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Luambala, Mozambique


rolt968

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12 hours ago, Holger Kotthaus said:

Some words could not be identified (?)

January 3rd

Patrols under Lts. PRYDE and SWALES returned. Sgt. MALONE (D Coy) with 15 rank + file left to patrol to North of LAKE AMARAMBA. HAWTHORN reports encounter between patrol of I./1. K.A.R. and enemy north of LUAMBALA on 1st January. Our casualties, 2 officers, 1 white signaller + 2 askaris killed, 2 askaris wounded. Known enemy casualties, 1 white + 5 askaris killed. 3 Coys II./1.K.A.R ordered to LUAMBALA

January 5th

Enemy forces at LUAMBALA now said to be 11 whites, 150 askaris and 4 M.G´s and reinforcements expected from MTARIKA.  1 enemy Coy proceeding to MWEMBE, and 1 in direction of MAKUA + MALAKOTERA. MAJ.GEN.NORTHEY stayed at NAMWERAS night of the 5th/6th.

January 8th

D Coy under Lt. DILLON (Less patrols under Lts. MYLES + TRAILL and Sgts. CLARK + MALONE) proceeded to MWAVA. D. Coy to establish an entrenched camp there, or nearer the LUJENDA if sufficient healthy, and to send patrols 20 or 30 miles across river, watching the main paths to MAHUA, LUAMBALA + MALOKOTERA. The main force of the company to be ready to move to prevent any enemy attempts to cross LUJENDA within 2 days of MWAVA.

January 10th

Lt. TRAILL´s patrol returned from the LUJENDA. Lt. MYLES rejoined “D” Coy. HAWTHORN reports 2nd, 4th, 21st F.K at LUAMBALA, OTTO with 13th + 14th F.K. at LIKOPOLWE and to proceed thence via MWEMBE to reinforce MTARIKA. 9th F.K. to be at LIKOPOLWE on 9th January. Enemy in position East + West of LUJENDA at LUAMBALA. 1 Coy II./1.K.A.R. attacked one position morning 7th without success, but inflicted causalities on enemy in two counter attacks. Evening of 7th I./1.K.A.R. + II./1.K.A.R. attacked and captured 1 position. Captain CLACHAN and Lieutenant TOFTS killed.

February 24th

Maj. MASTERS with 1/2 Bn. I./1.K.A.R. passed through on route for Ft. JOHNSTON. Maj. MARKHAM, A.D.C.T. visited NAMWERAS and arranged that MALOKOTERA who to be fed by III./1.K.A.R. 1st line carriers, as it was desired to build food reserves at LUAMBALA for which purpose all 2nd line carriers would be required.

February 28th

Maj. ORR + Lt. GIBBS with 20 askari C Coy left for MALOKOTERA. Maj. ORR to clear up situation in that area.

9 a.m. C Coy under Capt. PRYDE left for LUAMBALA to relieve C Coy I./1.K.A.R.

1 p.m. Wires received from Col. HAWTHORN cancelling move of 1 coy to LUAMBALA ordering it to support Maj. ORR if required, and directing that enemy parties in MALOKOTERA area should be harassed as much as possible in order to encourage dissertation.

Holger

Hope you don't mind but I've edited your transcription to add the (?) details you were unsure of.

Steve

Edited by SteveE
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On 06/12/2021 at 01:49, SteveE said:

Some words could not be identified (?)

January 3rd

Patrols under Lts. PRYDE and SWALES returned. Sgt. MALONE (D Coy) with 15 rank + file left to patrol to North of LAKE AMARAMBA. HAWTHORN reports encounter between patrol of I./1. K.A.R. and enemy north of LUAMBALA on 1st January. Our casualties, 2 officers, 1 white signaller + 2 askaris killed, 2 askaris wounded. Known enemy casualties, 1 white + 5 askaris killed. 3 Coys II./1.K.A.R ordered to LUAMBALA

January 5th

Enemy forces at LUAMBALA now said to be 11 whites, 150 askaris and 4 M.G´s and reinforcements expected from MTARIKA.  1 enemy Coy proceeding to MWEMBE, and 1 in direction of MAKUA + MALAKOTERA. MAJ.GEN.NORTHEY stayed at NAMWERAS night of the 5th/6th.

January 8th

D Coy under Lt. DILLON (Less patrols under Lts. MYLES + TRAILL and Sgts. CLARK + MALONE) proceeded to MWAVA. D. Coy to establish an entrenched camp there, or nearer the LUJENDA if sufficient healthy, and to send patrols 20 or 30 miles across river, watching the main paths to MAHUA, LUAMBALA + MALOKOTERA. The main force of the company to be ready to move to prevent any enemy attempts to cross LUJENDA within 2 days of MWAVA.

January 10th

Lt. TRAILL´s patrol returned from the LUJENDA. Lt. MYLES rejoined “D” Coy. HAWTHORN reports 2nd, 4th, 21st F.K at LUAMBALA, OTTO with 13th + 14th F.K. at LIKOPOLWE and to proceed thence via MWEMBE to reinforce MTARIKA. 9th F.K. to be at LIKOPOLWE on 9th January. Enemy in position East + West of LUJENDA at LUAMBALA. 1 Coy II./1.K.A.R. attacked one position morning 7th without success, but inflicted causalities on enemy in two counter attacks. Evening of 7th I./1.K.A.R. + II./1.K.A.R. attacked and captured 1 position. Captain CLACHAN and Lieutenant TOFTS killed.

February 24th

Maj. MASTERS with 1/2 Bn. I./1.K.A.R. passed through on route for Ft. JOHNSTON. Maj. MARKHAM, A.D.C.T. visited NAMWERAS and arranged that MALOKOTERA who to be fed by III./1.K.A.R. 1st line carriers, as it was desired to build food reserves at LUAMBALA for which purpose all 2nd line carriers would be required.

February 28th

Maj. ORR + Lt. GIBBS with 20 askari C Coy left for MALOKOTERA. Maj. ORR to clear up situation in that area.

9 a.m. C Coy under Capt. PRYDE left for LUAMBALA to relieve C Coy I./1.K.A.R.

1 p.m. Wires received from Col. HAWTHORN cancelling move of 1 coy to LUAMBALA ordering it to support Maj. ORR if required, and directing that enemy parties in MALOKOTERA area should be harassed as much as possible in order to encourage dissertation.

Rolt969 and Steve, many thanks for your replies and useful help. An important factor in an attempt to objectively

present historical events is, to compare different sources. Therefore, I am pleased that the GWF offer the

opportunity to access further British primary sources. Steve; - Special thanks for the effort of your proofreading.

 

Below an addition with a brief military biography of the German commanding officers:

 

GERMAN COMMANDERS OF THE DETACHMENT GOERING AROUND LUAMBALA

(The below, listed ranks were those under which they served in the `Schutztruppe´ during the GW.

Although they was promoted, some several times, the necessary confirmation didn´t arrive in GEA.)

_________________________________________________________________________________________

[url=https://abload.de/image.php?img=03_karlernstgring2bkxk.jpg][img]https://abload.de/img/03_karlernstgring2bkxk.jpg[/img][/url]

First Lieutenant Karl Ernst Goering (* 3.8.1887 – † 4.10.1932)

Commander of 4. Field-Company at Luambala; – (photo: 1913 in GEA)

·      18.8.1904 Lieutenant Infantry Regt. 98 in Germany

·      10.11.1910 `Schutztruppe´ in German East-Africa

·      18.8.1913 First Lieutenant, Adjutant for Commander of the `Schutztruppe´ in Daressalam.

·      11/1914 to 4. Field-Company; – 5/1918 to 9. Field-Company; – 9/1918 to 10. Field-Company

·      18.-25.1.1915 Jassini; - 16.+17.8.1916 Dirkawa; - 16.12.1916 `Braunhoehe´; - 13.3.1917 Nambanje; -

16.10.1917 Mahiwa (I. wounded); – 7.1.1918 Luambala; - 5.5.1918 Kireka-Hill; - 22.5.1918 Timbani; -

22.+ 23.7.1918 Namirrue; - 24.8.1918 Numarroe; - 30.+ 31.8.1918 Lioma; - 6.9.1918 Hulua-Hill badly

wounded and British P.O.W. same day.

·      Medals: Eis. Kreuz 2.Kl. – Wounded badge. Unofficial Rank: 1915 Captain.

·      1920 taken over by the `Reichswehr´ as Major, transferred to police as Lieutenant-Colonel.

 

Specialty: First son of Heinrich Ernst Göring and the older brother from Hermann Göring.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

[url=https://abload.de/image.php?img=04_waltervonruckteschosjfp.jpg][img]https://abload.de/img/04_waltervonruckteschosjfp.jpg[/img][/url]

Lieutenant d.R. Walter Alexander Moritz von Ruckteschell (* 12.11.1882 – † 27.9.1941)

Commander of 21. Field-Company at Luambala; – (photo: 1908 in Germany)

Original Source: https://kilimanjaro.bplaced.net/wiki/index.php?title=Walter_von_Ruckteschell

·      Artist + sculptor; - Professional assignment in German East Africa in 1913.

·      2.-5.1914 Tanga (I. badly wounded); – 7.12.1915 Kasigao; – 24.12.1915 Pika-Pika; – 10.8.1916

Matomondo; – 16.+ 17.8.1916 Dirkawa; – 24.11.1916 Kissidju; – 21.10.1917 Lukuledi; – 7.1.1918

Luambala; – 22.5.1918 Timbani; – 1.-3.7. 1918 Namacurra; – 22.-23.7.1918 Namirrue (II. badly

wounded); – active until 25.11.1918 in Abercorn / BNR

·      11/1914 to 1. Field-Company; – 8/1916 to 21. Field-Company.

·      Medals: Bavarian Prinzregent Luitpold-Med.i.Br. a. Band d. Jub. Medaille – Eiserne Kreuz 2.Kl. – Mil.

Verd. Orden 4.Kl.m.Sch. – Wounded badge. Unofficial Ranks: 1914 First Luitenant – 1917 Captain.

·      1939 Major in the Polish campaign, 1940 French campaign, Battalion-Commander

·      1941 with the German military attaché in Rome / Italy.

Specialty: Walter von Ruckteschell was K./A. in II.WW on the Italian submarine chaser Albatros,

Mediterranean Sea 27.9.1941, on the way to the Afrika Korps on an `unknown´ courier-mission.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

[url=https://abload.de/image.php?img=05_albertadolfmerenskbxj9m.png][img]https://abload.de/img/05_albertadolfmerenskbxj9m.png[/img][/url]

First Lieutenant d.L.I. Albert Adolf Merensky (* 25.7.1873 – † 17.12.1923)

Commander of 2. Field-Company north of Luambala-River; – (photo: 1918 in PEA)

Original Source: (Within the 2.Field-Company on the march 1918 in PEA)

http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankfurt.de/CD/6264/3051/2129/6264_3051_2129_0076.jpg

·      14.12.1895, Infantry Regt. 174 in Germany, 1896 Luitenant

·      7.2.1900 `Schutztruppe´ in German Cameroun

·      Surveyor at the Railway-Construct.-Company in Buiko / GEA.

·      2.-5.11.1914 Tanga (I. wounded); – 18.-25.1.1915 Jassini; – 14.7.1915 Mbuvini; – 26.10.Bura line; –

9.6.1916 Mkalamo; – 18.6.1916 Derema; – 24.6.1916 Negero chini; – 8.7.1916 Kanga (II. wounded); –

14.+15.8.1916 Kwedihombo; – 24.+25.8.1916 Mlali; – 1.1.1917 Mgeta / Kiderengwa; – 7.1.1917 Mkalinso

/ Kungulio; – 11.4.1918 Koriwa (III. wounded); – 30.4.1918 Kanene; – 1.-3.8.1918 Namacurra; –

30.+31.8.1918 Lioma; – 6.9.1918 Hulua-Hill; – active until 25.11.1918 in Abercorn / BNR

·      Medals: Eiserne Kreuz 2.Kl. – Wounded badge. Later ranks: 1919 Captain and Major (?)

Specialty: Merensky was born 1873 in Batschabelo, Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (Transvaal-Republic) and thus

probably also officially citizens of this Boer-Republic? This conservative influence was certainly also the reason

for his unmistakably very long beard, which he wore during the entire campaign in East Africa.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Regards Holger

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7 minutes ago, Holger Kotthaus said:

________________________________________________________________________________________

First Lieutenant Karl Ernst Goering (* 3.8.1887 – † 4.10.1932)

Commander of 4. Field-Company at Luambala; – (photo: 1913 in GEA)

________________________________________________________________________________________

Lieutenant d.R. Walter Alexander Moritz von Ruckteschell (* 12.11.1882 – † 27.9.1941)

Commander of 21. Field-Company at Luambala; – (photo: 1908 in Germany)

_________________________________________________________________________________________

First Lieutenant d.L.I. Albert Adolf Merensky (* 25.7.1873 – † 17.12.1923)

Commander of 2. Field-Company north of Luambala-River; – (photo: 1918 in PEA)

_________________________________________________________________________________________

I am confused; - I checked before in other Forum; - the Links are working?!?

Here an other version:

First Lieutenant Karl Ernst Goering (* 3.8.1887 – † 4.10.1932)

Commander of 4. Field-Company at Luambala; – (photo: 1913 in GEA)

https://abload.de/image.php?img=03_karlernstgring2bkxk.jpg

Lieutenant d.R. Walter Alexander Moritz von Ruckteschell (* 12.11.1882 – † 27.9.1941)

Commander of 21. Field-Company at Luambala; – (photo: 1908 in Germany)

https://abload.de/image.php?img=04_waltervonruckteschosjfp.jpg

First Lieutenant d.L.I. Albert Adolf Merensky (* 25.7.1873 – † 17.12.1923)

Commander of 2. Field-Company north of Luambala-River; – (photo: 1918 in PEA)

https://abload.de/image.php?img=05_albertadolfmerenskbxj9m.png

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WO-95-5330-2_1_Norforce Headquarters and Troops; Headquarters

WAR DIARY of MAJOR-GENERAL E. NORTHEY C.B., commanding NYASA-RHODESIA FRONTIER FORCE.

– Page 2 – (from together 136)

1918

January 1st  

. . . . . The enemy´s disposition according to latest information seem to be as follows: - VON LETTOW´s Head Quarters, with 3 companies and two mountain guns are at MTATIKA, which place appears to be many miles east of where it is shown on available maps. The LUJENDA River bends eastwards further south than the maps show. There seems to have been no good survey of Portuguese Nyasaland, and we are altering our maps as we go along. I forwarded herewith latest maps we have produced of P.S.A.: it is accurate as we can make it from latest information, but I believe MTARIKA should be further east.

WAHLE and KRAUT are at MWEMBE and LIKOPOLWE with five companies and perhaps a Portuguese gun. Three more enemy companies under GORING are about LUAMBALA. Three companies are about MEDO, and another raiding towards the mouth of the LURIO River. This accounts for the fifteen companies into which the enemy forces are now believed to be organised. Each company seems to have three machine guns, and VON-LETTOW may have a machine company with his Reserve.

Our own troops are disposed as follows: - HAWTHORN has the 1st and 2nd Battalions 1. K.A.R., about 1,300 rifles, at KATULI, south of LUAMBALA, with the 3rd Battalion in reserve at NAMWERA, escorting convoys, and patrolling eastwards.

The Cape Corps are half at UNANGO and half at MTENGULA; they, like HAWTHORN, are at present operation at about the limit of supply: we are working hard to get more new carriers; the entails of part of my force at TUNDURU uses up a large number of old carriers and entails the keeping of a lot of motor lorries on the SONGEA route. (KATULI or CATULI, also CATUR wasn´t south, but West south-west from LUAMBALA)

[ . . . ]

Patrols from HAWTHORN and 2nd Cape Corps have arrived LIKUPOLWE: the Cape Corps surprised an enemy patrol, wounding and capturing three Askari of the 13th Field Coy, one a Sergeant-Major: these say that the 13th and 14th Field Companies are approaching LIKUPOLWE. It appears that during December the enemy captured the Portuguese positions in both the MKULA and OIZULU Mountains with practically no fighting: Portuguese stragglers are turning up at TUNDURU and UNANGO. Nine Askari and 8 carriers, deserters, of the 13th Field Coy came into TUNDURU and they say they deserted on the way to MWEMBE: their column consisted of the 4th, 13th and 14th Field Coys under OTTO. (This certainly happened on 24.12.1917 north of MWEMBE or MUEMBE. The Detachment OTTO; – At this time, end of 12/1917; –  with the 13th and 14th Field Company covered the attached Ammunition column B, and at the same time a number of porters and also some Askari escaped from the covering).

[ . . . ]

January 3rd

A patrol of HAWTHORN´s met an enemy patrol near LUAMBALA and killed one Askari. HAWTHORN´s advance-guard is moving on LUAMBALA. (This clash took place most likely on 29.12.1917, South-East of LUAMBALA. The opponent was the Patrol under Lieutenant Otto v. SCHERBENING / 2nd Field Company under First Lieutenant Albert MERENSKY. This was a long-distance-patrol on the way to WATIWA on LURIO-River to check there the food conditions. Patrol strength is not known and losses are not mentioned.)

[ . . . ]

January 4th

The II./ 4.K.A.R. left SONGEA for MBAMBA BAY. A patrol of 70 rifles of the I./ 1.K.A.R. was attacked in the early morning by a superior force, which it beat off with considerable loss. Our losses were 5 killed an 2 wounded; we picked up 6 enemy dead. HAWTHORN ordered to push on his whole force to LUAMBALA as soon as transport permits, it being most important to find out what enemy force is there and drive it out. (Seems to be the same action which was described in WO-95-5331-10, but with entry for January 3rd.)

[ . . . ]

January 6th

One of HAWTHORN´s patrols south of MWEMBE surprised an enemy patrol, killed 6 Askari, and capture one German a Lewis gun complete with 16 drums and 3,000 rounds of ammunition, 13 rifles and camp equipment.

(This must be also the same action, which was already mentioned for January 3rd.)

 

January 7th

HAWTHORN´s scouts report LUAMBALA BOMA held by about 2 enemy companies, 160 strong, with four machine-guns. . . (Gen. Van DEVENTER mentioned in a confidential letter, 35 British causalities, only on this day, the January 7th, during the attack on LUAMBALA; – presumably dead, wounded and missing; – page 47 on this file.)  

[ . . . ]

January 10th

A German Askari killed by HAWTHORN´s patrol north of KATULI was carrying a letter from WAHLE dated MWEMBE 2nd inst. stating that GOERING with 2nd, 4th and 21st Field Coys, was near LUAMBALA; OTTO with 13th and 14th Field Coys in LIKUPOLER areas was to move via MWEMBE to MTARIKA.

 

January 11th

HAWTHORN´s two battalions, converging on LUAMBALA from east and west had some fighting in which the enemy had one German, 15 Askari killed and many wounded; we forced the enemy into the Boma, which is in the angle formed by the junction of the LUAMBALA and LUJENDA Rivers, but he has also at least one company on the east side of the LUJENDA guarding a bridge. (Except for the date, British and German details agree here. GOERING states only that he switched with the 4th and 21st Field Coys on the east bank of the LUGENDA River already during the night of January 7th to 8th.)

 

January 12th

HAWTHORN is having much difficulty in crossing the LUJENDA River south of LUAMBALA owing to its flooded state: very heavy rains are falling.

 

January 13th

We captured two small enemy convoys east of LUAMBALA. A captured Corporal of the 4thField Coy corroborates more or less our present information about the enemy, but states that three of the companies with VON LETTOW are each 250 strong, which is probably not true. (This appears to be the captured volunteer BREITHAUPT, who was registered as missing on January 15th in German files.)

 

January 14th

HAWTHORN was prevented yesterday from attacking enemy on east (right) bank of LUJENDA opposite LUAMBALA BOMA, his bridge being washed away by flood. . . .

[ . . . ]

January 15th

Rivers round LUAMBALA still in flood and operations impossible as HAWTHORN cannot maintain large force on the right bank of the LUJENDA under present conditions: arrangements are being made to build a bridge: one of our patrols raided enemy food store 7 miles east of LUAMBALA capturing two Germans and seven Askari and killing one Askari.

[ . . . ]

January 18th

HAWTHORN occupied LUAMBALA BOMA, enemy retiring northwards, without awaiting his attack. Enemy Party at MAHUA reliably reported at 3 Germans and 30 Askari on the 10th instant. Our patrols about LUAMBALA and near MWEMBE keep capturing occasional Askari, some deserters, others foraging. Reports as to enemy´s food supplies vary: there is no doubt he has captured enormous quantities of foodstuffs near the coast, but that is a long way from MTARIKA, near which place enemy´s main force is.

[ . . . ]

January 25th

Hawthorn has now five companies on right bank of LUJENDA River and three on left near LUAMBALA, with strong patrols out north and east. Enemy appear to be holding posts on the LUKULEZI River, a right bank tributary of the LUJENDA, about 15 miles north of the LUAMBALA.

 

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Thank you, Holger.

To some extent I think you have answered a question which I was about to ask:

How accurate are the dates which appear in the East African war diaries? Indeed, did units sometimes loose track of the date?

RM

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12 hours ago, rolt968 said:

How accurate are the dates which appear in the East African war diaries? Indeed, did units sometimes loose track of the date?

RM,

There are of course some differences if you compare not only the dates with each other. But this also seems to me to be entirely plausible and understandable.

Let's imagine the following situation; - A patrol leader and his squad return to the company after several days. Immediately afterwards, the advance continues. There is a skirmish during this advance. So only after 3 or 4 days does he get to complete his war diary entries because the company commander has already warned him several times. That means that in reality the patrol leader only comes to give this information after a week. Of course, the company commander had to forward a summary of the events to the battalion in advance, which in turn had to be transmitted to headquarters by telephone.

Up to this point alone there are sources of error. For example, if you compare HAWTHORN's handwritten entries, page by page, you can see quite clearly how the clarity and quality decrease after 7 or 8 diary pages. After a longer break, or the next day, the entries start much more clearly. That is, the monthly summary was inevitably done in retrospect. I consider the resulting inevitable discrepancies to be a completely natural process.

Years later there is an author who tries to research a compilation here and summarize it in a book. When trying to be objective, differences can arise here too. Here, too, there are various subjective factors to represent a “water glass as half full or half empty”. In the case of German representations, for example, there are very clear differences between whether they were written between 1933 and 1915 and whether they are from the present day. Such temporally different influences when looking at historical events are always and everywhere.

Regards Holger

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NORTHEY mentioned on January 1st, HAWTORN´s strength of the I. and II./ 1.K.A.R. with 1,300 rifles.

    1. Does that mean that, minus the regimental command, there were around 500 rifles available in each battalion?

    2. Had the I. and II./ 1.K.A.R., three companies each (A, B, C) or more?

 

Regards Holger

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4 hours ago, Holger Kotthaus said:

 

RM,

There are of course some differences if you compare not only the dates with each other. But this also seems to me to be entirely plausible and understandable.

Let's imagine the following situation; - A patrol leader and his squad return to the company after several days. Immediately afterwards, the advance continues. There is a skirmish during this advance. So only after 3 or 4 days does he get to complete his war diary entries because the company commander has already warned him several times. That means that in reality the patrol leader only comes to give this information after a week. Of course, the company commander had to forward a summary of the events to the battalion in advance, which in turn had to be transmitted to headquarters by telephone.

Up to this point alone there are sources of error. For example, if you compare HAWTHORN's handwritten entries, page by page, you can see quite clearly how the clarity and quality decrease after 7 or 8 diary pages. After a longer break, or the next day, the entries start much more clearly. That is, the monthly summary was inevitably done in retrospect. I consider the resulting inevitable discrepancies to be a completely natural process.

Years later there is an author who tries to research a compilation here and summarize it in a book. When trying to be objective, differences can arise here too. Here, too, there are various subjective factors to represent a “water glass as half full or half empty”. In the case of German representations, for example, there are very clear differences between whether they were written between 1933 and 1915 and whether they are from the present day. Such temporally different influences when looking at historical events are always and everywhere.

 

Regards Holger

May thanks Holger

Those are the kinds of situations I had been thinking about.

RM

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On 09/12/2021 at 08:53, Holger Kotthaus said:

NORTHEY mentioned on January 1st, HAWTORN´s strength of the I. and II./ 1.K.A.R. with 1,300 rifles.

    1. Does that mean that, minus the regimental command, there were around 500 rifles available in each battalion?

    2. Had the I. and II./ 1.K.A.R., three companies each (A, B, C) or more?

Holger

To answer your second question first...  I'm no expert on the King's African Rifles, I would suspect Harry @bushfighter would be better informed than I on this subject, but 1917 and 1918 saw a massive increase in the size of the K.A.R. with many new battalions being raised in this time frame as it became apparent that the locally raised forces would be better suited to that campaign's climate.  As part of this growth the K.A.R. moved from their 'varied' pre-war company structure and adopted the four company structure that was then in use, these companies were to be identified as A to D. 

As I understand it in January 1917 the existing 1st Battalion K.A.R. was split into 1/1st and 2/1st initially, 3/1st followed shortly after, and there wasn't an immediate move to four companies 'in the field' as both 1/1st and 2/1st were created with an initial three companies with the fourth being created later.  However by January 1918, the time you're interested in, I believe both 1/1st and 2/1st K.A.R. were using the four companies, A to D, in the field.

As for the first question, my understanding is that the number quoted was effective rifle strength, i.e. the number of fighting troops that were available.  The figures are always 'approximate' and there is another war diary document for the same date which quotes 650 for the 1/1st and 600 for the 2/1st but these figures don't apparently include the machine gun section. 

Regards

Steve  

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22 hours ago, SteveE said:

Holger

To answer your second question first...  I'm no expert on the King's African Rifles, I would suspect Harry @bushfighter would be better informed than I on this subject, but 1917 and 1918 saw a massive increase in the size of the K.A.R. with many new battalions being raised in this time frame as it became apparent that the locally raised forces would be better suited to that campaign's climate.  As part of this growth the K.A.R. moved from their 'varied' pre-war company structure and adopted the four company structure that was then in use, these companies were to be identified as A to D. 

As I understand it in January 1917 the existing 1st Battalion K.A.R. was split into 1/1st and 2/1st initially, 3/1st followed shortly after, and there wasn't an immediate move to four companies 'in the field' as both 1/1st and 2/1st were created with an initial three companies with the fourth being created later.  However by January 1918, the time you're interested in, I believe both 1/1st and 2/1st K.A.R. were using the four companies, A to D, in the field.

As for the first question, my understanding is that the number quoted was effective rifle strength, i.e. the number of fighting troops that were available.  The figures are always 'approximate' and there is another war diary document for the same date which quotes 650 for the 1/1st and 600 for the 2/1st but these figures don't apparently include the machine gun section. 

Regards

Steve  

Steve

Of course, I am be aware of Harry´s Africa and other articles from him; - great stuff.

 

Your assumption that both battalions (I. / 1.K.A.R. + II./ 1.K.A.R.), consists four companies (Coy A,B,C,D) each, is also mentioned here by Harry, even if it is listed for 1916/1917:

The King's African Rifles at Kibata, German East Africa December 1916 to January 1917

  https://www.westernfrontassociation.com/world-war-i-articles/the-kings-african-rifles-at-kibata-german-east-africa-december-1916-to-january-1917/

I have the following book, but only as Volume 1 (and without the necessary details)

KING'S AFRICAN RIFLES. A Study in the Military History of East and Central Africa, 1890-1945, volume 1 https://www.amazon.com/AFRICAN-RIFLES-Military-History-1890-1945/dp/1843423944

Furthermore: Tales from Kings African Rifles (Cassell Military Paperbacks)

https://www.amazon.de/-/en/John-Nunneley/dp/0304359777

It is of course always a little more time-consuming to research details for a very special process in a very limited period of time.

Regards Holger

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WAR DIARY EAST AFRICAN FORCE – JANUARY 1918 – Volume XXIV

The National Archives' reference WO 95/5295/1

DAR-ES-SALAAM - 1st January 1918  – WESTERN AREA

. . . . . Enemy patrol reported LUAMBALA BOMA 29th (12/1917) patrols sent that direction from KATULI and CHICOWA

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM - 3rd January 1918 WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily Report: - “One HAWTHORN´s patrols encountered small enemy patrol vicinity LUAMBALA BOMA 313 killing (???) one G.B. capturing personal boy who states he come from MTARIKA with enemy party now LUAMBALA BOMA 6 G.Ws one M.G. and he thinks two coys but this probably exaggerated also states larger force under Captain at MTARIKA. II./ 1. K.A.R. is sending two coys from CHIKOVO to LUAMBALA BOMA. Noting further from 2nd Cape Corps.”

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 4th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

“. . . . . I./ 1. K.A.R. patrol 100 rifles about 3 hours north LUAMBALA BOMA was twice unsuccessfully attacked on 1st by enemy force strength unknown but eventually forced withdraw owing shortage ammunition. Our casualties five killed including two officers, two wounded. Enemy´s unknown but patrol on our flank after first attack found one G.W. five G.Bs dead. Three coys II./ 1. K.A.R. now ordered to LUAMBALA BOMA. Patrol reported negatively 31st ult 34 miles north KATULI.” . . . . .

[ . . . ]

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 6th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily report: - “HAWTHORN´s scouts report enemy force LUAMBALA BOMA 1st inst consisted 11 G.Ws 150 G.Bs, 4 M.Gs under a major. Captured askari states above force was expecting arrival strong force from MTARIKA also that one company went MWEMBE another in direction MAHUA and MALOKOTERA presumably from MTARIKA. I./ 1. K.A.R. at KATULI being kept prepared co-operate with II./ 1. K.A.R. against enemy ENAMALA if required.”

[ . . . ]

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 8th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

. . . . . Further details patrol action near LUAMBALA BOMA first inst now received. Enemy´s strength about 120 rifles, one M.G. The first attack repulsed within 50 yards with considerable casualties and their M.G. Silenced second attack not pushed nearer than 120 yards and probably only made to cover removal of wounded. Enemy after second attack retired towards LUAMBALA BOMA their casualties now known to include 3 G.Ws, 15 G.Bs killed 1 G.W. number of G.Bs wounded, ours six killed three wounded.”

. . . . . Strong enemy patrol left MWEMBE for LUAMBALA BOMA. . . . .

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 9th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

“. . . . . Nothing further from HAWTHORN.”

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 10th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

“. . . . . Nothing further from HAWTHORN.”

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 11th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily report; - “HAWTHORN´s patrols north KATULI killed enemy askari carrying letter from WAHLE dated MWEMBE 2nd inst stating GOERING with 2nd, 4th, 21th F.Ks near LUAMBALA. OTTO with 13th, 14th F.Ks in LIKOPOLWE area was move via MWEMBE to reinforce MTARIKA. 9th F.K. expected arrive LIKOPOLWE 5th inst. HAWTHORN located enemy holding positions both banks LUJENDA near LUAMBALA. One coy I./ 1. K.A.R. attacked one position morning 7th did not get in but inflicted considerable causalities on enemy who counter attacked twice. Some coys I./ 1. K.A.R. and II./ 1. K.A.R. attacked evening 7th driving enemy from one position. No details yet.”

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 12th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily report; - “HAWTHORN reports on 8th enemy had withdrawn to position in and around LUAMBALA BOMA itself which in angle formed by confluence LUJENDA LUAMBALA Rivers. One company II./ 1. K.A.R. was on left bank closing space between the two rivers. Our causalities in fighting on 7th 9 killing including two officers, 23 wounded, 3 missing. Our patrols have intercepted two small enemy convoys east of LUJENDA. . . . . .”

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 13th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

“ . . . . . HAWTHORN reported on 11th from further reconnaissance appeared only detachment enemy now holding LUAMBALA BOMA with guard on temporary bridge over LUJENDA and probably two coys in position on right bank latter another coy being at food depot six miles further east.  . . . . .

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 14th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

“ . . . . . Enemy apparently still same positions near LUAMBALA BOMA. Three companies I./ 1. K.A.R. which crossed LUAMBALA River on 10th and proceed towards MWEMBE rejoined HAWTHORNE near LUAMBALA BOMA on 13th their scouts and agents report nearest enemy north LUAMBALA River is party 6 G.Ws 60 G.Bs at MTENTELA 20 miles south MWEMBE. After fight near LUAMBALA BOMA on 7th we found one G.W. seven G.Bs dead; one G.W. four G.Bs were also seen carried into Boma. Local native who left enemy on 11th states was employed collecting food which sent towards MTARIKA. Between 8th and 11th he saw number askari with 3 M.Gs including one damaged also number wounded and 20 machilas going towards MTARIKA. Enemy askari told him enemy lost one G.W. 15 G.Bs killed. This probably refers to enemy company now reported at food depot 6 miles east LUAMBALA BOMA damaged M.G. being probably one tripod and ammunition of that which we captured. Information from Portuguese sources confirms enemy occupation MAHUA.”

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 15th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

“Norforce Daily report: - Enemy were yesterday still same position in and near LUAMBALA BOMA. HAWTHORN now has II./ 1. K.A.R. and I./ 1. K.A.R. less one company remaining KATULI concentrated near LUAMBALA BOMA. He intended yesterday send his main force across to attack enemy position on right bank LUJENDA but was prevented by LUJENDA being in flood. Native agent believed fairly reliable reports 20 G.Ws many askari 2 guns were on 9th approaching MALOKOTIRA apparently from direction MAHUA. Nothing further from 2nd Cape Corps.”

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 16th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

“Norforce Daily report: - “ . . . . . . Hawthorn yesterday reported LUJENDA still rising and impossible cross . . . . .”

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 17th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily report: - “HAWTHORN reported yesterday LUJENDA still rising. He has established two companies on right bank but at present unable supply more there with bark canoes available. On 15th strong patrol raided enemy food store east LUJENDA capturing two G.Ws seven G.Bs 32 porters killing one G.B. Captured askari state GOERING with 2nd, 4th, 21st on right bank LUJENDA with detachment in LUAMBALA BOMA. OTTO with 3rd, 13th, 14th F.Ks on left bank LUJENDA north LUMBALA River. Nothing further from 2nd Cape Corps.”

[ . . . ]

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 19th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

“Norforce Daily report: - “. . . . . HAWTHORN occupied LUAMBALA BOMA unopposed 4 hours 18th enemy had evidently evacuated owing their own bridge washed away. . . . .”

[ . . . ]

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 22nd January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily report: - “. . . . . Strong patrol from HAWTHORN´s Column left LUABALA BOMA before dawn 21st for MTARIKA, another to raid enemy food store 7 hours from LUAMBALA BOMA. . . . . “

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 23rd January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily report: - “HAWTHORN´s patrols north of LUAMBALA River on 21st found two deserted camps met no enemy for 12 miles from LUAMBALA along MWEMBE path but saw two enemy patrols on left bank LUJENDA which retired rapidly north. Strength these 1 G.W. 20 G.Bs and 3 G.Bs respectively. . . . .”

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 24th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily report: - “HAWTHORN´s patrol sent raid food store 7 hours from LUAMBALA BOMA returned on finding garrison reinforced. Two more HAWTHORN´s companies were crossing LUJENDA yesterday making total five companies on right bank, two on left bank and one KATULI. . . . .”

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 25th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily report: - “HAWTHORN reported yesterday his patrols engaged with enemy piquet on right bank LUJENDA, GOERING being apparently still in same position there near LUAMBALA BOMA. Scouts reports from MATOLA on LOANGWA River south MWEMBE enemy previously reported vicinity MATOLA left same days ago for LUAMBALA.

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 26th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily report: - “HAWTHORN occupied enemy position right bank LUJENDA near LUAMBALA BOMA afternoon 24th. Small enemy rearguard with one M.G. after demonstrating there morning 24th retired apparently 15 miles down right bank LUJENDA to food depot near LUKULEZI River to which HAWTHORN now sending strong detachment. Patrol north LUAMBALA reports only enemy patrols and foraging parties have been south LONGWA last few days and now all crossed to North later. Company I./ 1. K.A.R. will now move KATULI to MATOLA on LOANGWA River. . . . .”

[ . . . ]

DAR-ES-SALAAM – 29th January 1918 – WESTERN AREA

Norforce Daily report: - “. . . . . On evening 26th enemy were holding right bank LUKULEZI which right bank tributary of LUJENDA joining latter 15 miles below LUAMBALA . . . . .”

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Page 63/133)

– War Diary E.A. Force –

 

CIPHER TELEGRAM. – 1st January 1918 – HAWTHORN´S COLUMN.

 

I./ 1. K.A.R.: – H.Q: KATULI, – Effective Rifles: 650, – M.Gs: 8, – L.Gs.: 8.

II./ 1. K.A.R.: – H.Q: CHIKOVA, – Effective Rifles: 600, – M.Gs: 8, – L.Gs.: 8.

III./ 1. K.A.R.: – H.Q: NAMWERA, – Effective Rifles: 750, – M.Gs: 4, – L.Gs.: 8.

5th Batty S.A.M.R. and Mtn. guns 2, Stokes guns 6.

S.A.M.C.C. in reserve BLANTYRE, – Effective Rifles: 90.

IV./ 1. K.A.R.: – training IN NYASALAND unfit take field: – Effective Rifles: 600.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 (Page 114/133)

SECRET

INTELLIGENCE REPORT

FOR THE PERIOD ENDING 12 noon, 4-1-18.

. . . . . The enemy´s force at Mwembe is now reported to consists of two Companies only, - but if this is Goering´s force, it is probably that Nos. 4, 13, and 14 Field Companies are all three there. The enemy are collecting supplies in this area and sending them to Mtarika.

A strong British patrol, about three hours North of Luambala Boma, was twice unsuccessfully attacked by an enemy force, strength unknown, in the 1st inst. The enemy´s total casualties are not known. One dead European and five dead askaris were, however, counted. Our troops were compelled to withdraw towards Luambala owing to shortage of ammunition.

DAR-ES-SALAAM, 4-1-18,

G. Shakespear, Major, G.S.O. (2), General Staff.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Page 115/133)

SECRET

INTELLIGENCE REPORT

FOR THE PERIOD ENDING 12 noon, 6-1-18.

. . . . . Norforce scouts report that a force of 11 Germans, 150 askaris, 4 machine guns, under the command of a Major (?), was still in occupation of Luambala Boma on the 1st inst. A captured askari states that the above force was then expecting a strong reinforcement from Mtarika. He also reports that the enemy has already sent one Company each in the direction of Mwembe, Mahua (70 miles S.E. of Mtarika) and Malokoteras (60 miles E.S.E of Lake Amaramba). This requires confirmation but, if correct, it is probably that the companies in question were also sent from Mtarika.

DAR-ES-SALAAM, 6-1-18,

G. Shakespear, Major, G.S.O. (2), General Staff.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Page 117/133)

SECRET

INTELLIGENCE REPORT

FOR THE PERIOD ENDING 12 noon, 8-1-18.

. . . . . Further details of the action near Luambala Boma on the 1st inst. show that the enemy´s strength there was about 120 rifles and one machine gun. Their known casualties were 3 Germans, 15 askaris killed 1 German, several askaris wounded. Their machine gun was also silenced. The enemy made two separate two separate attacks, which were repulsed, and finally withdrew towards Luambala Boma. Our troops did not retire towards Luambala as was stated in I.R. dated 4-1-18. . . .

 

DAR-ES-SALAAM, 8-1-18,

G. Shakespear, Major, G.S.O. (2), General Staff.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Page 124/133)

SECRET

INTELEGENCE REPORT

FOR THE PERIOD ENDING 12 noon, 17-1-18.

. . . . . Another captured askari of No. 13 Field Company gives strength of his Company as 10 Europeans, 70 askaris, and No. 14 Field Company as 10 Europeans, 60 askaris, and 5 machine guns with the above two Companies, and plenty of ammunition. Captured documents further show strength of No 21 Field Company to be 12 Europeans, 120 askaris, 3 machine gun and one Lewis gun. . . . .

DAR-ES-SALAAM, 17-1-18,

G. Shakespear, Major, G.S.O. (2), General Staff.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Page 129/133)

SECRET

INTELEGENCE REPORT

FOR THE PERIOD ENDING 12 noon, 27-1-18.

. . . . . Our troops occupied the enemy´s position on the right bank of the Lujenda River near Luambala Boma on the afternoon the 24th inst. The enemy rearguard withdrew about 15 miles down the right bank of the Lujenda River to a food store near the Lukulezi River. . . . . Merensky is reported to have assumed command of No. 21 Field Company. This required confirmation. (German sources mention that Lieutenant A. Merensky, lead the 21st F.K. from the end of 1917 to the peace agreement on November 14, 1918.)

DAR-ES-SALAAM, 27-1-18,

G. Shakespear, Major, G.S.O. (2), General Staff.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Page 131/133)

SECRET

INTELEGENCE REPORT

FOR THE PERIOD ENDING 12 noon, 29-1-18.

. . . . . On the evening of the 26th inst. an enemy rearguard was holding the right bank of the Lukulezi River, a tributary of the Lujenda River, 15 miles below Luambala. Three small encounters with the enemy took place in which we captured two askaris and one porter. The prisoners agree that there were three Companies, including No 2 Field Company, in the Lukulezi position, but reports as to the identity of the other two Companies are conflicting. The following Companies were mentioned – Nos. 10, 14, 19 and 21 Field Companies. One report located No. 4 Field Company at Tembera, 3 hours East of Lukulezi. An askari of No. 2 Field Company states that he recently left Mtarika when von Lettow was there with on Company. He also reports that ammunition from Lukulezi has been sent back towards Mtarika. Intelligence scouts on the 21st inst. reported the left bank of the Lurio River for 80 miles from its source. . . . .

DAR-ES-SALAAM, 29-1-18,

G. Shakespear, Major, General Staff.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

SOUTH AFRICA – THE EMPIRE´S WAR FRO FREEDOM – FEBRUARY 9, 1918.

https://grandeguerra.bnportugal.gov.pt/pdf/1918/fev/1918-02-09_re-11-a_0000.pdf

 

The sometimes very contradicting details between LOF C, HQ Northforce, GHQ General Staff and C-in-C are summarized in a separate list.

Regards Holger

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Holger and Steve, many thanks for the additional info and combining of sources to throw further light on this long-forgotten series of actions.  Holger do you think that the bridge was next to the boma - ie that the boma was there to guard the bridge?

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Zaalf,

Regarding your question; - As far as I understand the sources, the temporary bridge was built to connect both banks of the Lugenda river. This means; - the Boma Luambala was there first, and the bridge was built afterwards. In all likelihood it was its pile construction and not a floating bridge with canoes. All sources also confirm the rainy season from December to March; - so in January the river level began to rise and a bridge became necessary.

Here a climate, and rainfall diagram in the Niassa National Reserve from the guidebook writer Philip Briggs: https://cloudfront.safaribookings.com/climate/Climate-Chart-Niassa-Reserve.png

The Lugenda River forms the border of the Niassa National Reserve in the south, and the Luambala flows into the Lugenda nowadays in the associated Hunting Block D2: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-J8rwByJRRPk/TrUntKuTLzI/AAAAAAAAAVo/4Bv8srp7gQ0/s1600/reserva_mapa_01.jpg

This impressive landscape photo of the Lugenda shows the river during the dry season in July-September, and shows the enormous dimensions of the width of the river during the rainy season. However, the flow rate will have been relatively slow because the river bed wasn´t (and is) straightened and the water masses had the opportunity to expand. A pile bridge is therefore quite logical.

Lugenda river_Mozambique.png

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Backgrounds about Luambala and further Questions.

I am currently busy getting more background information about Luambala. This also includes old Portuguese sources.

At Luambala there was already a small fortified base and a bridge over the Lugenda River. At this point, on the morning of October 19, 1899, a clash took place between the Portuguese Major Machado and his troops against a Detachment, of the 5,000-strong force, of the local Chief Mataca from the northern Muembe. Because of the losses on both sides, there must have been a cemetery at Luambala before the GW.

The small Luambala Base was certainly also only provided with an earth wall at the end of the 19th century.

 

image.png.e5b7ea88cc8eb4b9a73ad624f374d89e.png

Incidentally, there are still rare photos from the 19th century from the `Província de Moçambique´ / `África Oriental´: https://actd.iict.pt/collection/actd:AHUC196

But that’s only for the background; – back to the GW subject area 1914-1918

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As mentioned elsewhere; - In the spring 1917 a Detachment of the `Schutztruppe´ was on a food-finding mission deep in Portuguese territory. On April, 16th 1917, the Detachment of Maj. a.D. Willibald von Stuemer crossed the Rovuma border river south of Tunduru and returned only after more than 4 months, on September, 1st 1917 back to GEA.

The main base of the department was Muembe. From here further relay posts were set up in the north, west and east. The southernmost base of this area, which was controlled for several months, was Luambala. From here, Lt. d.R. Otto Dietrich, leader of I-Company, crossed the border to British Central Africa at Mandimba on May 9th, 1917, and did not return until May 21st. This involves a clash with a British unit, in which a British officer and other charges are taken prisoner. There are also later, several skirmishes, not only with Portuguese, but also with British units during Spring 1917.

 

1.)  Which commonwealth troops were spring 1917 in Ft. Johnston, Ft. Maguire, Zomba or Blantyre?

2.)  Does anyone have information about skirmishes at the border or around Luambala at this time?

Merry Christmas to all and stay save.

Regards Holger

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22 hours ago, Holger Kotthaus said:

Backgrounds about Luambala and further Questions.

I am currently busy getting more background information about Luambala. This also includes old Portuguese sources.

 

At Luambala there was already a small fortified base and a bridge over the Lugenda River. At this point, on the morning of October 19, 1899, a clash took place between the Portuguese Major Machado and his troops against a Detachment, of the 5,000-strong force, of the local Chief Mataca from the northern Muembe. Because of the losses on both sides, there must have been a cemetery at Luambala before the GW.

 

The small Luambala Base was certainly also only provided with an earth wall at the end of the 19th century.

image.png.e5b7ea88cc8eb4b9a73ad624f374d89e.png

 

Thanks Holger. That matches Moyse Bartlett's description which I quoted in my original post. Not that Moyse Bartlett saw it. I wonder where he got his infromation from.

RM

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5 hours ago, rolt968 said:

. . . . . Not that Moyse Bartlett saw it. I wonder where he got his infromation from.  . . . RM

RM,

Moyse Bartlett must have had more information on Luambala. The reason for this was that northern Mozambique was basically a British 'sub-colony' at the start of the war, commercially run by the “Nyassa Chartered Company”, which was a British colonial company in Portuguese East Africa. It existed from 1891 to 1929 and controlled the provinces Niassa (in the northwest) and Cabo Delgado (in the northeast). Since there had been no financial gains since 1911, large shares were sold to a German banking consortium in 1913, but were confiscated in 1914.

Quote

 

“ . . . Although the Niassa Company was officially opened by the Portuguese merchant Bernard Daupais, the British and French held most of the shares. Nevertheless, she received the order to expand the economy in the provinces of Capo Delgado and Niassa and to secure Portuguese rule there. The Niassa Company controlled the provinces of Cabo Delgado and Niassa in the north of what is now Mozambique.

In 1904, the Niassa Company founded the city of Porto Amélia (now Pemba) in the province of Cabo Delgado and made it their headquarters. The residents of the area controlled by the Niassa Company had to pay taxes so high that they were forced to work on the Company's plantations instead of growing something for themselves.

On May 28, 1914, a German banking consortium bought the London-based company on behalf of the German Reich. When the war broke out in August 1914, the company's sales documents were still in London and were confiscated by the English government as enemy property. During the First World War, the area of the Niassa Company was occupied by German troops from German East Africa in 1917/18.

The company had to hand over its territories to the Portuguese colonial government on October 27, 1929 because the Portuguese government had not extended the lease. It was then dissolved.”

British Nyassa Chartered Company:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niassa_Company

https://www.jstor.org/stable/180419

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-african-history/article/abs/nyassa-chartered-company-189119291/557132C3FBFCF9D7A9E9C7C90A9C5E95

Regards Holger

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  • 4 weeks later...

At this point I would like to thank rolt968/RM again for taking up the topic about Luambala and giving me the opportunity to go into this theme in more detail. But I also realize that this and other posts go far beyond rolt968's original question. Certainly a lot of other content about the historical background and today's locations is not necessary and for many readers of little interest. But since I always try to deal intensively with the historical and geographical background, I have to go a little deeper into the theme; - also with the background, to be in the right place, later on site. Maybe even this summer 2022, as long as Corona doesn’t thwart my plans. Ultimately, however, in the following post I try to limit myself to the time phase from mid-April 1917 to mid-September 1918 and the area around Luambala between the Rovuma and Lugenda Rivers and Lake Nyasa. We may also learn concrete answers to the question of why the small cemetery near the Boma Luambala was closed in 1920.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A Summary – Luambala / Portuguese East Africa in 1917 + 1918

Part I – March to September 1917 – A

THE AREA, MWEMBE, LUAMBALA, LIKOPOLWE + CHUAMILA

The area within the triangle with the localities, Likopolwe in the west, - Chirumba and Mtarika in the east and Luambala in the south, formed already a centre of power in the Portuguese Niassa Province at the beginning of the 19th century, with Mwembe as the centre in the north. There were several reasons for this; - On the one hand, the three localities, Likopolwe, Mwembe and Mtarika, were on the most important connecting- and slave route between Lake Nyassa and the Indian Ocean. On the other hand, the western barrier with Mount Mecuiá and the central Masalé Mountains ensure a regular supply of water even into May / June. This very fertile triangle was bordered to the east by the Lugenda River. Finally, this triangle was the main settlement area of the Yao tribe belonging to the Bantu language group, who spread from there north over the Rovuma and to British Central Africa. This relative homogeneous form of society of the Yao also resulted in the most powerful and influential chiefdom of Niassa Province, with Mwembe as its capital, in the middle of the 19th century. These ruling Yao Sultans controlled not only the Pemba-Lake Niassa corridor, but also up to Kilwa Kisiwani on the Indian Ocean. This success also depended on military power as a slave traders. While the British explorer David Livingstone reported in October 1866 about Mwembe, as a large settlement with 1,000 huts, so the Portuguese Maria Emília Madeira Santos spoke in 1885 already of a large town with 4,837 counted houses and an impressive stone-Boma Muembe in the centre, ruled by the Yao Sultan Mataka III. Further reports about this area are known by the, later bishop Chauncy Maples and the explorer Joseph Thompson. The last known essay before the GW comes from Major James Stevenson Hamilton, who wrote in July 1908 even about the already existing Boma Luambala at the Lugenda River.

 

01_Mapa de 1909 do norto do Niassa com Mluluca

image.png.25ebf534ffc5ef0fac53031bff60e221.png

Original Source: https://www.revistamilitar.pt/artigo/524

 

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE HISTORICAL NAMES AND THE PRESENT POSITIONS

Several examples in different threads here in the GWF shows clearly that positions of places and settlements in Africa, named in texts and maps at that time are sometimes difficult to identify today. Not only in East Africa there are always names of places in today's maps that are completely unknown to the respective residents. Conversely, there are existing settlements and villages in remote areas today that do not appear on any new map. (This reminds me about the really puzzle a few years ago about the exact location of `old-new´, Fife / Ikawa / Isoka / Nakonde in formerly British Northern Rhodesia)

The position of Luambala at that time is indisputable today due to the fixed position of the Luambala confluence into the Lugenda River. A village or base of Luambala did not appear until the beginning of the 20th century. The confluence of the Luambala and the Lugenda River can already be identified by cartography as the intersection of several caravan routes. The position of Lumbala was at that time already on an existing long distance trading network in the Niassa province. It is very likely that a ford through the Lugenda, which is still partially recognizable today, is the reason for this, which lies southeast of the Luambala tributary. (According to present travel reports, this ford can still be used today during dry-time, with a very off-road vehicle.) Due to the low gradient and the low flow speed of the Lugenda in the months of April to October, there was probably no reason for a bridge at that time. Only after the Portuguese pacification measures in 1899/1900 was an additional base planned at the Luambala-Lugenda river fork. On January 4th, 1905, the position of a `Mjomboni Hill´ appears for the first time on a British map - exactly the position of the future Boma Luambala, probably still planned at this time as a signal station. The next map evidence from August 1908 already contains the settlement Mluluka (Boma Luambala), with which the construction should have taken place between the years 1905 and 1908. Due to commercial interests, Luambala was even included as a stop in the following railway projects. The name Luambala was primarily used by the British and Germans until the end of World War I, although the alternative name Mluluca can already be read in some cases. Map Source: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=womat!afr!bca!7_f001r

 

02_Lugenda Map with Mluluka 1905

 In my opinion, the 13° latitude (horizontal line) has been positioned 15 miles too far north on the lower map.

image.png.14d7a536e9172b9a1b3c64fb35e84076.png

Original Source: file:///C:/Users/Expert/AppData/Local/Temp/article.pdf

 

The upper map shows next to Mluluka (Luambala), also the position of Cherumba (Chirumba / Kirumba). The settlement of Mtarika (Metarika / Matarica), also shown further north, was named between 1900 and 1974 as the Portuguese Fort `Dom Luiz Filippe´, with Mtarika on the eastern, right bank of the Lugenda River and Fort `Dom Luiz  Filippe´ being shown on the map opposite. But the following link shows us a detailed map where the village and the Fort (upper right) were also pictured in two different positions; - but directly opposite; - located on the river bank and on an island of the Lugenda River. Map Source: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=womat!afr!bca!15_f001r

The similar-sounding present-day Metorika is also located west of the Lugenda River, but is too far south. The `old Mtarika´ was further north, just near the Luatize tributary into the Lugenda. Google Position:  https://www.google.de/maps/place/Metorica,+Mosambik/@-12.8234717,36.7712918,5319m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x18e7adf3803f32ad:0x5213dc57f1cdc4cc!8m2!3d-12.81624!4d36.776459

Muembe appears still today only as a district name in the Niassa Province. But the position of `old´ Mwembe; - could be identified as the today's Mataka; - named after the first Yao Sultan Mataka and his successors. Google Position: https://www.google.de/maps/place/Mataca,+Mosambik/@-12.5661243,36.2544965,3875m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x18e6c029f5d96f31:0x6458a5c98ce36e62!8m2!3d-12.5593728!4d36.2603729

(Of course, further results and findings in Mozambique on site, will be post here.)

Used, online available Sources:

História de Cabo Delgado e do Niassa”, Eduardo da Conceição Medeiros, 1997.

Tenente Eduardo Valadim, Herói ou Mártir?” Tenente-coronel João José de Sousa Cruz, 2014

Trade, State and Society among the Yao in the Nineteenth Century”, Edward Alters Alpers, 1969.

Beyond borders: A history of mobility, Labour, and imperialism in Southern Tanzania”, Katie Valliere Streit, 2016.

Notes on a Journey through Portuguese East Africa, from Ibo to Lake Nyasa”, Maj. J. Stevenson-Hamilton, 1909.

“A formacáo da justice colonial e acáo dos aficanos no norte de Mocambique 1894-1940”, Fernanda do Nascimento Thomaz, 2012.

GENERAL BRIEF BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW IN SPRING 1917

Already in 1915/16, the supply situation for military personnel and civilians in German East Africa was becoming increasingly scarce. The Commando of the `Schutztruppe´ and civil institutions started with the intensification of existing, - and expansion of new cultivation areas for field crops in the south of the colony. After the enemy began to penetrate also this area in 1917, the Commando was forced to look for future alternatives. For this purpose, the procurement of catering from Portuguese East Africa was considered. (The Portuguese government and the German Empire had been officially at war since March 9th, 1916.)

March 22nd 1917; – Commando of the `Schutztruppe´, at this time in Mpotota, have had given `Detachment v. Stuemer´ (J.-, V-Company and one of the `Detachment Kraut´) order to cross the border to PEA, to fight with every possible means against enemy Detachments and to build up foodstuff depots. The Rear-line-Company have to stay in Massassi / GEA.

image.png.64843f14a99c83d65a497bd00504ade9.png

 

Source: “Kriegstagebuch des OK der kaiserlichen Schutztruppe in Deutsch-Ostafrika 1.1.1916 bis 12.12.1917“, S. 446.(Traditionsverband ehemaliger Schutz- und Überseetruppen e.V.)

 

End of March, beginning of April 1917, first patrols were sent to the western Niassa District in northern PEA. These reconnaissance results, supported by statements from the locals, gave a positive picture for the purchase and further cultivation of food in this area. But especially the north of Portuguese East Africa was one of the many `white spots´ in Africa at that time. Even now, more than 100 years later, the Niassa Province in the extreme northwest of Mozambique is, in terms of cartography, a virtually `white spot´ or let us say, a `black hole´. The same place appears on different maps with up to three different names. One can only carefully approach a comparison on the basis of the geographic nature of the terrain and hydrographic information. In 1885, during the Berlin `Congo Conference´, the area up to the northern border river Rovuma was officially granted to the Portuguese government as a zone of influence, although it was never really taken over later due to a lack of resources. The following comment by Lt. z.S. Richard Wenig shows, among other things, the cartographic problems of all the nations in PEA which have been involved in this `No man´s land´:

“Tomorrow it should go on again. Around Lt. Erich Müller sitting several interpreters, spies, captured opposing Askari and our own scouts; - everyone is talking lively to one another. There should be a large Boma in the south, the location of which is still `mystical´ for the time being, but which, everyone agrees on, is full of the most beautiful things and is only about a few days' walk away from here. Only the name is completely unclear, for some say; - Inangu, the other, Utete and still others use further names. It must be remembered that we only have to make our plans and marches according to the statements of natives, prisoners and our own patrols. The few maps that exist are almost all false and ancient. The only thing that is right is the huge white spots. So we are forced to draw maps and sketches ourselves, as precisely as we can, which contain the names of the places, their distance from one another and their mutual position. That is why every patrol leader is equipped with a captured British compass and independently records all points, directions and distances of his marches. A fairly accurate route map can then be produced from various such map sketches in which the same place occurs several times. It is of course particularly difficult when, as is the case here in Portuguese East Africa, only depends on the statements of natives, which of course often contradict each other. But with a little practice and great calm, one can get a reasonably useful picture, even if only after an infinite number of questions. Of course, the natives here did not yet have a clock or compass directions; - They only calculated according to the sun.”

 

04_Map sketch. Here is an example of two different, but complementary `homemade´ map sketches.

image.png.0ddc4f22938c17cf42225b594cad1af9.png

Source: “Um Ostafrika”, Erinnerungen von Charlotte und Ludwig Deppe, Medical Doctor Dr. Ludwig Deppe.

https://www.amazon.de/Ostafrika-Charlotte-Dr-Ludwig-Deppe/dp/B003B2SSGM

 

However, both Germans and British produced very useful maps in the shortest time; - partly also in `unwanted´ cooperation, as the example below clearly shows. The original of the lower map was captured by British units and supplemented by the cartographic section of the `Edforce´ on August 20th, 1918 in Nampula for British purposes. Because this original map covers exactly `Our´ area, I added only the positions of German, Portuguese and British units and corrected some things.

05_Niassa Province PEA_16. - 22. April 1917

image.png.3c1379df5bb0f91097c4d5d4620152eb.png

Original Source: War Office Archive – Geographic section General Staff – WOMAT/AFR/MOZ/6/2/3: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=womat!afr!moz!6!3_f001r

 

The British General Staff collected also further information with economic, infrastructural and military data , about every country that was in the interests of the Empire.

Colonial report No. 883, (PORTUGUESE) NYASALAND REPORT FOR 1914-15 in 1916: https://libsysdigi.library.illinois.edu/ilharvest/Africana/Books2011-05/469188/469188_1914_1915/469188_1914_1915_opt.pdf

A HANDBOOK OF PORTUGUESE NYASALAND, Compiled by the Geographical Section of the Naval Intelligence Division, Naval Staff, Admiralty and Great Britain: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=yale.39002008747728&view=1up&seq=5

 

“If these measures overcame the supply difficulties on the German side, the new British Commander-in-Chief, General Hoskins, was faced with a hopeless situation as a result of transport difficulties and numerous illnesses, mainly among the white and Indian units. After the Brigades of Beves and Sheppard had withdrawn from Kungulio to Morogoro at the end of January 1917, in mid-February he also ordered the 1st Division to cease the offensive completely and to take measures to provide the troops with better food and rest. The 3rd East African Brigade returned to Kibata, Mtumbei chini and Mitole in the second half of February 1917. Otherwise the situation was as follows. The 2nd Division was practically dissolved. General von Deventer had returned to South Africa with General Smuts due to illness and exhaustion of the white troops. These had withdrawn from Iringa to Dodoma, and the units north of the Ruaha and on the Kilossa-Iringa line were also largely transported back to South Africa. General Northey's forces were almost entirely against the Detachments Kraut and Wintgens. At Ssongea and Lupembe there were only fuses.”

Source (translated): Chapter XX. General Smut´s last offensive and the general Situation up to start of June 1917, Page 317, in: “The Operations in East Africa, World War 1914-1918“, Ludwig Boell.

https://www.amazon.de/Operationen-Portugiesisch-Ostafrika-Deutsch-Ostafrika-Grenzgebiete-Kilimandscharo-Gebiet/dp/B07612JR72

 

THE `SCHUTZTRUPPE´ AT MWEMBE, LUAMBALA, LIKOPOLWE + CHUAMILA

After parts of the `Detachment v. Stuemer´ (J-, V-Company and half `Company Meyer´) had gathered in early April 1917 in the south of GEA in the Tunduru area, they marched off in a south-westerly direction to Ssassawara. At this time without the 25. Field Company, which was still assigned to `Detachment Kraut´. Also the Rear-Line-Company, which was organizationally also subordinate to the `Detachment v. Stuemer´ remained in Tunduru. This unit, combined as a company, was not intended as a combat force anyway, but remained responsible for protecting and escorting the food transports and organizing and distributing them. The Portuguese post at Maziwa, on the southern side of the Rovuma River, directly opposite the small German base at Sassawara, had been abandoned, already mid of April 1917. Due the border river Rovuma was still flooded shortly after the rainy season, the first parts of the `Detachment v. Stuemer´ were only able to cross over in bark boats on April 16th, 1917. On the march to the Southwest, there were no combat operations; - only brief exchanges of fire with the rear guards of the retreating Portuguese squads. Small patrols which were sent ahead found the area clear of enemies. After a six day march, Mwembe, 150 km south-west, was reached on the evening of April 22, 1917, without any contact by opponents. Marching through the villages, the attitude of the local population was reserved but friendly.

 

06_Rovuma River near Ssassawara (Confluence + German base)

image.png.54e85f02146fea8bb545a3291cb5ff52.png

Original Source: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=yale.39002008747728&view=1up&seq=265&skin=2021

 

`DETACHMENT VON STUEMER´

Maj. a.D. Willibald von Stuemer

Capt. Carl Willmann

Navy Com. Gustav Zimmer (only up to May 1917)

Medic. Doct. Ludwig Deppe

 

J- Company

Raised September 1, 1916; - Disbanded in mid-November 1917 and distributed to other companies.

Kissaki – Behobeho – Mpanya – Utungi – Mkalinzo – Madaba – Liwale – Expedition v. Stuemer in PEA – Bangalla / `Detachment Goering´ – Massassi – Chigugu.

Capt. a.D. Hermann von Gellhorn (from May 1917)

Lt. d.R. Otto Dieterich (from June 1917)

Lt. d.R. a.D. Ulrich Danckwarth

M.-Sgt. Georg Braun

 

V- Company

This Company was created by renaming the already existing `Detachment Tunduru´ and only for the expedition of `Detachment v. Stuemer´ from January 1st to September 1st, 1917. Subsequently disbanded again and divided equally between the 2. - and 18. Field Companies.

Capt. d.R. a.D. Paul Kaiser (from 1.January 1917)

Lt. d.R. Friedrich Brucker (from April 1917)

M.-Sgt. d.L.I. Alfred Schimmel

NCO Gustav Lenz

 

Company Meyer / 8. Rifle Company

Parts of the 8.- and 9.-Rifle Companies, that were previously mounted. Also this unofficial name, `Company Meyer´ existed only temporarily while the `Detachment v. Stuemer´ was in PEA. While the detachment was still in Niassa Province, the 9. Rifle Company was officially disbanded on June 11th, 1917 and reassigned to the 8. Rifle Company. When the Detachment was back in GEA, the 8. Rifle Company was also disbanded on November 17th, 1917 and transferred to the 3. Rifle Company.

Lt. Hermann Meyer-Rabingen

M.-Sgt. Oswin Bauer

NCO d.R. Ferdinand Jacquet

NCO d.R. Martin Frank

 

25. Feld Company (The 25. F.-K. followed only on 5th May 1917 from Tunduru)

Raised January 1916; - Disbanded 17th November 1917 and transferred to 19. Field Company.

Daressalam – Luvungi – Kissenji – Kondoa-Irangi – Mpapua – Kilossa  – Kidodi – Mkapira – Mfrika – Ifinga – `Detachment Kraut´ along the Rovuma – `Detachment v. Stuemer´ in PEA – Tunduru – Lukuledi – Maugo – Jumbe Kuruano.

1st Lt. d.L.I. Hans Müller

Lt. d.R. Otto von Scherbening (from June 1917)

Lt. d.L.I. a.D. Baron von Oer (Since when?)

M.-Sgt. d.L.II. Otto Kuehne

 

07_Officers of `Det.v.Stuemer´ Four of pictured officers were also present in Abercorn on November, 14th, 1918.

image.png.301d7480b7f4ad38bdd9ad9eabccdcd5.png

Sources: Koloniales Bildarchiv Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt: https://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/kolonialesbildarchiv/nav/index/all

The Commando assumed that there would be no major fighting at this time and at these locations in PEA. For this reason, the majority of the Askari of the temporary `Detachment v. Stuemer´ consisted of less experienced members of the `Schutztruppe´. The more powerful units were in constant use on other fronts. For example, the J-Company was formed end of 1916 with Askari of the `Eastern Troops´ who were unsuitable for service at the front, and the Askari of V-Company consisted of reservists and ruga-ruga. Furthermore all companies also had only, on average, 10 Europeans and 83 Askari, i.e. half of their target number. The weapons of the `Detachment v. Stuemer´ also didn't correspond to the rest of the standard of the `Schutztruppe´. Except for the Europeans of the 25. F.K. and Company Meyer, which owned a few models of the Mauser rifle M.98, the J-, and V-Company were completely equipped with the old, strong-smoke, single loaders Mauser M.71. The entire Detachment also had only two machine guns; - Normally, every other company of the `Osttruppen´ had an average of two to three machine guns at this time.

 

Will be continued with . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you, Holger. This is fascinating information. I look forward to further chapters.

RM

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Hi zaalf & RM,

Thanks for your Interest and `moral support´.

Currently I have a close fight with the Portuguese Military Archive:

Arquivo Histórico Militar: https://ahm-exercito.defesa.gov.pt/welcome

 (If the handwritten documents are readable at all, they must be laboriously copied, first translated in a makeshift way via Google, only to find out that the content doesn't fit; - and that document by document. However, the specific dates and locations are somewhat helpful here.)

But I have a faster success with the first, northern part of my Tour planning:

image.png.3ed050ab7cadb9cb60da3ca0428042b4.png
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A Summary – Luambala / Portuguese East Africa in 1917 + 1918

Part I – March to September 1917 – B

SOME NOTES ABOUT PORTUGUESE TROOPS IN PEA

The Portuguese troops which were deployed in PEA during the GW consisted of the Native Colonial Army (Exército Colonial) and the European Metropolitan Army (Exército Metropolitano). The Colonial Army was subordinate to the Governor General in Lourenço Marques / PEA, and with thus to the Overseas Ministry, while the Metropolitan Army was led by a separate, high-ranking General from the War Ministry in Portugal. This unfortunate division was exacerbated by major internal political difficulties of the ruling Government in Portugal, which made the operations of Portuguese troops less successful. Like the units in BEA and GEA, the Colonial Army in PEA was composed of native Askari and wore khaki uniforms. Officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted men in the Metropolitan Army, on the other hand, consisted only Europeans and received a light grey-blue uniform. The units of the Metropolitan Army were shipped to Africa between 1914 and 1918 in several expeditionary corps. Although these pure European formations, as well as in BEA and GEA, did not prove themselves and were changed during the war, the Portuguese army leadership did not change their formation.

The link below shows a very authentic graphic from the Osprey brochure, "Armies in East Africa 1914-18" and shows the differences between the two Army Types: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/30/03/0f/30030f33922916798e31bed3db96cf53.png

Another graphic also shows, very schematic, technical uniform differences between the Colonial- and Metropolitan-Army: https://media.moddb.com/images/mods/1/28/27111/portuguese_units.jpg

Further Uniform details of the African Expeditionary Forces of the Metropolitan Army are shown here: https://www.operacional.pt/grande-guerra-1914-a-1918-iii-uniformes/  https://www.operacional.pt/grande-guerra-1914-a-1918-iv-uniformes-ii/

Below, a 2 minutes YouTube-clip shows a short, very rare record from the Colonial Army in PEA. (It must be added here that the name `Moçambique´ was used for the province and island of the same name at the beginning of the 20th century. The Portuguese sphere of influence, or the entire colony, was known as Portuguese East Africa / África Oriental Portuguesa.) Source: Moçambique na Grande Guerra 1914-1918: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO8GvB_063U

 

08_Colonial Army_Group with Lewis-Gun M.1914 Model 917 and Mauser-Vergueiro rifle M.1904.

image.png.c48a1f2df8b06ab940040d5a3081445f.png

Original Source: Moçambique 1914-18, Portuguese army native company Mozambique 1914/18

https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5304/5771449952_a1eaa4f563.jpg

 

09_Colonial Army_Squad in Northern Portuguese East Africa with Vickers MG M.917

image.png.e54a477bae40c45021e10ed9a8ed70d6.png

Original Source: Os “filhos espúrios” que a República enviou para o Niassa https://www.revistamilitar.pt/recursos/imagens/imgs2014/RM2545-213A.jpg

 

10_Metropolitan Army_Company before embarking for PEA on April 9th 1917 in Lisbon

image.png.eb0f46a3a07f85fdd86be9ec6be14e81.png

Original Source: https://portugal1914.org/portal/media/k2/items/cache/798af74e083f2c49d397b5a47f7e4452_XL.jpg?t=1396354999

 

11_Metropolitan Army_Bivouac summer 1917 in Niassa Province / PEA

image.png.0c4f602a5b09e23553014d3b8ee3f4f2.png

Original Source: “Bivaque de tropas portuguesas no norte de Moçambique AHM”

https://www.publico.pt/2014/07/30/culturaipsilon/noticia/os-filhos-espurios-que-a-republica-enviou-para-o-niassa-1664555

 

The units of the Portuguese Chartered Company (Companhia do Niassa) were a special feature during the war. Like the Colonial Army, these were also equipped with khaki-coloured uniforms, and otherwise differed only slightly from the Colonial Army in terms of equipment, but they were not organizationally subordinate to the Colonial administration in PEA, but to the top agent of the `Companhia do Niassa´ in the port city of Porto Amelia / Pemba. In addition to the Metropolitan- and Colonial Army, exists with this a third component in the already confusing command structure of the Portuguese armed forces during the war in the north of PEA. Poor training and low morale were other factors in the poor performance of the troops. Furthermore, at the beginning of the war, in June 1914, seven Police Companies in the area of the Portuguese Chartered Company (Niassa and Cape Delgado-Province) were distributed to various bases. From the summer of 1917, these no longer appear in any lists. It can therefore be assumed that the relatives were distributed among newly formed units of the colonial army. None of these units ('Colonial Army', 'Portuguese Chartered Company', and ‘Portuguese Police Force') had received a really modern combat training, but had also only been trained for a local opponent.

 

12_Portuguese Chartered Company_Group with European and Askari

image.png.815678245c04f23d721209f35916c4ea.png

Original Source: “Casaco que se despe pelas costas: A formacáo da justice colonial e a (re)acáo dos aficanos no norte de Mocambique, 1894 – c.1914, Fernanda do Nascimento Thomaz, Niterói, 2012, Página. 231 / 305: https://www.historia.uff.br/stricto/td/1419.pdf

 

13_Portuguese Paramilitary Police unit with British M.71 Martini-Enfield rifle in PEA

image.png.d22628b5e54a7e741d45c60a2009dbde.png

Original Source: http://ultramar.terraweb.biz/Livros/RuiLuisMadureiraCarvalhoMarujo/Foto03a.jpg

 

 

ARMS EQUIPMENT OF PORTUGUESE FORCES IN PEA

In principle, the weapons equipment of all three Portuguese military forces mentioned above can be regarded as thoroughly modern. Some of the additional Police Companies were still equipped with the Portuguese Kropatschek rifle M. 1886/8mm; - but even this model was still superior to the German Mauser M.71/11mm or British Martini-Enfield rifles M. 71/11.43mm used at the same time, because this Portuguese rifle was already multi-shot and smokeless. The pure military units of the Portuguese, on the other hand, had a really modern weapons equipment. The standard infantry rifle was the Mauser-Vergueiro M.1904, which was based on the well-established Mauser 98 system and was produced in sufficient numbers to deliver also 25,000 to the South African troops in 1915. The Mauser-Vergueiro rifle only had a calibre of 6.5mm and with this less of a `man-stopping-effect´ from 350 meters onwards. However, this disadvantage was hardly noticeable in the fighting in the dense Pori bushes in East Africa. On the other hand, the lighter weight of the cartridge 6,5x58mm Vergueiro, was a positive factor by the ammunition transports by columns of carriers.

 

A variant of the Maxim MG M.906 / 6.5x58 mm was used as heavy Machine Gun until the end of 1916. This MG can be identified on some photos (see below) by the wheel mount with wooden spoked wheels and a protective shield. Despite the lighter ammunition, the disadvantages of this heavy and unwieldy design, in addition to its weight, were the lack of 360° pivoting; - but were mainly deployed from fortified bases until the end of the war. The British heavy Vickers MG M.917 and light Lewis-Gun M.1914 Model 917 were officially introduced as machine guns from 1917 on. Both machine guns were chambered for the British 7.7×56mm (303) cartridge. In the two divisions of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps (CEP) in Europe, each platoon received one Lewis MG; - four per company and 16 pieces in each battalion. It is currently not known whether this assignment was also implemented in the Armed forces in PEA. However, the light Lewis-MG continued to be used in PEA long after WW1; - In 1958 there were still 31 pieces available. The heavy Vickers-MG was grouped in separate MG-Companies in PEA. (See later listings). This machine gun was also in use in the Portuguese colony long after WWII; - but has now been converted to the German cartridge 7.92 × 57 mm.

Portuguese online source about these Portuguese Infantry weapons, also with pictures from page 75 on: “As vagas de inovacao military em Portugal, desde a 1 Geurra mundial até a Guerra Arica: Impactos na base organica, tatica e technical das fforcas de infantaria, no campho de batalha” Officer Candidate, Diogo Filipe Miguel, Portuguese Military Academy Lisbon 2014, 97 pages: https://comum.rcaap.pt/bitstream/10400.26/7479/1/EXE%20INF%20399%20Diogo%20Guarda.pdf

 

14_Portuguese Maxim MG Model 906 / 6.5x58mm of the Metropolitan Army at the Rovuma River

image.jpeg.20a60c6b1d4719e9b84dab623723c93e.jpeg

Original Source: https://bordalo.observador.pt/v2/rs:fill:2000/c:770:433:nowe:0:0/q:85/plain/https://s3.observador.pt/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/soldados-portugueses-a-combater-no-rovuma-i-guerra-mundial8005453_orig_770x433_acf_cropped.jpg

 

Also the ordnance equipment of the Portuguese units in PEA was contemporary and corresponded to that of the British and German units in BEA and GEA. Towards the end of the 19th century, both 7.5-cm L/13 Krupp mountain guns in various export versions and 7-cm mountain guns produced under license were used in PEA. However, all guns, primarily such smaller mountain guns, had to be towed by local carriers, or towed or carried through the bush in disassembled payloads. Especially in the north of PEA, domesticated livestock such as horses and mules did not survive long. These types of guns were also used in PEA during the war.

15_Artillery position 4th battery at Rovuma with 7-, or 7.5 cm Krupp mountain gun in 1916

image.png.6029c734c00a402bd25b74612e83fa6b.png

Original Source: https://www.operacional.pt/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/0196.jpg

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-lisbon-portugal-a-bronze-mountain-gun-cast-in-portugal-in-1896-housed-111588426.html

Bronze 7-cm Rifled Mountain Gun M/1882 cast in Portugal in 1896, mounted on a mountain gun carriage.  This type bore length of RBL Mountain Gun was the first Portuguese breech-loading gun using a Krupp Steel sliding block.  It was also the first gun to be cast in compressed bronze in Portugal.  This gun has a 7-cm calibre, is 102-cm long and has a bore length of 83-cm.  It fires a 4.2 kg common shell, 4.5 kg shrapnel shell and a 3.45 kg shot case.” Source: https://www.silverhawkauthor.com/post/artillery-in-portugal-lisbon-museu-militar-de-lisboa-portuguese-army-military-museum-of-lisbon-2 - https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/60d3c6d0e106af90561564f7/60f58d614c73a5b0865b62f6_Lisbon--Military-Museum--underground-Gun-Room--69-.jpeg

 

The 7 cm Schneider-Canet M.1906/11 Mountain Gun, already equipped with a recoil barrel, had also been available in PEA since the beginning of the war. This modern design was on par with other nations' mountain guns: the Belgian 7-cm L/16.7 Saint-Chamond, M.1916, the British Vickers 10 pdr. / 6.98 cm L/27.8, M.1902, as well as the two German models from Rheinmetall 7.5 cm L/17 M.1908 and Krupp 7.5 cm L/14 M.1913, which were used also during the whole East African Campaign. Portuguese artillery units in PEA, see later listings.

 

16_Artillery Depot in Porto Amelia on April 17th 1916 with 7-cm Schneider-Canet M. 1906/11 Mountain Guns

image.png.25226fb835d3ac14f874eca57e95e09d.png

Original Source: https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Rvfj8lJ-qGo/U7LkTOhaq3I/AAAAAAAADzE/HKqVTqCKqDg/s1600/Mocambique_P_Amelia[ilustr_Port_17_Abr_1916].bmp

The 7-cm Schneider-Canet M. 1906/11 Mountain Gun in Military Museum of Lisbon

https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/60d3c6d0e106af90561564f7/60f58d5c1751fc3356d93671_Lisbon--Military-Museum--upstairs-Gun-Room--7-cm-Schneider-Canet-Model-1906-11-Field-Gun.jpeg

 

 

Will be continued . . .

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