Following the Battle of Graspan Methuen’s force continued to advance along the railway line towards Kimberley. Very little was carried out in the way of reconnaissance and even though Methuen himself reconnoitered the crossing at Modder River, the British failed to spot that the Boers had a large force dug in along both banks.
Fortunately for the British the loyalist station master at Modder River managed to get a message over revealing the true strength of the Boers although even then Methuen would not believe that their full force was present and decided once again on a frontal attack.
The Boers had indeed been “digging like rabbits” as the station master reported and had created substantial trenches on either side of the river line, the river itself was mostly fordable along its length. Furthermore, General De Le Rey was now fully reinforced with Cronjie’s excellent Transvaal Commandos to help shore up the wavering morale of the Orange Free State Boers and the whole line was backed up by an impressive array of artillery and pom-pom guns.
|This is a map of the battle from my well thumbed copy of "Battles of the Boer War" bought from WH Smith in Bury St Edmunds in 1972. An excellent read.|
To win the British must force three of the four Boers Commandos to flee by the end of Turn 12 or take the dam or railway bridge and force two Commandos to flee. The Boers win if they can reduce the British force to below 50% strength.