...agree it was going to happen if the British Empire could not control in the region. Post Crimea and threats from a Russian bear growling and showing his claws towards the east was a concern. To add, 1861 was the end of sail and steam became the new form of motion. The most efficient energy form at the time was coal. Due to the limited source of coal, and a huge Navy to support, strategic positions called coal stations started to play an important part. Looking at the map of southern Africa at the time it appeared that not all was painted pink...so the region had to be secured. Annex the Boer, and squash a Zulu who, after forming an alliance in '73, did not want to co-operate. This then led to that the Zulu was drawn into the "great game"...the Russians are coming.