This volume in the Official History of The Great War covers the first half of the campaign in East Africa (the planned second volume was never published). The fighting in ‘German East’ – the German colony comprising the modern state of Tanzania – became one of the most famous guerilla wars in history, and the tenacious and cunning German commander, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, won the respect of his enemies for the clever way he resisted all attempts to subdue his tiny force of European officers and highly trained native ‘Askaris’. But, despite Lettow-Vorbeck’s fame, the Allied side of the war – involving international forces from South Africa and India as well as Britain, is virtually unknown. Of all the subsidiary enterprises undertaken during The Great War, the operations described in this volume are probably the least known. The only regular British battalion involved was the 2nd Loyal N. Lancs. The early stages were disastrous for the British, beginning with the unsuccessful attack from the sea on the port of Tanga, described as “one of the most notable failures in British military history.” The British commander was replaced and ordered home, while on the German side Tanga proved the first of many victories for the commander who would earn the admiration of friend and foe alike and remain undefeated right through the war: von Lettow-Vorbeck.
EAST AFRICA VOLUME 1. August 1914-September 1916. OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR OTHER THEATRES:
The first (and only) published volume on the frustrating early Allied campaign in East Africa, that saw the emergence of Germany’s Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck – one of the most successful and legendary guerilla leaders of all time.