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...

External links

  • Sol Plaatje, Native Life in South Africa: Chapter XXIII — The Boer Rebellion (http://www.thuto.org/ubh/etext/nlisa/nl23.htm)
  • The Birth of the Nationalist Party (http://www.anc.org.za/books/reich1.html)
  • Reflections on the possible influence of "Siener" van Rensburg's visions on General J.H. "Koos" de la Rey and some of the results (http://rapidttp.com/milhist/vol022jo.html)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Maritz Rebellion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1402 words)
General Maritz was defeated on 24 October and took refuge with the Germans.
After the Maritz rebellion was supressed, the South African army continued their operations into German South West Africa and conquered it by July of 1915 (see the South-West Africa Campaign for details).
This volume is an insider account of Maritz's Rebellion in the North-West, the alliance with the Germans, the clashes on the Orange River (including the little-known Battle of Kakamas), and the arrival of Kemp's commando.
Enclave Rebellion (931 words)
Zebrzydowski's Rebellion - The Zebrzydowski Rebellion (also known as the Rokosz of Zebrzydowski Polish: rokosz Zebrzydowskiego, or Sandomierz Rebellion, Polish: rokosz sandomierski) was a rokosz (semi-legal rebellion) in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth against its king Zygmunt III Waza.
Maritz Rebellion - The Maritz Rebellion or the Boer Revolt or the Five Shilling Rebellion, occurred in South Africa in 1914 at the start of World War I, in which men who supported the recreation of the old Boer republics rose up against the government of the Union of South Africa.
The circumnavigation of Africa by the Portuguese enclave rebellion.
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