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WW1's forgotten battleground

 
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Hauptmann



Geregistreerd op: 17-2-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Sep 2005 20:54    Onderwerp: WW1's forgotten battleground Reageer met quote

Oud nieuws, toch wel interessant om te lezen.

Quote:
WW1's forgotten battleground
26/07/2004 10:09 - (SA)

Johannesburg - Thousands of kilometres from the battlefields of Europe, the armies of imperial Britain and France clashed with German forces in Africa's deserts, cities and bush during World War 1. The 1914-18 war brought to an end German colonial rule in Africa, saw up to two million Africans make sacrifices for Europe and brought much social upheaval as cities burgeoned under the war effort, hardening racial lines.

"The First World War had a considerable impact on African colonies because European powers requisitioned their labour and their resources," says historian Bill Nasson from the University of Cape Town. France used African troops more than any other European power, including Senegalese riflemen who fought in the victorious battle to take the German colony of Togo and were also shipped to fight at Gallipoli in what was to become Turkey. Most Africans, however, were enrolled or conscripted into labour units as military service was considered risky, stoking fears that blacks "may get ideas beyond their station," says World War 1 historian Albert Grundlingh from the University of Stellenbosch.

South African forces fighting under the British flag were crucial in the battle for German South West Africa, now called Namibia, where the first armistice of the war was signed in 1915, and for German East Africa comprised of modern-day Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania. They also joined in the fighting in France where a memorial to them stands at Delville Wood, near the town of Longueval during the battle of the Somme from July to November 1916. But it took close to 70 years for South Africa to pay homage to 700 black labourers who died when their ship, The Mendi, sank in the Channel in 1917 on its way to France to help in the war effort.

"The black sacrifice in the war in Africa has been forgotten," says Nasson.

Decades later, a memorial to the victims of The Mendi was erected in Johannesburg's black township of Soweto and under a new democratic regime in 1994. Britain too built up its forces from men in Nigeria, the Gold Coast (Ghana), Sierra Leone, Gambia, Uganda, Nyasaland (Malawi), Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Kenya but contrary to France, these troops all served in the African theatre. At the outbreak of war in 1914, Germany had four colonies: Togo, Kamerun (Cameroon), German South West Africa, (Namibia), and German East Africa comprised of Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Germany's army led by brilliant commander Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck was undefeated in Africa. Von Lettow-Vorbeck surrendered in Mozambique three weeks after the 1919 treaty of Versailles was signed, once word finally reached Africa that the war was over. He returned to Germany a war hero. Historians agree that pushing Germany out of the "scramble for Africa" contributed to the humiliation that set the scene for World War II.

"Germany was punished and humiliated and lost its attempt to get a place in the sun," says Nasson. Amid the battles, African cities were taking shape in the first big wave of urbanisation driven by the demand for labour. "It was the biggest migration of the early 20th century," says Grundlingh, adding that the mass exodus to the cities laid the seeds of segregation and by ricochet, black consciousness.

In South Africa, urban growth led to the first segregationist law in 1923, the Urban Segregation Act, that was "a bedrock act for what was to follow in the apartheid years" when white-minority rule gained a firmer footing, says Grundlingh. The end of German colonisation in Africa saw France take over Togo while a French-British coalition ruled Cameroon. Belgium won Rwanda and Burundi, leaving Tanzania to the British and South West Africa went to South Africa. "African nationalists who supported the allied war effort were bitterly disappointed at the Versailles conference," says Nasson.

"They thought that at the end of the First World War, there would be some dividend or benefit."



http://www.news24.com/News24/Africa/Features/0,,2-11-37_1563134,00.html
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Geudens



Geregistreerd op: 27-8-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Sep 2005 21:10    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Misschien is het je wel bekend, maar als je echt in dit deel van WOI geďnteresseerd bent, kan ik van harte het boek "Battle for the Bundu" aanbevelen.

Rudi
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Hauptmann



Geregistreerd op: 17-2-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Sep 2005 21:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Geudens schreef:
Misschien is het je wel bekend, maar als je echt in dit deel van WOI geďnteresseerd bent, kan ik van harte het boek "Battle for the Bundu" aanbevelen.

Rudi


Ik zet hem op het lijstje, dankjewel! Heb overigens nog wat van Lettow-Vorbeck te lezen.
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Yvonne
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Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Mrt 2007 8:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Geudens @ 20 Sep 2005 21:10 schreef:
Misschien is het je wel bekend, maar als je echt in dit deel van WOI geďnteresseerd bent, kan ik van harte het boek "Battle for the Bundu" aanbevelen.

Rudi

Zijn er misschien nieuwe users bijgekomen die in dit deel geinteresseerd zijn?
het lijkt wel of dit deel van WO1 een beetje onderbelicht is gebleven?
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ironmarc



Geregistreerd op: 27-2-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Mrt 2007 10:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

ja idd, had hier helemaal nog niet van gehoord
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