The guns of Dimawe

The Battle of Dimawe, which was fought 169 years ago today (30/8/1852), stands out as one of the earliest instances in which a Boer Commando fought an opposing indigenous force that was also substantially provided with firearms.

The weapons in both camps were mostly the private property of those who carried them resulting in a good deal of qualitative variation in the munitions deployed by each side.

The Boers enjoyed a quantitative advantage in terms of artillery, notwithstanding the fact that Sechele's single 6-Pounder was the largest canon in the field. In terms of other guns, the hunting rifles and muskets used by many of the Boers of the era were renowned for their superior range of 100 to 200 yards as well as general accuracy. In previous encounters they had outclassed the British Army’s Brown Bess musket, which had a maximum range of about 100 yards with limited accuracy beyond 60 yards. The quality of the trade muskets in the hands of the Batswana would have varied greatly, though by the late 1840s most local Dikgosi were adept at rejecting those that tested below standard. Manufacturers in Liege Belgium were the biggest source of guns in the region, surviving examples of which have proved accurate from 40 to 100 yards. But, Sechele also had a collection of custom-built state of the art rifles. Designed for bagging big game by well to do hunters the best of these guns had a range of up to 1,000 yards, firing armour as well as elephant piercing conical shot of 12-8 bore.

Editor's Comment
Gov’t, Balete should bury the hatchet

The acrimony that seemingly characterised the relationship between the Malete Land Board on behalf of the Botswana government and Kgosi Mosadi Seboko and the tribe, should now be water under the bridge as the tribe has finally gotten what it has been fighting for - the land.Kgosi Mosadi has articulated an instance upon which she was allegedly summoned to the State House by the Head of State, Mokgweetsi Masisi where the former claimed she was...

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