View My Stats

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Morant II

RSS Feed Delicious Reddit Stumbled Upon Facebook

The Breaker
In 1905, the heroes reception for Commander Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant with brother officers Lieutenants Handcock, Witton at the Hotel Australia was over. Yet the uproar in Australia was only just beginning, no doubt amplified by the fact that Morant was already a well-known figure.
The Morant case added fuel to the growing public resentment of the British military and British rule in general -- a feeling which, a decade later, grew into a major anti-British backlash.

Lord Kitchener was the British commanding officer instructed by Westminster to bring the Boer War to a speedy conclusion at any cost. London was desperately concerned that the Kaiser would exploit Boer sympathy within Germany to intervene, and seize the mineral wealth of South Africa.

Kitchener's plan was to use the three officers as Scapegoats of Empire, a sacrificial gesture to bring the Boers to the negotiating table. Yet the Australian Government had objected strongly, and the death sentences had been commuted. Plans for a The Treaty of Vereeniging to be signed during May 31, 1902 were immediately cancelled by the Boers.

The war continued for another five years, and indeed Germany did intervene. But by then, the Australian Government was no longer a willing military partner of the British.
~ variant entry by Steve Payne

No comments: