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April 15 , 2008

Sir Redvers H. Buller, V.C.: The Story Of His Life And Campaigns


General Sir Redvers Buller V.C. was among the most popular generals of his age, born in 1839 he was commissioned into the 60th Rifles in and started a military career that would last 40 years.
His postings were many and varied; China in 1860, before many years in Canada and a distinguished part in the Red River expedition under Sir Garnet Wolseley in 1870 and under the same commander in the Second Ashanti War 1873-74. His next active command would earn him a Victoria Cross during the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 at the head of the mounted infantry of Sir Evelyn Wood’s No. 4 Column. During the bloody defeat at Hlobane, Buller rallied the demoralized retreating rearguard, and rode back in the face of the hotly pusuing Zulu warriors to rescue men who had been unhorsed, not once, twice but three times! As if this was not enough the next day he fought at the victorious at the battle of Kambula, and later at the decisive battle of Ulundi. Buller left Africa a hero among his men and respected by his peers.
His final command, during the Second Anglo-Boer War was much less successful; sent out to command and retrieve a situation already bungled, at the age of sixty, despite his protests. Facing a guerrilla war he instituted new tactics that would become standard practice to the modern day; use of cover, fire and movement, creeping barrages. However, these innovations were not enough to bridge the gap between his opponents and his hidebound troops, and he suffered a number of high profile defeats.
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