Battle of Sandfontein

South African General Sir Henry Lukin ought to have realized that the Germans wouldn't let the wells of Sandfontein be captured without a fight the moment his column, known as Force A, occupied the watering hole in early September, but it didn't unduly concern him or any of the British colony's generals.

One can wonder if the South Africans would have abandoned Sandfontein and its wells if they had realised in time just how outgunned they were. Traditionally Boer Forces would never hesitate to mount up and do a runner, there was no shame in leaving the battlefield when they thought that there was a chance of the enemy turning their flank or cutting off their path to the open veldt. At Sandfontein every element of the Boers worst tactical nightmare became reality. A body of men pinned down on a desolate kopje, cut off, thirsty, watching helplessly as the enemy killed their horses one by one. Although the men fought bravely the only possible successful outcome for the Union Troops would have been a timely withdrawal, but this was not to happen. Driving the attackers off was not possible and the position was not defendable for any length of time, especially after the Union's two artillery pieces had run out of ammunition.