Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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German Southwest Africa

(920 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
German Southwest Africa German colony on the Atlantic coast in southern Africa between Angola to the north, South Africa to the south, and Botswana to the east; the modern Namibia. Placed under the protection of the German Reich by Bismarck in 1884, German Southwest Africa was the only German African colony suited for substantial European settlement. Accordingly, the influx of German emigrants was actively encouraged. The arbitrary attitude of the German administration towards the African population was marked by a high degree of cruelty. Thus in the war agai…

Lettow-Vorbeck, Paul von

(330 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Lettow-Vorbeck, Paul von (March 20, 1870, Saarlouis – March 9, 1964, Hamburg), German general. Lettow-Vorbeck was celebrated during the First World War as the commander of the German colonial forces in German East Africa. He began his military career in 1881. In 1900/1901 he took part in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China, and between 1904 and 1907 served as a captain in the war against the Herero and the Nama tribes in German Southwest Africa. As a lieutenant-colonel, Lettow-Vorbeck b…

Colonial War

(1,529 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Colonial War The war against the German colonies of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, led by the forces of Japan, Great Britain, France, Belgium, and their respective colonies. The spread of the war to the colonies was undertaken by Great Britain and France, primarily for strategic reasons. By occupying the German colonies, their respective ports would be closed to the German navy. Also, the German worldwide communications network, which depended upon the wireless stations erected there, would be dis…