East African campaign (World War I)
The East African campaign in World War I was a series of battles and guerrilla actions, which started in German East Africa (GEA) and spread to portions of Portuguese Mozambique, Northern Rhodesia, British East Africa, the Uganda Protectorate, and the Belgian Congo. The campaign all but ended in German East Africa in November 1917 when the Germans entered Portuguese Mozambique and continued the campaign living off Portuguese supplies.
|East African campaign|
|Part of the African theatre of World War I|
An Askari company ready to march in German East Africa (Deutsch-Ostafrika)
|Commanders and leaders|
Jacob van Deventer
João Teixeira Pinto †
Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck|
Heinrich Schnee (POW)
Initially: 2 battalions
Total: 250,000 soldiers
Irregulars (Ruga-Ruga) 12,000+
|Casualties and losses|
The strategy of the German colonial forces, led by Lieutenant Colonel (later "Generalmajor") Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, was to divert Allied forces from the Western Front to Africa. His strategy achieved only mixed results after 1916 when he was driven out of German East Africa. The campaign in Africa consumed considerable amounts of money and war material that could have gone to other fronts.
The Germans in East Africa fought for the whole of the war, receiving word of the armistice on 14 November 1918 at 07:30 hours. Both sides waited for confirmation, with the Germans formally surrendering on 25 November. GEA became two League of Nations Class B Mandates, Tanganyika Territory of the United Kingdom and Ruanda-Urundi of Belgium, while the Kionga Triangle was ceded to Portugal.