Skip to main content

Spion Kop, battle of

Spion Kop, battle of, 1900. A battle of the second Boer War (1899–1902), famous at the time for its slaughter. The battle arose from repeated British attempts to relieve the siege of Ladysmith. The highest point of the Tugela Heights, Spion Kop (‘Lookout Mountain’), is 1,470 feet high, and was defended by a Boer force of about 7,000 under Louis Botha. Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Warren ordered a night attack by 1,700 troops under Major-General E. R. P. Woodgate to capture the heights and dig in. As the fog lifted after dawn on 24 January the British found themselves in a position completely exposed to enemy fire. Amid much confusion some reinforcements were sent, until eventually 2,500 men held the position. After dark the British retreated, having lost about 250 dead including Woodgate, and 1,000 wounded. Boer casualties were about 300.

Stephen Badsey

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Spion Kop, battle of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . 19 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Spion Kop, battle of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . (February 19, 2019).

"Spion Kop, battle of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved February 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.