Richmond WW1 Diary 18 February 1916

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Surrender of German Cameroon

Overshadowed by the scale of the fighting on the Western Front, the war in Africa reflected the political situation in Europe. The Scramble for Africa in the 1870s had created a patchwork continent of territories held by the imperial European powers. When those powers declared war in 1914, the colonies in Africa found themselves at war.

On 18 February 1916 in West Africa, the German colony of Cameroon fell to the French and British following 17 months of fighting. In July 1915 the German Southwest Africa colony (present day Namibia) had been taken by the Allies following 11 months of fighting between the Germans and South African and Rhodesian troops loyal to the British. This left a single German colony remaining in Africa; German East Africa. There, 10,000 troops skilfully commanded by General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, pursued by a British-led force ten times larger, held out until the end of the war.

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