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Guest AmericanDoughboy

The East African Campaign 1914 - 1918

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Guest AmericanDoughboy

As I do not know much about this front, except that it was fought in German East Africa, what exactly occured there? I do know about the Pacific Campaign of the British allied with the Japanese against the Germans.

If anyone could respond to this topic and acknowledge me about the Askari soldiers and etc that would be fantastic.

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domsim

Weren't the Japanese our allies in the Great War?

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Guest Brummy

Yes the Japanese where our allies during WW1 and made war against German outposts in the far east as well as providing other aid to the allies.

Brum

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Terry Denham

The Japanese also sent warships to the Mediterranean to assist with allied naval operations there.

The war in East Africa is a whole subject in itself and cannot be quickly explained in a thread here. In fact, the British never did get the better of the Germans in that area and they were definately not 'beaten' when they had to surrender after the armistice.

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Guest Pete Wood

My favourite story of the campaign is that of the German naval airship L59 which was sent to Africa (from Bulgaria) to bring supplies to Von Lettow.

The Zeppelin was was sent on a one-way trip to Africa, stocked with tons of medical supplies, machine guns, ammunition, bush knives, even sewing machines.

Apparently the airship was designed to be disassembled and its parts made into: tents, bandages, gas bags, sleeping bags, huts, boots, and even a wireless tower.

The only non-essential cargo was a case of wine to celebrate its arrival in Africa.

But the wily British sent a series of false radio messages which convinced the German Captain that the Germans in Africa had surrendered. So the L-59 turned around and went home. It did, however, make a record flight of over 4500 miles.

You can see a picture of the L 59 here http://www.jadu.de/luftfahrt/zeppelin/text...ten/l59_jpg.htm

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Neil Burns

Welcome Doughboy,

Hew Strachan's The First World War has a huge chapter on the War in Africa and is readily available from Amazon.com as is the Great War in Africa by Byron Farwell which I bought recently for my Summer reading but haven't gotten to yet.

Battery Press in Nashville TN has a number of titles on the War in Africa including the official history. Check their website.

Strachan's book also covers the Anglo-Japanese alliance in terms of freeing up British ships for the Atlantic as well as the Japanese/British attack on Tsintao. Interesting stuff.

Take care,

Neil

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Guest AmericanDoughboy

Oops, I meant "British with the Japanese" (edited) Sorry, and as proof of what I meant is that I do know about the Japanese and British attack upon the east Chinese area of Tsingtao with the South Wales Borderers and as well as the island of Samoa, the island in which a member of the expedition to Treasure Island is buried. Kaiser Wilhelm II spoke it as: "That ridiculous island."

I also recently discovered this book http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...=books&n=507846

It looks like a great read. I believe I shall order it soon.

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SteveE
It looks like a great read. I believe I shall order it soon.

The book, as your thread title suggests, is well worth reading if you have an interest in the East African campaign.

I'd certainly recommend it for a general overview of the campaign as East Africa is a theatre of war that doesn't get too much written about it.

Steve

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Guest Zachary

Hullo, just browsing about.

I find this theatre to be by far the most interesting - the Germans hear were never beaten, were greatly outnumbered and only gave up when they realized that their compadres up in Europe had surrendered.

I got this cool book a couple weeks ago called The Great War in Africa by Byron Farwell which can be found here. It even has a chapter on the tiny Togo campaign, probably one of the smallest in the war.

Interesting read.

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KONDOA

Try this one its a good an overview around. It was a very complex war of evasion after the initial success of 1916/17. My Grandfather was there (see photo).

http://www.ntz.info/gen/b00628.html#03534

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Kiwiwriter

Byron Farwell's book on WW1 in Africa is great.

"Battle for the Bundu," whose author I cannot remember, is a fantastic book on the East African campaign. It was the most bizarre story of the whole war, with the Konigsberg mess, the gunboats on the lake, the zeppelin, and Lettow-Vorbeck keeping his ragtag army in business through the whole war. He was never defeated on the battlefield...only at the Armistice table.

The Tanga story is pretty bizarre, too. When the British returned to Kenya after that fiasco, a Customs Officer demanded they pay an ad valorem duty on the weapons they did not leave on the beach. :lol:

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NIGEL

DRAKE

What regiment was your relative with ???

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askaris

Some of my relatives were involved in this war as German askaris,what they said about the campaign differs a great deal from the official account of their role,they said Von Lettow adopted their fighting tactics ,most of these Askaris were Sukuma/Nyamwezi tribesmen who used their famous chief Mirambo fighting tactics,and as most of fighting happened in the area of their Watani(a swahili word for people with a joking relationship)they were at home and they were well looked after by their Watani,This facts has been overlooked completely by many historian,especially the watani relationship ,in Mozambique Askaris were well received mainly because of this fact and not the presents.Historian overlooked another fact-Nyamwezi were traders who linked the African coasts at the same time established kingdoms like Msiri in katanga -they were shrewd and very deceptive,most of Askaris who run away from the battlefield the did so mainly for some spiritual reasons.Lettow loved and respected Mirambo eventhough he never mentioned that ,Askari used to liken him to Chief Nyungu ya mawe the one eyed nyamwezi toughman

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askaris

Some members are saying i should manage my comments -well they might have a point,but i think they should be more specific or simply they should shut up . Someone wanted to know about the Askaris soldiers i think that person deserves to know those kind of information

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bushfighter

Askaris

Jambo & Asante Sana for your information.

Malawi, formerly Nyasaland, is the only area where African comments on & attitudes to the Great War have been researched in depth. (And Yaos from Nyasaland fought on both sides in the war, principally because the British disbanded the 2nd King's African Rifles before the war, & the Germans recruited the redundant Askari.)

This has given us a distorted view of the fighting because the only records & recollections we have are those of the European minority of combatants.

We need more description from the point of view of both the African Askari & the Indian Sepoy.

I think that the whole subject of Lettow & his Askari & the mutual regard they felt for each other has not been researched enough - doubtless because Germany lost the war although Lettow did not lose the Campaign.

Thank you again for your relevant comments. I appreciate them.

Harry

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Blackblue

Try The Long Long Trail. There are a number of excellent despatches from General Smuts. My Great Grandad's brother served there.

http://www.1914-1918.net/eastafrica.htm

Rgds

Tim D

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Guest THE LORAX
As I do not know much about this front, except that it was fought in German East Africa, what exactly occured there? I do know about the Pacific Campaign of the British allied with the Japanese against the Germans.

If anyone could respond to this topic and acknowledge me about the Askari soldiers and etc that would be fantastic.

i can highly recommend Edward Paice's recent book Tip and Run. All you ever wanted to know in this exhaustive book.

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askaris

Asante sana Bushfighter!

Von Lettows book on the East African campaign is very informative,it has it all -the drama,bits of propaganda and above all else a lot of information which is not provided by the pop Historians,it is an explosive work. He opens by grappling the welt-politik on its neck and never let it go!in chapter one he says how surprised he was that the war didnt start a bit earlier! everyone was bloody prepared in 1914;he somehow says he was aware that Germany would loose the colony to England well before the break of the great war!he does pile on these kind of information to the end,he finishes on a high having a go at the British[south African] general for belittling him[addressing him as a colonel],that is why he didnt accept the invitation from the young officer! to the book

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bushfighter

Askaris

Habari gani?

A paperback book was published last year:

"Mzee Ali - the biography of an African slave-raider turned Askari & scout" by Bror MacDonell. 30 degrees South Publishers (Pty) Ltd.

ISBN: 0-9584890-5-X

It is a good story of service in Lettow's Schutztruppe seen through the eyes of a Tanzanian.

Kwaheri

Harry

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askaris

Bushfighter!

This is quite more like it! your earlier statement about the Askaris opinions left me somehow shocked,when i was growing i saw quite a lot of researchers interviewing these veterans,from my head i can remember at least six of them,White,Chinese(Japanese),and Black,ofcourse not to mention the one who were busy looking for the rare German coin(Gold bullion?) and this was about 57 years after the war! now,this book seems interesting-i havent read it ,but i feel it is in the same mould as Lettows,after all what is the difference between a dogdy Nyamwezi and a Prussian like Lettow? and by the way Mzee for this guy is not simply an old timer.Slave raiding was extremely dangerously(taxing) both physically,mentally, and above all else spiritually,only masters did this thing,and at the age of 14-he was a special one indeed.Lettows book is the real McCoy TIP AND RUN it looks self serving but deep down its not,i doubt it any of these guys did their books out of free will i think they were compelled by the situation of the day,for Mzee Ali i am sure of that,having said that he wouldnt have said any lies

Kila la kheri!

Askaris

NB the main difference is one believes passionately about Chaos!and the other in Order and Kultur & the like

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bushfighter

Askaris

Mambo?

Two more books for you (the fruits of some of the researchers you saw):

"The African Rank & File" by Timothy H. Parsons

"The Chiwaya War" by Melvin E. Page

Now Askaris, can you please provide some credibility to re-inforce your comments?

Why not enter a few personal details in your PROFILE column? They would be appreciated.

Kwaheri

Harry

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askaris

Asante sana Bushfighter

As i said before my main motivation was sharing information i have with the person who wanted to know about Askaris.My relatives fought in that war and the did share with me the experience and some of their knowledge too!,these veterans knew their commander very well,the comments on Von Lettows are mine alone,based partly on the information received from the veterans and largely on me trying to understand the situation of Germany,and of the Author at the time he was writting the book.I think my profile column is fine as it is.

I have just ordered the Mzee Alis book-thank you indeed

Merry Chrismas!

Askaris

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SteveE

Jambo Askaris

What Abteilung were your relatives involved with? just so that I can get a feel for what and where they were and whether they came across my GGrandfather and the 'Frontiersmen' at any time.

It would be good (for me) to get a better perspective of what the askaris role was in the campaign, most of my reading has been based on the 'British' histories (apart from Von Lettow-Vorbeck's book) and I would encourage you to pass on some of the knowledge gained from your relatives in order for a more balanced picture to be obtained.

Asante

Steve

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askaris

Jambo Steve

I dont know which companies they belonged; in 80s while doing the national service i checked the army archive at Dar es salaam ,sadly there was nothing about them-the Germans either destroyed the records or they took them,may be somewhere in Germany you can find them records-but i doubt it;the Germany Government had hard time paying the Askaris in 60s .The archives at Radio Tanzania Dar-es-salaam,University of Dar es salaam ,and the Monduli military academy contains a good collection of the oral history of the Askaris in the great war,they should be consulted by anyone interested in the subject.

Kila la kheri

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