The Great War Part 185, March 2nd 1918

THE CONQUEST OF GERMAN EAST AFRICA COMPLETED. By Robert Machray. Military Situation in East Africa in 1916— General Smuts Reorganises His Army— Recruits More Blacks— Germans from Tabora BreakThrough— Gallant Defence of M alangali b y Rhodesian Native Troops— Large Enemy Force Trapped and Taken— Smuts New Offensive— Second South African Brigade Cross the R ufiji— Elusive Germans Slip Past in the Centre— Smuts Tries Again— Death of Captain Selous— Smuts Called to London to Represent South Africa in War Cabinet— His View son Future of German East Africa— General Hoskins in Chief Command— -Abnormal Rainy Season— General N ortheys Good Work in the West- Belgian Congolese Army Again Co-operates General Van D eventer Replaces Hoskins— His Fighting Advance in Kilw a and Lindi Areas— Belgians Pressing onto Mahenge— Encircling Move from the Coast— Timely Retreat of the Germans Saves Them —Their Severe Losses— Fall of Mahenge to the Gallant Belgians— Closing Scenes— German Main Body Flights into Portuguese Territory— Reduced to Two Thousand Men— Force Retreating fromM ahenge Enveloped and Compelled to Surrender Unconditionally— A Big “Bag ”—Colony Cleared of the Enemy— Summary of Results of Four Months Operations -V anD even ters Success Signalised b y a Knighthood. py^ jV ^ O jE LEG RAP HING on December 1st 1917, Qenerai Van Deventer reported that recon- M T naissances had definitely established the H L i i l fact that German East Africa had been cleared of the enemy. So stated a British war Office communique of December 3rd. It added significantly: “Thus the whole of the last of the German overseas possessions has passed into our hands and those of our Belgian allies." In Chapter CLX XIX .(Vol. p.IX. 207) the story of the Mast African campaign— under General Smuts in the east and centre and under General Tombeur in the west —was carried down to October 1916, when the enemy was hemmed in on all sides and had lost every healthy or valuable part of the land with the solitary exception of the Mahenge plateau. In October 1916 General Smuts carried out a scheme of general reorganisation partly because of the evacuation he purposed of his sick men and partly because the capture of Dar-es-Salaam and the restora­tion of the Central Railway had given him anew and much better base of operations than Tanga and Mombasa a thousand miles farther north. At this time his army consisted of three divisions (Chapter CLXXIX. Vol. p.IX. 210). He now decided to abolish the 3rd Division which was MENTIONED IN DESPATCHES. Brigadier-General Sir Charles Crewe C.B. K.C.M.G. organised the transport and supply service for General Tombeurs force from Lake Victoria and subsequently commanded the advance to Mwanza and Tabora commanded by Major-General Brits including the 2nd South African Mounted Brigade under Brigadier-General Enslin and to return these officers with their Staffs to South Africa as well as their men with the exception of such as were fit and these were incorporated into the 1st South African Mounted Brigade of which Brigadier- General Nussey was the head. The 2nd South African Iftfantry Brigade under Brigadier-General Beves which had also formed part of the 3rd Division was placed in reserve its immediate control being exercised by Smuts himself. His army consequently consisted of two divisions— one under Major-General Hoskins, and the other under Major- General Van Deventer— in ad­dition to Beves infantry in his own hands. Further there was the Nyasaland -Rhodesia force under Brigadier-General Northcy which was working in combination with Van Deventer. The Lake Detachment undqr Sir Charles Crewe had been abolished as a separate force some of its units were toadded the 2nd Division and one bat­talion remained in occupation of a portion of the Central Railway eastwards from Tabora. Troops had to be found to take the place of the men who had been invalided home and Smuts obtained them in part by forming and training new battalions of the King’s African Rifles. The course of the campaign had demonstrated that some of the native tribes OGGG 577 {Elliott Fry.
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