The Great War Part 185, March 2nd 1918

The Conquest o f German East Afr ic a Completed 579 and said to bethe best company which- the Germans possessed in East Africa. Having despatched a company to block the road to Lupembe through which Northey obtained his supplies he proceeded to invest the British at Mkapira and for three days bombarded them with a 2 4 in. gun. On the fourth day this gun was putout of action by a direct hit from one of the British guns. And all the while the besieged force had managed to keep in touch with a detachment under Captain Galbraith some distance away to the west.On the 30th Colonel Hawthorn sprang from his trenches and at dawn attacked the enemys main position awhile diversion was made by Galbraith. The result was a signal victory. Within an hour the Germans were in full retreat and hastily crossed the Ruhudje. In this brilliant affair the British captured six European and seventy-five native soldiers together Colonel Hawthorn had already been ordered to withdraw. The Germans now made afresh move by investing Malangali the supply-depot on the highroad lying north-west of that place. From November 8th to 12th, Malangali which was held by a company of the newly- raised Rhodesian Native Regiment under Captain F. Marriott suffered serious assaults three of which were repulsed at close quarters with heavy loss to the enemy. Led by Marriott the raw Rhodesian Askaris put up a wonderful defence against considerable odds in spite of the depressing facts tli^it on the first day of the attack all their stores had been seton fire by a German shell that food was short and that the water was bad. On the 12th a relieving force of four hundred rifles under Colonel Murray suddenly arrived on the scene in motor-cars and taking full advantage of the surprise it effected routed and with the 2 4 in. gun three machine-guns and large quantities of ammunition and other war material, including three field telephones. For a week the Germans remained quiescent. They had left behind considerable numbers of their sick and wounded at different camps and also had released many of the prisoners they had taken. In the meantime a British column under Colonel A. J. Taylor was being concen­trated at Dodoma on the Central Railway with a view to its being sent to reinforce the troops at Iringa and the Mounted Brigade of the 2nd Division which after the operations in the Uluguru Mountains in August had been resting and refitting at Mrogoro was despatched to the same point. How striking was the wastage of the cam­paign was emphasised by Smuts statement that this brigade had been reduced to 1000 rifles approximately. These movements were preparatory to a concentration of Northeys men at Lupembe to which those of them under ARTILLERY INACTION ON THE VELDT. British gunners bringing their weapons into inaction open country in German East Africa. Phenomenal rains during 1917 considerably delayed the operations making the movement of guns particularly difficult. drove off the Germans many of whom including nine Europeans in one company alone were captured. For his gallant defence of the post Captain Marriott was awarded the Military Cross. The enemy next attacked Songea on the I4th-i5th and Lupembe on the 17th but without success. These rebuffs apparently caused him to abandon further immediate offensive action. It was discovered that one part of the enemy forces from Tabora was at a point west of Madibira either having not tried or having failed to breakthrough to the east. On November 21st it was definitely ascertained that this hostile body had occupied Ilembule Mission, which lay north-west of Ubena on the previous day and was about to move eastward. Here was an opportunity not to be neglected. German capitulation Northey arranged to send a force under at Ilembule Colonel Murray by motors to attack the enemy while Van Deventer was instructed to co-operate from Iringa. It was anticipated that it might abe cosily operation, for the Germans held the mission buildings which they had fortified but the upshot was as satisfactory for the British as it was unexpected. The enemy was skilfully trapped and captured. By noon on the 24th Murray had drawn a circle round the place and there was some fighting next day. On the following morning the British lines were moved in closer and at two o’clock in the afternoon a parlementaire was sent to Colonel Huebener the German commander telling him that his water supply was cutoff that he was surrounded without hope of relief and demanding his surrender. Thereupon Huebener capitulated with all his stores guns and ammunition intact except for the blowing up of the IMPROVISED BRIDGE FOR THE GUNS. Motor-car drawing a gun over an ingeniously simple bridge for wheeled traffic that had been thrown across a river in German East Africa by the resourceful British engineers.
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