For the Boers (a.k.a. Afrikaners) of Southern Africa, Blood River is a big deal. Consequently most information on this subject is written in Afrikaans. This book is in English for those persons who do not read Afrikaans.
The Battle and Vow of Blood River is a remarkable story. It is a story of Divine Intervention in the affairs of men and it was a game changer in the history of Southern Africa.
Political correctness is trying to make the events at Blood River controversial. There are all sorts of attempts to rewrite or change what really happened. The Battle of Blood River was about the Zulu king Dingaan and his formidable army who tried to annihilate the Boers and others who was seen as enemies. There was no racism involved as Dingaan killed both whites and non-whites alike. The Boer Commando included Afrikaans and English whites, as well as a large group of Khoikhoi, Basotho and Zulu men. The Boers had no slaves; however, they did have Khoikhoi and Basotho employees.
This book makes use of eyewitness reports and respected scholarly research. It is meant to be a concise, but comprehensive, account of the history of the Battle of Blood River and the Vow. It is a well-attested historic event and this book is an objective account of what happened.
The book contains a background of the three parties involved: The Zulu army of king Dingaan, the English traders and missionaries at Port Natal and the Voortrekkers (Boers who wanted to set up their own country outside of British control).
The Battle of Blood River came about as a result of a number of massacres conducted by the Zulu army on the Voortrekkers and traders. These massacres made a counter-action by the victims inevitable and a commando comprising of Voortrekkers and traders was formed. The leaders of the commando realised that their chances against the massive Zulu army was slim. Being Christians, they not only prayed for Divine help, they decided to make a vow to God. With this vow they bound themselves and their descendants with certain promises made to God.
A description of the battle as recorded by eye-witnesses is given. This is from documents written by participants shortly afterwards. The Zulus could not record a written account, but some of the survivors gave oral accounts of what they saw and experienced.
The consequences of the battle were enormous. It brought a new dawn to the Zulu nation. For the Boers it meant their survival out of certain annihilation. It was a turning point in the history of Southern Africa. Shortly afterwards, British Colonialism in the region expanded. A post script have been added describing some of the events that happened in later years as an indirect result of Blood River.
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