This post looks at the conflict in Togoland during the First World War, and is the first in a series of blogs that will look at different aspects of the warÂ in Africa.Â The first British shots of the First World War were firedÂ in West Africa and the last German troops surrendered after armistice in East Africa; the First World War effectively started and finished in Africa.
The war in Africa is often overlooked, and was fought very differently to the war in Europe. With a lack of transport and infrastructure, troops and supplies had to be moved on foot by porters; most of the interior of Africa had not been mapped in detail, so troops were marching into the unknown;Â and whereas the front in France may have moved a few feet a year, in Africa troops coveredÂ hundreds of miles a month to engage with the enemy. The fighting mainly took place within Germanyâs colonial holdings, with the Union of South Africa fighting under the British flag in German South West Africa, and the British and French fighting inÂ Togoland, the Cameroons and then finally in German East Africa.
TogolandÂ would be theÂ first Entente victory of the war. ItÂ wasÂ conquered in around three weeks.Â On 5 August 1914,Â the Committee of Imperial Defence recommended that troops from the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone should be used for offensive purposes against Togoland (CAB 45/110).Â Their aim was to destroy the important wireless station at Kamina, which linked Berlin to its African colonies, to shipping in the South Atlantic, and with South America. 1 Continue reading »
- 1. Strachan. H (2004). The First World War in Africa, Oxford University Press, USA (p.13). ^