The most famous British action of the Second Boer War
The Siege of Mafeking remains one of the most famous actions of the Second Boer War, with the British Army defeating a Boer force of more than 8,000 men with only 1,500 troops. The town of Mafeking was designated a central location due to its rail connections and Robert Baden-Powell decided to trial his theory of defense rather than attack here. He holed up his troops in Mafeking, fortifying the city for a siege that would last for 217 days. 800 men held Mafeking, supported by a cadet corps of 12 to 15-year-olds who later inspired the Scouting Movement. The town withheld attack from the Boers against the odds and was finally relieved on May 17, 1900. The siege and relief of Mafeking caused much public excitement in Victorian Britain and Robert Baden-Powell became a war hero.