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Posted 03 March 2012 - 02:51 pm
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Posted 05 April 2014 - 11:50 pm
Its an area I've long took an interest in after reading "The Ghosts of Africa" by Stevenson many years ago, and after reading your articale how different both veiws are.
But after reading the many installments of this campage by Harry, who had me transfixed by his accounts of all the actions of that area, with photos and descriptions of the actions.
Its always good to test all veiws of the story, and never get fixed into one slot.
Thanks again for the informitive coments from all so far.
Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:44 pm
One thing before all else - the correct spelling for the Schutztruppe commander in DSWA is Heydebreck - a small thing but details count.
Some loosely connected thoughts about v L-V:
I would add that vL-V's experience in the Herero and Namaqua uprisings may have inculcated in him an idea of guerrilla war (Buschkrieg) long before he got to DOA.
His initial operations against the British in Kenya showed him the difficulties of sustaining conventional operations without good logistics and his ideas on how best to fight began to change thereafter.
He also had a significant amount of time to prepare for war, as the South Africans were involved in DSWA until mid-1915. Many of those troops were the ones that fought against him.
As to the Genocide and the involvement of the Schutztruppe, I do not have any doubt that it was fully supported by military. The so-called "Extermination Order" (posted by Mark above) was promulgated by General von Trotha.
While the killing of the natives happened mostly through neglect, forced labor, and exposure in camps run by the administration - it was the military commander who set the stage. There were many players who contributed, including civilians.
The Germans were not nice to their colonial indigenous peoples, but neither were the Portuguese and Belgians. Or, for that matter, the British in South Africa or the Americans in the Philippines.
Not wanting to get too far out on a tangent, I will only add this comment by the British Military Observer / Attaché Colonel Frederick Trench:
“Witboois (a subgroup of the Nama) were promised freedom when they surrendered, meaning only to build as they liked, but not where, still less to dispose of their time and persons as they liked. From the South, they were moved to Windhoek. After 6 months, several of them having run away, they were moved to Shark Island at Lüderitz Bay. I have already, from Lüderitz Bay, reported on the exposure and lack of sanitation; if they still exist, it is not easy to avoid the impression that the extinction of the people would be welcomed by the authorities. I have observed, however, that a quarter century of Colonial Empire has not sufficed to teach the fact that a black man is a human being, and also entitled to having faith kept with him.”
Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:40 pm
A fascinating read this thread. Also, as mentioned by someone else, nice to see it debated in a civil way too.
Just going back a bit to a point earlier in this thread. It is discussed about the recruitment/composition/ethnicity of the Askaris. I have a book about the Indian Army in East Africa by S.D. Prahdan. In it it states that the German forces in East Africa received a boost before the war when men from the recently disbanded KAR battalions went on the German payroll. Is this true? The book, I must admit, is littered with a number of errors. However I think I have read this somewhere else before though I am unsure where. If it is true has anybody an idea of how many ex British Askaris joined up in GEA?
Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:34 am
YES - the 2nd Battalion The King's African Rifles, a Nyasaland battalion, was disbanded a couple of years before the Great War started.
The reason was that the battalion used to serve 'roulemont' tours on British East Africa's (Kenya's) northern and eastern borders, but in 1911 the government of British East Africa (which was dominated by white settlers who complained about taxation) decided not to pay the transport costs for the battalion.
It is believed that most of the battalion swiftly marched across Nyasaland's northern border and into the Schutztruppe, where those with leadership abilities proved to be very useful non-commissioned officers (NCOs).
Later during the Great War, when Germany was on the back foot, many of these Askari came over to the KAR and were very effective when being used as NCOs in the new KAR battalions.