Equatorial Africa

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Equatorial Africa

Post by Volklin » 27 Jul 2004 09:52

Did the German colonies in Africa from the first world war have any notion to join the Germans back again? What was the perception there 20 years later after the first world war?

Just how far did the axis penetrate past North Africa? I'm aware of Ethiopia, but i mean in not near the eastern coast.

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Post by DrG » 28 Jul 2004 01:06

Besides East Africa, the Axis made only intelligence operations in Southern Sahara.
In this old thread: Chad during WW2 I had already posted these info:
Since this topic is about WW2 in Chad, I'd like to talk about the only (AFAIK) mission of Italians in that colony. I've read of it only in this article: http://www.centroitalicum.it/giornale_1 ... r34-99.htm (it's rather cofused, no dates or names of people are given). It was an intelligence mission made to find reliable info about the presence of American equipment and maybe even soldiers in Chad. An Italian lieutennant of the squadron of Meharisti of Sciati (a region to the north of Murzuk, see the map) and a column of Ascari chosen among the best ones of the cabiles of Soleiman, Uadi el Agial and Brakper, all disguised as Arab merchants, reached the market of Bourkou (a region in central-northern Chad) and shot some photos of the American vehicles that were in the area.
The Germans had a unit in Libyan Sahara, the Sonderkommando Dora, that, according to a message posted here: http://www.vintagegliderclub.co.uk/vgc_news/letters.htm was involved in an intelligence operation (I don't know if this story is proven or not):
C.W. explains that the Sonderkommando DORA was involved in dramatic operations far within Africa during the period 1942-44. The last of these operations was undertaken by the top secret and legendary KG200. This started with the aerotowing of an Me 108 Taifun by an He 111 from Greece into Africa, at low level over the Mediterranean to avoid the enemy radar etc. They would have liked to have used a Storch but it did not have enough range. Over the African coast, the combination gained height. At a certain point, well inside Africa, the ME 108 released its cable and its engine was successfully started. The two Luftwaffe airmen then flew on into Africa, where there were thought to be sandy flats, suitable for B-17 to take off and land. The pans were found, and a successful, very careful landing was accomplished. An airstrip was marked out and B-17s started to arrive with supplies etc. Then another airstrip was established, followed by a 3rd one, not far from the West African Coast. It was intended to plant German agents in Sierra Leone, Monrovia and Durban to report on Allied shipping movements. Two German agents finally gave themselves away in Monrovia by having German cigarettes. They were first observed, then followed and arrested and "persuaded " to reveal everything they knew. The British "staked out" the airstrips and waited for the next B-17 arrival. This happened, but the B-17 pilot was suspicious when he saw that a stores' hut had been burnt out. After landing, the B-17 was greeted with a hail of machine gun fire. The pilot was able to take off and to fly his badly damaged B.17 back to Greece for a successful emergency landing. Oberst (Colonel) WERNER BAUMBACH, the Kommodore of KG 200, was killed flying an Avro Lancaster in the Argentine on the 20th October 1953.
He had emigrated there with his family, with full Allied permission, after 1945.
I am very interested in WW2 in the Sahara, but I don't know specific books about it, not even in Italian language.

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Post by Volklin » 28 Jul 2004 07:30

thank you!

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Re: Equatorial Africa

Post by yerbamatt » 25 Aug 2004 04:46

Volklin wrote:Did the German colonies in Africa from the first world war have any notion to join the Germans back again? What was the perception there 20 years later after the first world war?

Just how far did the axis penetrate past North Africa? I'm aware of Ethiopia, but i mean in not near the eastern coast.
Hi Volklin,

Aftter WWI some of Germans simply gave up and immigrated.

Doing a research of Creole Spanish in Africa I found an interesting info about post-WWI German colonization of ... Isla Fernando Poo, a then Spanish colony (today's Isla de Bioko in Equatorial Guinea).
...as many as 16,000 Cameroonians and Germans migrated to Fernando Poo, where they set up quasi-military settlements in the interior of the island.


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Post by Kamerad06 » 11 Dec 2004 19:48

In his book The Great War in Africa, Byron Farwell mentions that most of the German administrators, civilian population, and remaining German troops from the German colony of Kamerun (today's Cameroon) were able to escape to the neutral Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinea. (At that time it was called Rio Muni.) This was in early 1916 as British and French forces swept through the colony after a long and difficult campaign.

The island of Fernando Po was part of the Spanish colony which included Rio Muni (on the African mainland, near the equator). However, there was no mention in that book of the Germans starting up their own government there. If true, this is a fascinating revelation.


The German colony of Deutsch Südwest Afrika (German Southwest Africa), which is today called the Republic of Namibia, was finally conquered by South African forces in July 1915. Many of the German troops were reservists who owned farms there. After 1918 many of them were allowed to stay and continue farming.

I'm not absolutely certain about this, but I presume that during World War 2, when this area was administered by South Africa, the local Germans must have been interred or at least had their freedom severely curtailed.

Their descendants remain there even now, and German is still spoken by many of Namibia's white citizens. The towns of Lüderitz and Swakopmund have substantial German-speaking populations today, but these people usually also speak English, Afrikaans and one of the local African languages.


I have read that after 1918 German plantation owners in Cameroon and Deutsch Ostafrika (German East Africa, now called the Republic of Tanzania) were forced to relinquish their plantations. These plantations were supposed to be put up for public auction, but Germans were forbidden to bid for them.

However, some Germans were able to buy their old plantations by asking local Indian and Middle Eastern merchants to act as middlemen.

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Post by Kuno2 » 12 Jan 2008 16:40

@ DrG; "Sonderkommando DORA" had nothing to do at all with KG.200. They had their own planes :-)

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Re: Equatorial Africa

Post by Andy H » 10 Apr 2020 15:20


Maybe this will be of interest in regards to Sonderkommando Dora's activities in Africa

https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.z ... /view/1224


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