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Battle of Blaauwberg

This battle was fought between the Dutch and the English in 1806.

The English fleet, commanded by Sir David Baird, sailed (with troops on board) to the north of Robben Island in January, 1806. Baird's original intention was to land at Blaauwberg, but he abandoned this plan as the surf was too high. Instead, Baird sent a couple of ships north to Saldanah, intending to follow them there. However, the next day the waters had calmed and he landed the rest of the fleet at Melkbosstrand (one boatload of men drowned in the process), under fire from Dutch soldiers from the mountainside (without bloodshed).

The Dutch force was under the command of the governor, General Janssens, and consisted of Dutch troops, a regiment of Waldekers, some French soldiers, burgher militia, the Hottentot Corps and the artillery was in the hands of the Malays/Javanese. Janssens intended advancing his forces to the summit of Blaauwberg, but by the dawn of the 8th January the English had already crossed over the hill.

Baird split the English soldiers into two groups, advancing the left wing first. In those days fighting occurred at what would nowadays be considered very close quarters. The English artillery first hit the Waldekkers, who broke the line. Despite the efforts of Janssens to hold the line the English came through in force and he retreated to Hottentot's Holland. Baird estimated 700 killed and wounded.

The British camped at Rietvalley that night, on their way to Cape Town (Cape Town capitulated several days later).