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Buller, Sir Redvers Henry

Buller, Sir Redvers Henry (1839–1906). Soldier. Buller was a man of outstanding personal bravery, but his indecisiveness in high command cast a shadow over his later career. He took part in the Zulu War (1878–9), winning the Victoria Cross, and in the Gordon relief expedition in the Sudan (1884–5). He then climbed the army ladder steadily until refusing the post of commander-in-chief in India, before reluctantly agreeing to command in South Africa in 1899 at the beginning of the second Anglo-Boer War. He then made the unwise decision to divide his force into three columns, he himself commanding one. This resulted in a series of piecemeal defeats and his replacement in overall command by Lord Roberts. Buller's subsequent leadership of his own column demonstrated the same qualities of hesitation, and his later public attempt to refute his critics was not well received.

Kenneth Ingham

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Buller, Sir Redvers Henry

Sir Redvers Henry Buller (bŭl´ər), 1839–1908, British general. His military career began in China, and he later took part in the suppression of the Red River Rebellion (1870) in Canada. In Africa he fought in the Kafir and Zulu wars (1878–79), against the Boers in the Transvaal (1881), and against the Mahdists in Sudan (1884–85). As adjutant general (1890–97), Buller reorganized the army's supply and transport services. He was made commander in chief of troops in the South African War in 1899, but his initial failure to relieve the besieged town of Ladysmith led to his supersession (1899) by Lord Roberts of Kandahar.

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