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Portuguese-East Africa – Maps and further sources

Holger Kotthaus

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Holger Kotthaus

Portuguese-East Africa – Maps and further sources


This should be more or less an answer to my own question:

“Maps for Portuguese East Africa should still be also available?!? Any idea?”


Military Maps 1915/16 from GEA online



Personally, I always need maps when it comes to certain operations, not just in Africa. Distances

and the nature of the terrain are the basis for recognizing tactical connections and backgrounds

and for the understanding pure text passages. Furthermore, Maps are indispensable to prepare for

possible on-site visits. Even if the actions of the involved parties in Portuguese East Africa lasted

only 10 months, this period of time is an integral part of the entire East African campaign 1914-18.


There are also British Survey Maps for East Africa available from the years 1942-1946. At that time,

Mozambique was still a Colony. Therefore, in contrast to modern maps, the Portuguese names have

been preserved. This is an important factor to be able to make comparisons at all; yesterday - today.


It's not about the whole country, but only up to, at most, the Zambezi River. The following German map

therefore only shows this area of PEA: Rovuma to the Zambezi, and: Lake Nyasa to the Indian Ocean.

This map also serves as an overview, for the enlargements listed maps in 1:500,000, as the vertical

longitude and horizontal latitudes shown also form the sheet boundaries of the maps listed below.

These English overview maps also have the advantage over Old Portuguese maps, as well as later

the Russian maps on the same scale, that they are written in a language that is easier to understand.

0_Portuguese-East Africa.jpg

The following maps are online available at the University of Texas Libraries


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Holger Kotthaus

01 – SONGEA Sheet SC 36-6, 1:500,000



02 – TUNDURU Sheet SC 37-4, 1:500,000 (missing)


03 – RUVUMA Sheet SC 37-5 + Part SC 37-6, 1:500,000



04 – VILA CABRAL Sheet SD 36-6, 1:500,000



05 – MAHUA Sheet SD 37-1, 1:500,000



06 – PORT AMELIA Sheet SD 37-2 + Part SD 37-3, 1:500,000



07 – BLANTYRE Sheet SD 36-6, 1:500,000



08 – CUAMBA Sheet SD 37-4, 1:500,000



09 – NAMPULA Sheet SD 37-5, 1:500,000



10 – MOCAMBIQUE Sheet SD 37-6, 1:500,000



11 – PORT HERALD Sheet SE 36-3, 1:500,000



12 – QUELIMANE Sheet SE 37-1, 1:500,000



13 – PEBANE Sheet SE 37-2, 1:500,000




By the way; - The `Schutztruppe´ did not advance for the first time into Portuguese territory on

25. November 1917 and returned after 10 months back to GEA on 28. September 1918.


It is seldom mentioned that in spring 1917 a Detachment of the `Schutztruppe´ had penetrated for

months, deep into Portuguese territory. A combat patrol of the `Detachment Stuemer´ even reached

the city limits of Zomba via Lake Shirva in British Nyasaland, and another long-distance patrol had

arrived the coast of the Indian Ocean north of the Lurio River.(German Federal Archive, L. Boell)


On 16. April 1917, the Detachment of Major a.D. Willibald von Stuemer crossed the Rovuma border

river south of Tunduru and returned only after more than 4 months on 1. September 1917 back to GEA.

Strength: 3 1/2 Companies with 55 Europeans, 340 Askaris and 2 MG.


Further text sources will follow.

Cheers Holger

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