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athelstan

Railways and the Campaign in German South West Africa

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Heliographen-Abteilung

I am basing it on my proximity to the line in Windhoek. I live near the fort and can see the RR line from there. The old bed is the same as the new.

If you look at a map of WDK, the current RR Station is the original - the line runs the same route.

VR

I'd noticed the disparity in perspective, but what maps are you basing this on?

Wouldn't it have made sense for a spur line to take supplies and troops as close to the Fest as possible?

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athelstan

VR

Thanks for pinpointing the location and the photo of Aus. I agree the POW camp is somewhat neglected but it is well worth a wander round and there was certainly a lot of camp debris still there in 2001 on my only visit.

Interesting to note that the photo of the line being blown up which started off this post can be found in the latest issue of 'Britain at War' in an article about an East African Victoria Cross captioned "German Askaris in action during 1915 destroying a stretch of the British railway line near Maktau." Oh dear someone doesn't know their Askaris from their Schutztruppe or East from South West Africa! This aside it is a good article.

regards

james w

I was just in southern Namibia (SWA) and saw the area where the photograph was taken. It is on the Lüderitzbucht to Aus line, very near to present day Aus.

You can also see some of the German fighting positions in the hills to the west of Aus where the railway cut through the hills.

The Allied POW internment camp was located about two kilometers east of Aus.

Remnants of the camp are still there, as is the cemetery, which is better cared for.

Attached is a photo of the POW camp area.

VR

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DSWA

KHA

I agree with you. The fort ( Feste ) is on a higher elevation than the railway station. The station

is approx. 2 km`s away.

In picture, in the middle the new German Krist church is being built. The fort is just behind to the right

of the church and cannot be seen.

Cheers

DSWA

post-53153-0-12391600-1338062873_thumb.j

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DSWA

KHA

In the first picture the railway line would approx on the forefront of the picture.

This picture you can see the Fort ( Feste ) in the middle right.

Cheers

DSWA

post-53153-0-91528400-1338064120_thumb.j

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athelstan

DWSA and KHA – thanks for your discussion on where the photo of the gunners and their mules heading south with a fort in the background might be. Entirely agree it is not the Alte Feste in Windhoek. This has been puzzling me for some time.

Curiously the fort appears to have semi circular shaped towers. From Klaus Hess’ very useful book on fortifications in German South West Africa (‘Von Tsaobis bis Namutoni – die Wehrbauten der deutschen Schutztruppe in Deutsh-Sudwestaftica von 1884-1915,’ 2005) only the Feste Okaukuejo has a round tower. Unfortunately it is nowhere near a railway line! The norm for forts appears to have been square towers.

My only suggestion is that it could be the fort at Okahandja which was served by a railway siding. The hills in the background vaguely correspond with the other photograph but again Okahandja has square towers. So unless the towers were rebuilt prior to 1914 I am still at a loss on where it is.

Regards

james

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