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Edward Spiers, a leading authority on the Victorian British army, presents a selection of letters from the siege of Ladysmith (1899-1900). These 250 letters, which were published in different British newspapers, provide crucial insights into contemporary perceptions of the battles that preceded the siege, the onset of the siege itself, and the desperate and bloody attempts to relieve the town.
The letters vividly reflect the feelings of junior officers and other ranks as they struggled to cope with the demands of modern warfare. Their eyewitness testimonies provide firsthand commentary upon the events in Natal that shattered the prewar confidence in Britain.