Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by Chris Dale » 19 Jul 2016 22:19

Interesting on the casualty differences....And great to see how the places described actually look. Thanks for sharing as always!


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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by stevebecker » 18 Sep 2016 02:23


Do any of the German sources give there losses, if two Germans were killed how many native soldiers?

Like wise there must have been many wounded soldiers, and what about the three (?) captured maxims.

Surely a great win here but what happen later?

How is the lastest photos of the battle area going, any luck yet?



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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by Tanzania » 18 Sep 2016 10:11

Hi Steve,

Welcome her by `us´ in the East African jungle, 3000km away from the dessert. :wink:
You are right; I have to complete this unfinished story. » Mea Culpa «

Give me three days and I come back with a summary.

Cheers Holger
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by stevebecker » 19 Sep 2016 00:44


Always had an interest in this area after reading Stevenson book "The ghosts of Africa" about 40 years ago, and Lettow's long battles are the stuff of legend.

Living in the middle of it must be interesting.



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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by Tanzania » 19 Sep 2016 04:41

Always had an interest in this area after reading Stevenson book "The ghosts of Africa" about 40 years ago,
and Lettow's long battles are the stuff of legend. Living in the middle of it must be interesting.
Yes it’s interesting.
Self-hatred and repentance of the present German mainstream let disappear even the last street names with `Lettow Vorbeck´ in the cities.

Cheers Holger
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by Tanzania » 25 Sep 2016 19:12


Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA (Part III)

Why Wintgens took general descission to leave the main body of the Schutztruppe so that it comes to the Clash at St. Moritz?

Up to present time in a number of publications the presumption were expressed that Wintgens turned into the general northern
direction because his Askaris threatened to mutiny, due to many of them coming original from the left areas. For this theory no
mention was made in the sources. These are speculations, based on convulsive attempts by the authors to find reasons for
Wintgens unusual activities in 1917. This fact was true for nearly all of the Askaris which were still remaining at that time by the
German Schutztruppe. The aviable documents are instead that the own reason was the missing catering facilities in the South
Western part of GEA. This was particularly relevant at that time in the area between Lake Nyassa and the line of communication
SsongeaIringa. The Detachment Kraut, which have had the same order like Wintgens to leave the main body of the West-
Troops have had later the biggest problems with the search for food. If Wintgens would have sought later connection again to
the West-Troops he would share the same fate like the whole West-Troops. On 28. November 1917 Hauptmann Tafel have to
capitulated at the Bangala River with over half a million shoots. Tafel and his West-Troops have been days away from the next
enemy units, with enough ammunition and plenty of water; - but without any food. Some fighters haven’t eat any since 3 days.

Only from a strategic point of few, even afterwards it must be said that Wintgens took the best descission to incur as much as
possible enemy forces and to harm the greatest damage behind the hostile lines. Under this aspect he was incredible effective.

Here the German point of view with some additional details which lead to this Clash from 20th - 31st March 1917 at St. Moritz

Tuesday, 6th February 1917

18 km west of Gumbiro the Detachment Wintgens left the Detachment Kraut on this day and sheered away finally from the
uniformed lead association of the Schutztruppe. From now on he and his hardened force waging war on their own account,
much to the horror of all enemy units which they encountered. Their strength on this day was, 524 men in four Infantry- and
one MG-Company with one light field-gun battery. The numbers of the porters are not mentioned and could be only expected
with 1,200. As scale serve here the proved relation of 180 fighters with 400 porters on the 2nd October 1917 at the Luita Berg.

59 Europeans and 465 Askari with 11 x Machine Guns and 3 x 3,7-cm-Schnell-Lade-Kanone L/30 Krupp/Gruson Modell 1893

8. Feld-Kompanie . . . . . . . . Feldwebel d. R. Franz J. Müller
26. Feld-Kompanie . . . . . . . Leutnant d. R. Joseph Zingel
(Ruanda) B-Kompanie . . . . . .Marine Ober-Ingenieur Walter Bockmann
(Muansa) C-Kompanie . . . . . .Leutnant d. R. Ralf Wahle (Son of General-Major Kurt Wahle)
M.G.-Kompanie . . . . . . . . . .Oberleutnant / Hauptmann Heinrich Naumann
3,7-cm-Batterie . . . . . . . . . Oberleutnant / Hauptmann Heinrich Naumann







Source: ... ng_DOA.pdf

12th - 15th February 1917

The detachment rested two days at Milow Mission victualling and left the sick people at the hospital. On the 15. February
new advance into North, north-west direction of Tandala. Because of missing of any supply possibilities the detachment
dependent on the capture of enemy supply or to live from that country. The last opportunity was however hardly possible,
because many enemy and also friendly forces roamed already before this landscape. Wintgens plan was to simulate an
advance into to south-west direction of British Northern Rhodesia, but his real intentions are to move eastern of the Lake
in to this, by foodstuff rich landscape. This plan took off, Murray ordered parts of the II. / RNR back to the border.

16th - 24th February 1917

At Tandala the 8. F.-K. under Feldwebel Müller fought a successful combat on the 19th February against a hostile post,
the South African motorcycle corps and parts of the 1./ 1. KAR. The opponent lost 9 dead and 13 wounded prisoners,
Müller´s force had 2 dead and 7 wounded. The enemy was thrown back and two Machine guns were captured. The
remaining parts were besieged from 20th to 23rd February. One of the 3,7-cm-guns must be destroyed because lack of
ammunition. The wounded were left in the Tandala hospital. The appearance of the other remaining parts of the 1./1. KAR
and the Column Murray, coming from Ubena, forced Müller to break off the siege, deduct his unit and join with the whole
detachment. Due to this Wintgens split his detachment and planned to cross the British supply line near Neu-Langenburg.

26th February - 13th March 1917

After this march to the pure northern direction, one part of Wintgens Detachment reached Neu-Utengule on the 26th February,
the second column on the same day Ubena. Also on this day one part of the main detachment were discovered and bombed
by an aircraft. To confuse the opponents about his real aims, Wintgens changed now again his direction and into Southwest
and marched on Utengule. But Lieutenant Colonel Murray are not be able to follow, the now known position of the Germans.

For British troops it was still unusual to march continuous at this rate so. The 1./ 1. KAR must wait to be transported the 23
km from Alt-Langenburg to Muaja and it use also time to transport the I. / RNR from Wiedhafen likewise to Muaja. Murray
already understood that he couldn´t take the risk to face Wintgens with an equipollent British force, but have to wait until he
collected a superiority of minimum the triple strength. After the full strength of his necessary forces Murray started advance
on 10th March to northwest for Neu-Langenburg, but now once more without information about Wintgens current position.

On the evening of the 11th March, Northwest on the Igale-Mountain pass both opponents come into touch by several patrols.
Wintgens decided to deduct and moved on the evening of the 13th March from (Alt) Utengule into the direction of Sankt Moritz.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ronald Ernest Murray was now sure that the Germans try to invade British Northern Rhodesia, or maybe
decided to march to Bismarckburg. Regarding this Wintgens achieved his aim; - the opponent have no knowledge about his
position. Murray send initially the Half-Battalion Tomlinson to Bismarckburg and subsequently the NRP and BSAP afterwards.
Only the 1./ 1. KAR was send furthermore to the direction of (Alt) Utengule.

14th - 19th March 1917

The next days were not successful for Wintgens Detachment. Already in Sankt Moritz he have send on the 15th March one
patrol under Verwaltungsmaaten d.R. Fritz Neumann of the 8. F.K. to Jumben Malamba (to South, west-south) and on the
16th March another to Mwesimpja (to West, south-west) under Leutnant d.R. Ralf Wahle, leader of the (Muansa) C.K. Both
patrols came across with securing of Half-Battalion Tomlinson. Leutnant Wahle, one other European and one Askari fell
wounded into the hands of the enemy. A third patrol unit under Obermaaten Julius Dantz of the 8. F.K. which shall search
for them, were also dispersed on the 19th March. Dantz and one Askari were also captured wounded after a short combat.

20th - 31st March 1917

Also because of the loss of the Company commander Wahle, the (Muansa) C.K. was dissolved on the 20th March and the
teams were spread on the 26. F.K. and B.K. Even if Lieutenant-Colonel Murray still not be aware where the main body of
the opponent detachment are, he restructured due to these small events of the past days his units. Colonel Alfred James
decided to change the direction at Mwesimpja and march now strength by one Company of the NRP on Sankt
. Only the main body of the NRP continue the advance on the Street to Itaka. Because of the rainy season and the
high water level of the Rivers Songwe and Lupa Tomlinson acted on the assumption that Wintgens wasn´t be able to cross
both Rivers and slip away to the eastern direction. Therefore he gave greater attention to the western areas of Sankt Moritz.

At that time Wintgens was better informed about the location of his opponents and marched also on the 20th March with the
26. F.K. and the B.K. from Sankt Moritz on the eastern side of the Songwe onto the Column Tomlinson. The 8. F.K. remain
at Sankt Moritz and took there a defence position. The four British Companies were thrown back from the attack of the both
weak German Companies. The opponent lost 7 dead, wounded imprisoned: 7 British (including Captain James), 22 Askaris,
and unwounded: 37 prisoners, furthermore: four Machine guns, 50 rifles and 50,000 cartridges. The German losses are: 3
dead, and 2 wounded Askari. The main clash on this 20th March ended with 73 British losses towards 5 Germans.

The retreating British units were pursued by Wintgens and 6 km southern of the battle field encircled. Between the 22nd and
25th March escape attempts were avoided. In doing so on the 23rd March the B.K lost: Vizefeldwebel Lech and Unteroffizier
Johannes Lösch
and 1 Askari. The 26. F.K. lost also 1 Askari. The British lost, Lieutenant Baker and Private Mkulunyelwa
. On the 26th March the Germans have to cancel the enclosure because the 1./ 1. KAR surfaces from the east and
the NRP from the west. Thereupon Wintgens raised a strong bridgehead position to the west and the south with St. Moritz
in his back. This defence position were attacked from the now united Columns of KAR, NRP, RNR and one company BSAP
on the 30th and 31st March. The main burden of the defence was carried herby by the 8. F.K and parts of the B.K. But already
on the first day of the charge the 26. F.K under Leutnant Zingel carried a successful encirclement attack against the NRP
which led to the loss of 4 dead and 15 wounded. After that Murray stopped the frontal attacks and try to encircle Wintgens.

Will be continued . . .
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by Tanzania » 02 Oct 2016 16:52


Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission (Galula) in South-West of GEA (Part IV)

Scenic overview photo on the area with the Rivers Songwe and Lupa near Galula / St. Moritz, taken from the eastern direction.
Source: ... -Colla.pdf


Sunday 1st April 1917

It´s the third day when the three German Companies of the Detachment Wintgens were attacked by nine British Companies
from KAR, NRP, RNR, and BSAP of the Column Murray. But during the past days parts of the 8.F.K. prepared river crossings
by boxes (!) because of missing bridges over the rivers Songwe and Lupa. The Lupa was the second major river in this region
which have to be crossed into the eastern direction and have had about the same size of the Songwe River during rainy time.
(“A bridge crossing the Lupa River, Tanganyika, 1936”: ... 3/id/30797 )
In the night of the 1st April Wintgens vacate the defence positions and in the morning hours of the 3rd April the whole German
units crossed the rivers. On the same mid-morning Murray’s Column reached also the bank of the Lupa, however can´t follow
the opponent due to problems with food supply and loose the track of the German Detachment. Wintgens marched first into
eastern, later northern direction and reached near Kipembawe his old track from October 1916, now in the opposite direction.
Also now Wintgens indicate an incorrect march direction and send patrols to western, southwestern direction of Bismarckburg.


Wintgens Detachment left the battle fields around Sankt Moritz after 10 days, although with 4% loss of his battle strength. But
now better than before very well fitted with additional captured arms, ammunition and other needful military gear, in line with
Lettow´s motto: “Don’t start a combat, by which you don´t capture more ammunition, then you firing”. Without these British
`gifts´ no further operations would have been possible for him. The opponent `fed´ the Schutztruppe. Wintgens preserved his
full operational capability and freedom movement. The future area of operations, north-eastern from Lake Rukwa promised to
solve the catering problems with plenty of food. Murray was still unaware of the current position of the Germans and have had
no idea in which direction Wintgens want to move afterwards. The strength of the detachment was on this day, 1st April 1917:

53 Europeans and 448 Askari with 14 x Machine Guns and 2 x 3,7-cm-Schnell-Lade-Kanone L/30 Krupp/Gruson Modell 1893

8. Feld-Kompanie . . . . . . . . Feldwebel d. R. Franz J. Müller
26. Feld-Kompanie . . . . . . . Leutnant d. R. Joseph Zingel
(Ruanda) B-Kompanie . . . . . .Marine Ober-Ingenieur Walter Bockmann
M.G.-Kompanie . . . . . . . . . .Oberleutnant / Hauptmann Heinrich Naumann
3,7-cm-Batterie . . . . . . . . . Oberleutnant / Hauptmann Heinrich Naumann

It is remarkable that the Schutztruppe have had a high proportion of Machine Guns. General the relationship between fighters
and Machine Guns with an average of 58 fighters per one MG. Was this ratio by the Detachment Wintgens already before St.
better than with one MG for 47 fighters, so it could be increased after the 20th March up one Machine gun for 36 fighters.

This juxtaposition shows clearly the raising numbers of automatic weapons of the Schutztruppe the more the war continues:
The Schutztruppe crossed the Rovuma on 25th November 1917 with 1,968 fighters, 37 heavy and light Machine guns = 53 / 1.
One year later on 25th November 1918 they laid down the weapons with 1,323 fighters and even 42 heavy and light MG = 32 / 1.


It´s nowadays really difficult to identify the exact battle field of the `Clash at St. Moritz´. The Mission Station lies on the western
side of the River Songwe and the fights can be divided into three sections and thus divided three localities, all west of this river.

The first Clash started on the 20th March 1917 when Wintgens marched from St. Moritz to meet Tomlinson Column.
Tomlinson also received local reports that an enemy force of unknown strength had moved down that road
towards Itaka the day before. The RNR came out on the Itaka road about five miles from St. Moritz. Knowing
full well that the enemy was “in force at the mission”, Tomlinson decided to advance and create an entrenched
position about two miles from St. Moritz. . . . . . The area was flat but vision was impaired by tall grass and bush

The second part of the fights took place 6 km southern of the first Clash and started also on the 20th March 1917.
At this point the RNR, which had lost half its machine guns, was vulnerable to being surrounded and
annihilated by the Germans because it was only five miles from St. Moritz in fairly flat open ground.

A third location for the final fights started on 30th March 1917. After the abounded enclosure of Tomlinson´s Column the 26.
F.K. and B.K. retreat to the immediate surrounding of St. Moritz. This operations are mentioned only in German sources, the
British didn´t take this final phase into account. Therefore it is unknown how far these defences reach to the West and South.

Present photo of the old Catholic `White Fathers´ Mission-station Sankt Moritz. (The people in this Region lead
a withdrawn life and are suspiciously, especially against `white spies who like to take photos from old churches´.)
Original Source: ... miaka.html


On the sandy track to the south, south-west direction of Itaka. This way pass west from the,
sometimes in sight, Songwe River south from St. Moritz without differences in the landscape,

if you drive three kilometres . . .

. . . or twelve kilometres. The battle fields should be found somewhere in between both photos.
I stopped after 15 km and turned around to the north of Galula / St Moritz and the Songwe Bridge.


Will be continued . . .
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by Tanzania » 21 Oct 2016 15:45


Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission (Galula) in South-West of GEA (Part V)


In the direct neighbourhood of the Mission station are two bigger cemetery areas. One area contains the graves of all
Bishops who acted and worked there since the beginning in 1892. On the other cemetery are the local people buried.
The oldest grave is only from 1984. After some hours of precise search unfortunately, there are no indications could
be found from graves of the Great War. Also the German losses from the 23. March; Vizefeldwebel d. L. Adolf Lech,
Unteroffizier Johannes Lösch and two Askaris of the 26. Field- and the Ruanda-B Company leaving without any tracks
although both graves even still exists in 1954. The probably wooden crosses rotted like the edging stones of the tombs.
The British European losses are, as far as I know all transferred to Iringa. Due to less time I must visit Iringa next time.



Original source: ... frika.html


German Colonial map with movements of the Detachment Wintgens between Gumbiro / 6. February and Uleia / 8. April 1917.

Present day tourist map with the surrounding area of Galula / Sankt Moritz and the approximately battle grounds of the Clash.


There is much known about the British, Rhodesian and South African detachment leaders who are involved in the Clash at
Sankt Moritz in spring 1917, but only very less about the German officers. Below are a brief summary about these officers.

Wintgens received the order to leave the West troops on 4th February 1917 from General-Major z.D. Kurt Wahle. But at the
same moment he have received order from Wahle, to keep in touch with Kraut´s Detachment. He didn´t follow this specific
order and he and his officers have gone their own way because in their opinion no other alternative exists. Wintgens and later
Naumann don’t took for certain this lonely descission. There are sure a debate about consequences with the other officers:
Zingel, Wahle and Bockmann. Without such an agreement and tacit support no commander could have acted successfully
in such isolated situation. Later each of them have had enough opportunities to leave the main body of the detachment. They
would have surrendered to the next opponent column and no one would blamed them. But none of these five officers did this.

`The restless spirit of Wintgens lived on in this rebellious detachment´; even if only for the next 6 months. When they took the
descission to continue and fight to the bitter end, they must certainly be aware, that at the best this ended only with captivity!


Hauptmann Max Wintgens (photo 1920 as Major?)

• 18. August 1898, Second Lieutenant at Infantry-Regiment 20 / Germany
• 1. September 1905, commanded to the Schutztruppe for German East Africa
• 4. August 1909, First Lieutenant
• (- ? -), Captain (He was administered during the War by the Schutztruppen Commando in GEA as Captain)
• Since December 1913, commanding Resident from Ruanda in Kigali (as follower of Dr. Richard Kandt)
• 1. September 1914, Military Commander Ruanda in GEA
• 4. October 1914, wounded near Kissenji as Commander of the `Detachment Ruanda´
• Since April 1916, Commander of the, now named `Detachment Wintgens´
21. May 1917, Sick / hard infected by Typhus into Belgian imprisonment at Wilanga (?) / Lukalanga
• 9. April 1920 Major
• 28. March 1925 -

Someone who is dealing more intense in the German East-African campaign will inevitably face on the name Max Wintgens.
Who was this German Commander by which others written on him in their books or publications? From where they have
these informations? Wintgens have had never written a book like many others after the war. Books which would have been
written by him with contemporary titles like: » Behind enemy lines «, or » We were placed on our own «, would have been for
certain also a success. Wintgens never done this, not even contributions in other books or articles in other publications. Only
very less official documents about events in Ruanda before 1914 wasn´t destroyed during World War I and originated by him.
When the War started he was already 9 years at the Schutztruppe in GEA and had the most solid background and longest
experience of all active German officers in East Africa. He knows the country and its people better than anyone of the army.

The author Corey W. Reigel wrote in his new published book: » The last great Safari: East Africa in World War I. «:
Lettow-Vorbeck hated Wintgens for what he had done. Even though he stated that the objective of GEA continued
resistance was to distract Allied resources from Europe, and Wintgens had distracted 4,000 Allied soldiers away
from fighting him, Lettow-Vorbeck still resented the loss of control more than the loss of those men and weapons.”

The determination: ” Lettow-Vorbeck hated Wintgens and would have accepted rather the loss of the men and weapons than
the loss of control
”, is simplified and also covered. No military leader could accept, must insists on Subordination or to allow
refusals to obey orders, especially in wartimes. In this case Lettow was for certain no exemption.

But no straight and direct order leadership was possible on German side from start of the war, how it were practiced on other
battle areas at that time in Europa. This was especially considered in the remote Ruanda. The transmission of orders used
sometimes days to reach remote areas. Lettow was thus unambiguously dependent on particularly active and independently
operating Detachment leaders. And Wintgens did exactly what Lettow demanded from him. He raised a force out of nothing,
he deal with the opponent in advanced defence with counterattacks in the right moment, with enclosure counterstrikes and
greater encirclement attacks without frontal attacks. He had an infallible intuition for the right moment as a tactical master of
a real mobile warfare. And that he did this with more success than any other of the officers of the Schutztruppe in GEA. Due
to that he was one of the best officers that Lettow had, if not even he was the ablest military leader in the whole East African
theatre of War. No; - Lettow have had no reason to hate Wintgens. Lettow needed Wintgens more than Wintgens, Lettow, and
both knew this. Every success on a battle field by Wintgens was automatically for the benefit of the whole Schutztruppe
and thus also for the Commander of the Schutztruppe, Lettow-Vorbeck; on the battle ground on site and also before history.

In spring 1915 the restless activities of Wintgens were in Ruanda so successful that the Belgian Commander Lieutenant-Colonel
who control about 2,500 soldiers of the Force public (1,900 at Rutshuru and 600 at Kibati of the XIII. X., XI. and XII. Battalion)
requested during a conference on 23. March with General Malleson for the double troop strength to be able to start an offensive
against this `rebelliously´ German Detachment with 216 fighters! (23 Europeans, 82 Askaris and 110 Ruga-Ruga Recruits, 2 MG)
Wintgens managed to fake against Henry a strength of more than 1,000 German opponents opposite the Belgian border at Goma.

One is tempted immediately to explain Max Wintgens military successes only through merciless hardness and reckless methods
by him. But also for this no indications could be found. But quite the contrary; the formally German Ambassador for Ruanda Dr.
Reinhard Bindseil and also Helmut Strizek demonstrate as authors in their books with the help of examples and remaining letters
from the pre-war period in Ruanda, that Wintgens also be aware about the political inequalities and problems between the majority
of the Wahutu and the ruling caste of the feudalistic Tutsi. Wintgens criticised in letters against the German Colonial government
in Daressalam still 1914, the dealing with the local population. It could be said that he continue with the same sensitive and careful
way of the formally Resident Dr. Richard Kandt. No references can be found that Wintgens acting as a brutal and arrogant colonial
officer during his service period. He may have had more disputes to his superiors in respect of the authority conferred on him, then
with his subordinates which have been entrusted.

There exists also records of Vizefeldwebel d.R. Jochen Pfeiffer, platoon leader in the 8. Field Company, who knows Wintgens since
September 1916 during the fights at Sankt Michael north from Tabora. Pfeiffer and being involved by this Detachment up to the end,
in October 1917. He report that Wintgens attached great importance on the well-being of his Askari and porters. Again and again he
has instructed his Officers and NCO´s to ensure fair treatment against their subordinates. Furthermore he had always ensured that
the foodstuff have been paid. However he should be aware that the money what have been paid for the requisitioned of foodstuff
were useless in a country which was plundered at that time by every warring factions. This served only to pacify their conscience.

Which reason existed why Wintgens wasn’t promoted during the war, unlike Naumann to two next higher ranks, are not known.

In opposite to his younger brother Lieutenant Kurt Wintgens who was a pilot, Max Wintgens didn´t received the Pour le Merit.,_Kurt . ... adID=31017.
PLMs awarded for overseas service:
In the course of the campaign in East-Africa 1914-1918 Lettow-Vorbeck submitted applications
for the PLM for the following of his officers (ranks as of 1918):
Generalmajor z.D. Kurt Wahle, Hauptmann d.R. Dr. Franz Kempner, Hauptmann Franz Köhl,
Hauptmann Eberhard von Liebermann, Hauptmann Erich Müller, Hauptmann Max Wintgens
The applications did not get through, so none of them was awarded the PLM. By letter to the
War Ministry as of January 22, 1920 Lettow confirmed the applications after his return to Germany.

PS.: One correction on own behalf; Wintgens got hard infected by Typhus into Belgian imprisonment 7 weeks later,
at 21st May 1917 at Lukalanga. But it wasn´t Lukalanga which was placed at the Central Railway; - it was Lulanguru.


Specific sources:
Hauptmann Wintgens Rückzug von Ruanda nach Tabora und die Kämpfe um Tabora, page 175 - 195
Bruno Koppe, In: Koloniale Rundschau, Leipzig 1919
Chapter VIII. – Guerrilla Operations after Major Wintgen´s Force (Period 17th April to 21st June, 1917) page 101 - 106,
In: The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps (1915-1919), by Captain Ivor D. Difford, Hortors Ltd., Cape Town 1920.


Image . Image

Oberleutnant Heinrich Naumann (1. photo 1919 in Sidi Bishr, Egypt / 2. photo as Major 1941?)

• 17. November 1906, Second Lieutenant
• 1908, Jäger-Battalion 9 / Germany
• 1912, Infantry-Regiment 41 / Germany
• 15. October 1912, Seminar for oriental languages in Berlin
• 26. October 1912, Commanded to the Schutztruppe for German East Africa
• Before 1914, 8. Field Company in Tabora
• November 1914, 4. Field Company
• 24. December 1914, First Lieutenant (This Promotion by the Schutztruppe in Germany, wasn´t realized in GEA)
• (- ? -), Company Leader 3. Field Company
• May 1916, Company Leader 16. Field Company
• 6. June 1916, Captain (This Promotion by the Schutztruppe in Germany, wasn´t realized in GEA)
• 12. October 1916, second in command of the Detachment Wintgens and lead MG Company & Field-Gun Battery
• 21. May 1917, assumption of command of the, now named `Detachment Naumann´
2. October 1917, capitulation on the Luita-Berg in the Massai Steppe
• November 1919, Return home to Germany
• 1936, Major and Commander of the Replenishment-Battalion 44
• 3. January 1939, Lieutenant-Colonel and Training officer Gleiwitz
• May 1944, Colonel, Staff General Headquarter for the XIII Army Corps

Naumann was, as well as Wintgens an active Schutztruppen Officer of the Detachment and was administered during the whole
War 1914-1918 by the Schutztruppen Commando in GEA as Second Lieutenant. He have had also as well as Wintgens never
wrote a book, but some of his records appear in post-war-works. During the first phase of the War he gained his experiences
as individual abilities as patrol commander against the British Railway. Later he followed exactly the footsteps of Wintgens.

Naumann mentioned that he planned in principle try to resume contact with the Schutztruppe in the South. After the 2. August
1917 he have no doubt that the breakthrough through the enemy lines wouldn’t be no longer successful. He decided to structure
his Detachment into three easy to moveable parts. It remains questionable if this would be possible to catch up again with the
main body of the Schutztruppe. Meanwhile the Belgian troops concentration were too closely at Wahle´s West-Troops around
Mahenge as well the British forces in front of Lettow´s East-Troops near Lindi.

After the last surrender on Luita-Berg Naumann was carried to Dar es Salaam and accused on the 5th October 1917 from the
British military court. He had been criticized, among others, to killed prisoners after the battle at Ikoma on the 29th June, 1917.
For the British military stage it was improbably that an allied association with 500 soldiers were hit in such devastating way by
200 opponents. The military prosecution counsel demanded at the beginning of the process the death penalty for Naumann.
The three witnesses of the happenings at Ikoma could suddenly not be found. After four weeks of negotiations he was not be
absolved but for lack of evidence not condemned and `realised´ into captive. But for what he `have done´ to the British forces
on the battles grounds, he was the last of the Schutztruppe in German East Africa who was send home in November 1919.

Naumann´s official ranks are lightly confusing. He signed the capitulation document in 1917 with Oberleutnant, but was official
listed in GEA up to the end in 1918 as Leutnant. On the other hand already promoted in Germany to Hauptmann since 1916.

Specific sources:
Sechs Monate hinter den englischen Linien in DOA 1917 / Six months behind the English lines in GEA 1917
Heinrich Naumann, page 456 - 459, In: Hans Zache: Die deutschen Kolonien in Wort und Bild, Berlin 1926.
Chapter: Arusha, page 207 - 212, In: Wie es einst war in drei Erdteilen, Helene Mierisch, Podzun-Pallas-Verlag, 1984.
Chapter: IX. – The Naumann “Stunt” (Period 10th July to 1st October, 1917) page 107 - 126,
In: The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps (1915-1919), by Captain Ivor D. Difford, Hortors Ltd., Cape Town 1920.



Marine Ober-Ingenieur Walter Bockmann (photo 1915 in Kigoma)
• October 1904, Entry into service of the Imperial German Navy
• 19. October 1912, Navy Marine Engineer (correspond approximately to a Navy Second Lieutenant)
• 1913, Second Engineer on the light cruiser SMS Königsberg
• September 1914, Navy Detachment `Möwe´, Repair workshop Kigoma,
• 17. October 1915, Navy Chief Engineer (correspond approximately to a Navy First Lieutenant)
• 21. July 1916, Company Leader within the Navy Detachment `Möwe´ during the withdrawal from Kigoma to Tabora
• 14. September 1916, Company Leader Ruanda-A Company within the `Detachment Wintgens´
• 29. October 1916, Commander Ruanda-B. Company within the `Detachment Wintgens´
• 19. August 1917, Commander of the independent `Detachment Bockmann´ with 7 Europeans, 96 Askaris and 2 MG
2. October 1917, capitulation in the Oldeani jungle into British captivity
• 1. April 1921, Kapitänleutnant-Ingenieur and assumption into the German `Reichs-Marine´
• 31. October 1921, Farewell from Military service.

When Bockmann boarded the Königsberg 1913, he could probably never have imagined that his engineer-career ended
four years later in the East African steppe as a `Bush Fighter´ and Commander of an Askari-unit behind the enemy lines.

Bockmann and his men were the second Sub-Detachment which Naumann discharged from the main body. Bockmann was
send from Kijungu to the northwest direction of Umbulu. After 7 weeks through the waterless steppe and without enough food
the health wise of Bockmann´s Detachment were so disorderedly that he and his men withdraw into the jungle of the hillsides
of Mount Oldeani (Between both northern ends of Lake Eyasi and Lake Manyara) More than 20 Askaris were already deserted
before, and thus Bockmann find oneself constrained to offer the surrender to a new KAR Battalion which arrived from Arusha.


Leutnant der Reserve Ralph Wahle (photo unproved; see below [***])

• 1909, 1. Saxon Ulanen Regiment 17 / Germany
• 9. December 1909, Second Lieutenant
• (- ? -), Owner of a plantation in German east Africa
• January 1916, 8. Field Company (8. January 1916 Commando patrol against the British Uganda railway)
• May 1916, Commanding staff of the Schutztruppe in GEA
• September 1916, Commander of the Muansa-C Company within the `Detachment Wintgens´
16. March 1917, on patrol wounded into British imprisonment at Mwesimpja southwest of Sankt Moritz
• Later in Sidi Bishr, Egypt

In August 1914 Colonel a. D. Kurt Wahle visited his son Ralph Wahle on his farm in East Africa. Kurt Wahle was retired since
four years, but volunteered immediately to the Commando of the Schutztruppe with already 60 years (b.: 26.12.1854) and was
assigned to lead the rear in Morogoro. End of 1914 he was also Commander of the capital Daressalam. However his son Ralph
who was only `private´ in German East Africa and was busy as Sisal-plantation owner near Tanga, wasn´t mentioned in the few
still preserved documents as an active member of the Schutztruppe in GEA before May 1916. Considering the circumstances at
that time, this was more than unusual. Exceptionally to the fact that Ralph was the son of the oldest and, unofficial highest rank
in the Colony. Colonel a.D. Kurt Wahle would for certain have influenced his son to join also the Schutztruppe already in 1914,
and not only in 1916. It's only speculation, but the current evidence indicates that Ralph Wahle enter the active service already
before 1916. Possible the document for this are only lost, like most of them. By the way; Sisal wasn´t important for the internal
wartime economy at that time in GEA. The cultivation for food products was given however a high priority. Due to this R. Wahle
have had no reasons to be classified as indispensable and to work furthermore in the civil sector inside the Colony on his farm.

Kurt Wahle also gives hints in his book that his son left the Sisal farm near Tanga beginning of 1915 and noted suggestively that
he `worked´ with him together. Due to this and the above mentioned reasons I have the opinion that Ralph Wahle was deployed
as Leutnant der Reserve before the recorded date in May 1916. When this has been the case that Ralph Wahle acted before at
the Schutztruppe, one plausible option is that his father took him as staff officer between January 1915 and 1916 that he served
as the Adjutant for his father. This presumption would make sense, due to the fact that Leutnant d.R. August Batzner hand over
this remit to an unknown follower in March 1915. Batzner took over again this task at the same moment when Ralph Wahle was
committed as Commander to the Muansa-C Company in September 1916. Abstract, in the light of all the relevant circumstances:

[***] Explanation to the upper photo:
This photo was already discussed in AHF, with the presumption that the right officer shows Major Arthur Kepler who was killed
in action on 18. January 1915 Jassini. ... 1&start=30

Because of the similarity of the two proved photos with the pictured senior officer I assume that´s Kurt Wahle and the left junior
officer shows Ralph Wahle at the British post Saisi in BNR June/July 1915. Family resemblances are of course not to recognise.


Cut-out of the original source: http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankf ... 4_0080.jpg

It remains questionable if Kurt Wahle was enthusiastic that his son left the West-Troops with this `Old order-denier Wintgens´
in September 1916 and went-out now through the bush. For sure he didn’t sent Ralph Wahle as a control function for Wintgens.
No one were be able to `control´ Wintgens. Not Oberstleutnant a.D. Franz Hübener in September 1916 south from Tabora, not
Hauptmann Georg Kraut in February 1917 at Gumbiro and also not Colonel a. D. Kurt Wahle with the unofficial highest rank..

Specific source: Erinnerungen an meine Kriegsjahre in Deutsch Ostafrika 1914-1918, Kurt Wahle, Dresden 1920


Leutnant der Reserve Joseph Zingel
• 1907, Second Lieutenant of the reserve at the Dragoner Regiment 15 / Germany
• Since 7. April 1910 in German East Africa
• January 1911, Junior mining official and Adjunct at the colonial district office in Lindi
• March 1911, commanding Senior Civil Servant in Morogoro
• August 1911 - March 1912, Senior Civil Servant in Morogoro
• November 1912 - March 1913, Senior Civil Servant in Bagamojo
• April - June 1913, as representative senior civil servant in Kondoa-Irangi
• October 1913 - March 1914, as representative Senior Civil Servant in Tabora
• April - May 1914, Senior Civil Servant in Bismarckburg
• November 1914, Commander of the `Police Detachment Morogoro´
• August 1915, Commander of the 26. Field Company within the `Detachment Ruanda´
• 18. September 1916, Commander of the independent `Column Zingel´ within the West-Troops
• December 1916, Commander of the 26. Field Company within the `Detachment Wintgens´
• 10. August 1917, Commander of the independent `Detachment Zingel´ with 10 Europeans, 112 Askaris and 2 MG.
2. September 1917, capitulation near Maskati into British captivity
• Later in Daressalam
• (- ? -) Senior Executive Officer in Germany
• 15. March 1939 -

When the War started in August 1914 started Zingel was already seven years in East Africa. Although he don´t belong to the
Military personnel of the Schutztruppe, but was be able to discover many areas of this German Colony as Civil administrator.

Zingel was since August 1915, the start of the Belgian summer-offensive in Ruanda the Commander of the 26. Field Company
and with that automatically a part of the Detachment Ruanda. Due to this, Wintgens and Zingel must have known themselves
very well. He also being present by the retreat from Kissenji to Tabora between May and September 1916 as Commander of the
26. Field Company within the, now named Detachment Wintgens. He act on every front, from Korogwe in the north to Usoke in
the west, as part of the Battle for Tabora. On the 18. September 1916 Wintgens and also Zingel got from Colonel a.D. Kurt Wahle
the Command of one of the three greater Columns which marched from Tabora to Iringa, before further fights started in this area.

Zingel was realized by Naumann as first of the three more agile and even faster parts at the Luita-Berg with order to advance into
the south-east direction. After some direction changes Zingel was forced to surrender after four weeks near Maskati to Hoy´s KAR.

Specific source: Chapter X. – The Zingel “Stunt” (Period 26th July to 27th September, 1917) page 127 - 137,
In: The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps (1915-1919), by Captain Ivor D. Difford, Hortors Ltd., Cape Town 1920.



Unfortunately photos are not available from the by name known NCO´s of the Detachment. Only one quite unclear photo shows
most likely Feldwebel d. R. Franz J. Müller, who led as deputy company commander during the campaign the 8. Field Company.
Naumann mentioned in his record that himself, Müller, another European NCO as interpreter, an Askari Sergeant-Major and one
Askari who held the old German flag, attend the discussion for the terms of surrender on 1. October 1917 down to the Luita-Berg.
The men on the right side could be Feldwebel d. R. Franz J. Müller. Because of the frequent name a further search is difficult.


Online Source: ... ffuoft.pdf, page 118 + 121
Chapter . IX. – The Naumann “Stunt” (Period 10th July to 1st October, 1917) page 107 - 126,
In: The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps (1915-1919), by Captain Ivor D. Difford, Hortors Ltd., Cape Town 1920.

About the German Askaris of this Detachment are even less well known. Below two proved photos from the same source.
Naumann fixed as first point in the written terms of surrender, that all Askari, porters and boys will be released immediately.



Unjika was the landscape southern and eastern from the Rukwa depression where the `Clash of St. Moritz´ took place.
Then and today this area is moderately populated but remained as one of the most remote landscapes in Tanganyika.

Iwungu Luika (near Ngomba) near the Luika estuary into Lake Rukwa was the point from where Wintgens marched
afterwards into North, northwest direction to Uleia, likewise on the shores of Lake Rukwa in the Ukangulu landscape.

Rare scenic overview photo of the remote eastern shore of Lake Rukwa between Uleia and Iwungu Luika (near Ngomba)
When the Detachment Wintgens crossed the Luika River on 5th April they marched along the shore northwards to Uleia.
Original Source:

Impressive enlargement of the upper scene with a small waterfall on the eastern shoreline of Lake Rukwa.

Western of Lake Rukwa with Kipembawe on the left background. Wintgens arrived on the 12th April and rested there 5 days.
Original Source: ... r/kib4.png

Further rare and impressive photos from this remote area around Lake Rukwa by Peter Levy: ... 488577884/

Further single photos: ... _Rukwa.JPG ... -Rukwa.JPG ... -Rukwa.JPG


The work of the US American Army officer Second Lieutenant F. Jon Nesselhuf reflected some newer and exceptional
conclusions regarding the “War of Movement” of the Schutztruppe during the last phase of the East African campaign.
Nesselhuf compared in his last chapter “Exit strategies, January 1917 - November 1918” also the classic German version
War of Movement” by Lettow in contrast with the actual “Mobile Warfare” by Wintgens and Naumann. Even though both
could combine as strategic operations within this campaign. Some considerations are certainly true and would have been
worth to investigated more precise, however the 118-pages-thesis offer not enough space for a substantiated analysis.

Second Lieutenant F. Jon Nesselhuf . ... QQqYQ/edit

Captain Max Wintgens and his protégé Captain Heinrich Naumann offered Lettow a guerrilla war alternative, utilizing
the techniques of `Buschkrieg´. They led their detachment on a journey back north into German territory occupied by
the Allies. Lettow, however, dismissed Wintgens and Naumann’s alternative because he did not consider guerrilla
warfare an effective substitute for battle. He assumed a similar strategy only after the Schutztruppe was too weak to
fight another battle. . .

. . . The new guerrilla campaign aligned well with the Schutztruppe’s capabilities and `Buschkrieg´. He avoided capture
from November 1917 to November 1918, detaining large Allied forces. His success as a guerrilla in 1918 eclipsed the
defeats of 1916 and 1917, and encouraged historians to view 1918 as a continuation of his original battle strategy rather
than a profound shift towards guerrilla warfare. . .

Schnee and many of Lettow’s subordinates considered it pointless to continue and encouraged Lettow to surrender. For
example, Major von Grawert refused to continue the fight and surrendered his company to the British in January 1917.
Lettow dismissed Grawert’s reasoning, claiming the Major greatly exaggerated the desperation of the supply conditions.

Grawert’s contemporaries Wintgens and Naumann rebelled against Lettow’s strategy, but their insubordination forced
him to consider another option — guerrilla raids. Their strategy demonstrated their training as colonial officers in the
art of `Buschkrieg´. Wintgens and Naumann avoided battle and instead preyed on the Allies’ tenuous supply chain.
British soldiers remarked that “he [Wintgens] stripped the country of food so that rear of him the country appeared as
if a plague of locusts had past that way.” Wintgens and Naumann moved their force deep into the British area by moving
through weakly defended areas, avoiding search parties. To resupply their arms, they ambushed small units of men and
besieged isolated outposts. The duo treated natives who supplied food and intelligence well, but punished resisters with
rampant pillaging.

Prior to the raid, Wintgens and Naumann had demonstrated their skill fighting border patrols during the first two years
of the war. Neither officer participated in the Battle of Tanga because Lettow left them to conduct independent raiding
operations in Rwanda. Wintgen’s defence of Tabora in 1916 checked the Allies advance for several months and retook
several lost positions. Although his column was capable of continued resistance, Lettow’s retreat in the east and General
retreat in the west isolated Wintgens in the “Tabora Pocket.” On Lettow’s orders, Captain Wintgens skilfully
escaped the closing Allied pinchers and journeyed south. Wintgens and Naumann reconnected with the German forces
during a bad harvest, and Lettow ordered them to requisition food from the local tribes.

On 18. February 1917, Wintgens disobeyed Lettow’s general order to remain in contact with Kraut’s detachment, venturing
north in search of forage. Wintgens led his force of approximately 500 men toward Tabora, a region with strong indigenous
support for German colonialism. Their effort distracted approximately 6,000 troops from the main front to pursue the guerrilla’s
soldiers. Wintgens became too ill to continue in May 1917 and transferred his command to Naumann, who continued the
campaign until September 1917. Naumann led the dwindling force towards Taveta where he encountered stiff resistance and
then redirected his raid to the south. The British captured Naumann in October 1917 near the Central Railroad using information
from native scouts.(???)

Though the Wintgens - Naumann strategy offered several advantages over Lettow’s strategy, he rejected it. Lettow believed
his subordinates wasted their men because their operation “became separated so far from the main theatre of war as to be of
little use.” Lettow would have preferred that Wintgens and Naumann had attacked the British field forces directly; he considered
guerrilla war a dirty, inferior form of war which unnecessarily involved non-combatants. A guerrilla campaign required him to
reverse the centralization of command and shrink his field forces. Lettow believed that a conventional strategy best protected
the rich Lukuledi Valley, which he expected to supply his force in 1918. . .

. . . Life taught Lettow that, “war was and remains an art.” Lettow was neither a committed guerrilla strategist nor a colonial
officer, but a conventional strategist. His leadership covered the positive and negative spectrum of the German art of war.
His victory at Tanga deserved commendation: however, his conduct from 1915 to 1917 did not deserve the same credit. His
subordinates Wintgens and Naumann outperformed him, and his opponent Smuts outwitted him. The Battle of Mahiwa
destroyed his force, illustrating the absurdity of the traditional German strategy of offensive battle. His refusal to surrender in
the midst of despair and his ability to evade British capture from November 1917 to November 1918 deserved respect. His
obstinate and ambitious personality, which nearly ruined his military career in Europe, redeemed him in Africa.”

Online source: ... thesis.pdf
Maneuver Warfare on the Serengeti, Chapter 4, Exit strategies, January 1917 - November 1918, In: General Paul
von Lettow-Vorbeck´s East African campaign, Thesis by F. Jon Nesselhuf, B.A. University of North Texas, May 2012.

Experience, intuition, speed and mobility, together with the creating of own spaces for individual decision-making processes,
were the main factors for this extraordinary move of the `Detachment Ruanda-Wintgens-Naumann´. No other force have had
left such an incredible and strange trace on the whole African continent during all the campaigns in the Great War 1914 - 1918.

(A complete source-list will be attached at the end)

Will be continued . . .
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by stevebecker » 22 Oct 2016 01:58


Great stuff


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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by danebrog » 22 Oct 2016 12:53

8O AWESOME...simply awesome, Holger :o
(Hast Dich mal wieder selbst übertroffen!)

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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by Tanzania » 22 Oct 2016 18:02

Hi Steve and Danebrog (Schreibt man das jetzt groß oder nur klein?)

If one does not wish to make a fool of oneself in front of experts, considerable research is indeed essential.
Sometimes an own article serve me also to look for all the dates, names and location as written annex.

But we are not finalised yet. . .

Cheers Holger Image
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by Tanzania » 07 Nov 2016 09:05


Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission (Galula) in South-West of GEA (Part VI)


The below figures from 1914 to 1917 show the not be underestimated fighting-potency of this detachment and which are
supposed to prove that the Clash at St. Moritz was regarding the relative strength, circumstance and result no exemption.

Even if this is just an arbitrary selection, it should be noted that this was from the German position in almost all cases a fight
against a stronger opponent. Only by two from twenty-four of the following cases the German Detachment which was led by
Wintgens / Naumann were also in the majority. Belgian-, Rhodesian-, South African-, Nigerian-, Indian- or British forces have
been in the, partially even significant superior number. But not only the different number of troops are remarkable, equally the
various loos-ratios can be seen clearly. Even though if these were local successes in the defence or by local counter-attacks
this doesn´t change the fact that it was general retreat between September 1914 and 1917 for this extraordinary Detachment.

The main official primary sources to determine the below mentioned figures are:

Die Operationen in Ostafrika, Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918, Ludwig Boell, Dachert, Hamburg 1951
Military Operations East Africa, August 1914-September 1916, Volume I, C. Hordern, London 1941
Les Campagnes coloniales belges 1914-1918, Tome II, La campagne de Tabora (1916), Bruxelles, 1929

The following secondary sources served as opportunity to compare:

Vier Jahre Weltkrieg in Deutsch-Ostafrika, Wilhelm Arning, Hannover 1919
General Smuts´ Campaign in East Africa, by James H. V. Crowe, John Murray, London 1918
Campagne Anglo-Belge de L´Afrique Orientale Allemande, Charles Stiénon, Paris / Nancy 1918

The Belgian official accounts were published at first to the end of the nineteen-twenties. The data were not balanced
with other sources and met still the standard of after-war-propaganda. Charles Hordern followed 1941 with his more
precise and detailed work, but still suffered in its objectivity under the nationalistic influence of the Second World War.
Hordern already contacted Boell in 1939 and both exchanged useful datas in their works. After 1945 Ludwig Boell are
be able to publish his work in 1951 with the permit and approval of the British Mandate in the occupied Germany. His
work is with distance the most literal and documentary-style piece to date of the East African theatre of War 1914 -18.

How falsifying the figures in 1918 could be, illustrate the following example with similar values. Crowe listed in his work
for only two months in 1916 for the West-Troops: 129 Europeans killed and captured Europeans. Boell documented for
six months 101 Europeans killed and captured. (Between May, the start of the offensive and October 1916, 28 killed in
action and 73 captured). Figures are verifiable by: DKB (Deutsches Kolonialblatt) for the years 1916-1918. Furthermore:
Online Source, Project Gefallenendenkmal: ... frika.html
(In order to guarantee comparability for both figures; Crowe´s number would have to be trebled; 387 against real 101.)

With an overall view one could gain the impression in all accounts, that as shorter the time period between the end of war
in 1918 and the publishing year afterwards, - the greater the losses of the enemy. In reverse order, the later these figures
were realized, the more realistic and objective they were been. Boell, whose work appeared finally must be assessed also
as primary source of an active participant and with this a eyewitness of the East African Campaign, researched 30 Years.

The below mentioned summary include, killed, wounded, captured and defected of the respective fight. But this could be of
course only a pure statistical comparison. During a withdrawal the prisoners should be released with a word of honour by the
Detachment direct after successful combat. Also wounded or sick German fighters have to be left behind by the Detachment.

10th August 1914, Initial situation in Northwest Ruanda
The Belgian Force Public amounting around Lake Kivu, 925 Askaris. Wintgens got 10 Europeans and 60 Police-Askaris.
(“ . . . In any case, however, it was certain that the Belgian forces greatly outnumbered the German . . .” C. Hordern, page 401.)

24th September 1914, Idschwi Island on Lake Kivu
Wintgens attacked a Belgian post on the Idschwi Island on Lake Kivu. Belgian battle strength: 2 European, 50 Askaris.
German battel strength: 9 European, 50 Askaris, 24 Ruga-Ruga Recruits (Minor German superiority)
Enemy losses: 52 against 1 German
Ratio: 52 to 1

4th October 1914, 5 km north from Kissenji in Northwest Ruanda
The Belgian Lieutenant-Colonel Henry attacked with 400 fighters and one 4,7-cm-Gun Wintgens prepared defence
position with 14 Europeans, 55 Askaris and 42 Ruga-Ruga Recruits with 2 MG, and were heavy repulsed.
Enemy losses: 72 against 22 Germans. Ratio: 3 to 1

1st January - 1st April 1915, General Situation in Northwest Ruanda
The Belgian started in 1915 with a superior strength of 2,500 Belgians towards 216 on German side. Ratio: 12 to 1

Battle strength on 1st January 1915:
Belgians: Lieutenant-Colonel Henry, 1,900 fighters at Rutshuru and 600 fighters at Kibati (XIII., X., XI. and XII. Battalion)
Germans: Captain Wintgens, 23 Europeans, 82 Askaris and 110 Ruga-Ruga Recruits with 2 MG (Detachment Ruanda)

Battle strength on 1st April 1915:
Belgians: Lieutenant-Colonel Henry, 3,900 fighters at Rutshuru (XII. XIII. IX., XI. X. and XII. Battalion)
Germans: Captain Wintgens, 32 Europeans, 103 Askaris and 204 with 2 MG (Detachment Ruanda)

On 1st January 1915 the `Detachment Ruanda´ attacked with 9 Europeans 58 Askaris and 39 Ruga-Ruga Recruits the British
Uganda Police Service Battalion by Major W.F.S. Edwards (14 Europeans, 555 Askaris and 3,000 porters in Four Companies)
at their fortified place on Lake Bolero. After the attack the post were abandoned by the British and they retreat to Lake Bunyoni.
British battle strength: 569, German battle strength: 106, Ratio: 4 to 1 (Losses are unknown)

27th November 1915, Tschansargwe-Mountain in Northwest Ruanda
Attack by parts of Wintgens Detachment Ruanda in unknown strength on one Belgian Company of the X. Battalion.
Belgian losses: 87 against 14 Germans. Ratio: 6 to 1

21st December 1915, Kissi-Mountain in Northwest Ruanda
The Belgian Major Bataille attacked with 6 Companies of the Belgian IX, XI and XII Battalion, 4 MG and 2 Batteries
8 Guns, Wintgens defence positions around the isolated positioned Kissi Mountain northern of the Ssebeja position.
Belgian battle strength: 1,350 fighters with 4 MG and 8 Guns (four 7-cm-St. Chamond, four 4,7-cm-Nordenfeld Guns)
German battle strength: 350 fighters with 4 MG and 2 Guns (one 3,7-cm-Field Gun, one 6,5-cm-Kolonial Gun)
Belgian losses: 43 against 5 Germans. Ratio: 9 to 1

16th January 1916, south of the Karrisimbi-Mountain in Northwest Ruanda
Special assembled Company under Leutnant d.R. Freiherr Raitz v. Frentz within the Detachment Ruanda attacked two
marching Belgian Companies under the leadership of Commandant Pirot and through them back on a third Company.
The battle strengths of both opponents are not known. Probably somewhere around: 300 Belgians and 150 Germans.
Belgian losses: 20 against 2 Germans. Ratio: 10 to 1

26th - 28th January 1916, Kissi-Mountain in Northwest Ruanda
The Belgian Major Rouling attacked with two Companies of the VIII., IX. and XI. Battalion the German defence position
on the northwest flank of the Kissi-Mountain with 4 Europeans and 57 Askaris under Vizefeldwebel d.R. August Baring.
Belgian battle strength: Probably somewhere around 250
German battle strength: 61
Belgian losses: 93 against 33 Germans. Ratio: 3 to 1

6th June 1916, Kogowami near Kiwogoi in Central Ruanda
The Detachment of Major Erich v. Langenn-Steinkeller was attacked by the II. and III. Battalion of the 1. Regiment led
by Major Muller. The Detachment Wintgens started a counter-attack and repulsed the opponent.
Belgian battle strength: 1,150 fighters with 6 MG and one 4,7-cm-Nordenfeld Gun
German battle strength: 350 fighters with 5 MG and one 3,7-cm-Field Gun
Belgian losses: 23 against 19 Germans. Ratio: 1 to 1

14th July 1916, Diobahika in Ussuwi (South of Emin Pasha Gulf)
Detachment Wintgens was attacked by parts of the XII. and XIII. Belgian Battalion (4. Regiment Lieutenant-Colonel Huyghé)
and thrown the opponent back. The two Belgian Battalions stopped the attack and withdrawn into northern direction of Wanga.
Belgian battle strength: 350 fighters with 2 MG
German battle strength: 230 fighters with 1 MG
Belgian losses: 21 against 5 Germans. Ratio: 4 to 1

15th July 1916, between Diobahika and Wanga in Ussuwi
On next day the Detachment Wintgens attacked the strengthened opponent in his fortified position between Diobahika and
Wanga. Although Wintgens cancelled the fight later, the two Belgian Battalions withdraw in the very early morning to Wanga
and left behind a lot of equipment and luggage. On the 16th July the XI. Battalion arrived also in Wanga. After some touches
with Wintgens patrols the whole Belgian forces retreat to the further Northwest. Because of this, 1,600 porters escaped and
the whole Belgian North-Brigade was stopped to for 3 to 4 weeks in their advance and went back even further to Njamasina.
Belgian battle strength: 550 fighters with 7 MG
German battle strength: 350 fighters with 2 MG
Belgian losses: 10 against 11 Germans. Ratio: 1 to 1

September 1916, installation of the German West-Troops, led by General-Major z.D. Kurt Wahle around Tabora
The below mentioned 11 Infantry-companies and Artillery-units are involved in the `Battle of Tabora´ whose time frame can be
limited between the 1. and 18. September 1916. The whole battle strength include approximately 2,800 men; a weak Regiment.
The allocation and resubordinated changed several times between the both Detachments Wintgens and v. Langenn-Steinkeller.
(Wilhelm Arning mentioned, the Companies around Tabora have average strength from less than 150 Europeans and Askaris.)

7. Feld-Kompanie . . . . . . . . . . . .Leutnant d.R. Max Wenzel
8. Feld-Kompanie . . . . . . . . . . . .Leutnant Friedrich Bauer, (Oberleutnant: 5.9.1914, Hauptmann: 18.9.1915)
26. Feld-Kompanie . . . . . . . . . . .Leutnant d.R. Joseph Zingel
29. Feld-Kompanie . . . . . . . . . . .Leutnant d.R. Karl Orth, since 2.9. Lt. d.R. Artur Ott, since 13.9.1916 Oblt. z.S. d.R. Theodor Siebel

7. Reserve-Kompanie. . . . . . . . . .Leutnant d.R. Gezá Kalman (Austrian-Hungarian K.u.K. Army)
(Ruanda) A-Kompanie. . . . . . . . . Leutnant d.R. Karl Gärtner, since 14.9.1916 Marine Ober-Ingenieur Walter Bockmann
(Ruanda) B-Kompanie . . . . . . . . .Leutnant d.R. Emmerich Lang

(Muansa) A-Kompanie . . . . . . . . .Leutnant d.R. d. Marine-Inf. Willy Jaeck
(Muansa) B-Kompanie . . . . . . . . .Leutnant d.L.II Theodor Gunzert (10.9.1916 dissolved and transferred into Muansa-D-K)
(Muansa) C-Kompanie . . . . . . . . .Ober-Apotheker d.R. Karl Held, since 13./14.9.1916 Leutnant d.R. Ralph Wahle
(Muansa) D-Kompanie . . . . . . . . .Leutnant a.D. Emil Gynz v. Rekowski, since 10.9.1916 Leutnant d.L.II Theodor Gunzert

M.G.-Kompanie with eight MG . . . Vizefeldwebel d.R. Otto Möhrchen (However Boell stated this strength for October 1916)
Batterie Ruanda: four 3,7-cm-Schnell-Ladekanone L/30 (Leadership?)
Batterie Vogel: two Feldkanonen C/73 and one 3,7-cm-Revolverkanone C/83. . . Oberleutnant d.R. Dr. Alfred Vogel
One 10,5-cm leichte Feld-Haubitze L/16 M.1898/08 Krupp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Unteroffizier d.L. Alfred Kuschel
One 10,5-cm-Schnell-Lade-Kanone L/40 (Koenigsberg-Gun). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Leutnant z.S. Reinhold Kohtz

The troop strength of the Belgian forces before the start of the offensive on 5th March 1916 were listed with:
North Brigade by Colonel Philippe Molitior
270 Europeans and 5,500 Askaris in: 3. Regiment with: VIII. IX. X. Battalion and 4. Regiment with: XI. XII. XIII. Battalion
South Brigade by Lieutenant-Colonel Frederik Olsen
160 Europeans and 3,300 Askaris in: 1. Regiment with: I. II. III. Battalion and 2. Regiment with: IV. V. VII. Battalion
At the end of Mai 1916 further 200 Europeans and 1,500 Askaris arrived. Not included are the Lake Tanganyika forces
and the VI. Battalion. Also not 3,000 recruits which compensate some the losses. (The VI. Battalion embarked on 6th
by Karema and 11th August 1916 by Utinta and Kibwesi at Lake Tanganyika) Belgian battle strength: 10,930 fighters.

The British forces led under the command of the South African Brigade-General Charles Preston Crewe consists of:
The first named `Lake Forces´ changed into `Brigade Crewe´. 14th February 1916: 1,496 men, 9th July 1916: 1,968 men,
4. K.A.R , 98. Indian Inf. Battalion, Uganda Police Service Battalion, Baganda Rifles and Nandi Scouts.

Generally the activities of the British forces was very slow and weak during the struggle around Tabora. One reason was
the poor cooperation between British and Belgians, not only due to the different languages. On the German side should be
especially noted the bad performance during the retreat of the Detachment Möve under Korvetten-Kapitän Gustav Zimmer.
Furthermore the withdrawal of the German forces from Mwanza was poorly prepared and handled by the responsible officer.

A realistic assessment of the troop strength of the opponents around Tabora are 12,000 Belgian-British against 2,800 Germans.

1st September 1916, Mabama 30 km west of Tabora
A part of the Detachment Wintgens with the 8. Field Company and Ruanda-B-Company under leadership of Leutnant Bauer
repelled an attack by parts of the IV. and V. Belgian Battalion. Four complete- and further parts of two MG´s, 85 rifles, 45,000
shells and many loads were captured. The opponent lost 40% of his battle strength and withdraw to Railway Station Ussoke.
Belgian battle strength: 336 fighters with 6 MG
German battle strength: 330 fighters with 3 MG
Belgian losses: 190 against 25 Germans. Ratio: 8 to 1

2nd- 3rd September 1916, Ussoke 59 km west of Tabora
On this evening the 7.Reserve.- and Ruanda-A-Company of the Detachment Wintgens follow the order of General-Major z.D.
Kurt Wahle
and try to recapture the lost Railway Station Ussoke. The attempt failed because the opponent led by the Belgian
Commander Svihus entrenched oneself. Leutnant d.R. Gezá Kalman who led the attack withdraw eastern back to Mabama.
Belgian battle strength: 336 fighters with 6 MG
German battle strength: 330 fighters with 3 MG
Belgian losses: 5 against 11 Germans. Ratio: 1 to 2

7th September 1916, Ussoke 59 km west of Tabora
General-Major z.D. Kurt Wahle repeated the attempt to recapture this Railway station and send the Detachment Wintgens.
by train from Tabora to near of Ussoke. During the first phase of the German attack the whole 1. Regiment arrived in
two columns from the North West the battel ground and changed the situation rapidly to the disadvantage of the Germans.
Wintgens units were repelled with heavy losses (dead: 26 Askaris and Sergeant d. Ldst. Cyprian Hölz, 8. 9. in Tabora)
Belgian battle strength: 2,400 fighters (one Battalion of the 2.Regiment and all three Battalions of the 1.Regiment)
German battle strength: 600 fighters (mentioned by Ludwig Dieppe)
Belgian losses: 42 against 65 Germans. Ratio: 1 to 2
(The official Belgian account mentioned: “They buried 93 of the enemy”; - Nearly the quadruple of the approved figures.)

10th - 12th September 1916, Lulanguru, 15 km west of Tabora
Ruanda-B-Company and two platoons of the 7. Reserve Company repelled an attack of the whole 1. Belgian Regiment, the VII.
Battalion (2. Regiment) and the 2. Battery. One southern enclosure attack remained ineffectively due to the German Artillery.
Belgian battle strength: 2,800 fighters (!) with 12 MG
German battle strength: 225 fighters with 3 MG
Belgian losses: 81 (?) against 23 Germans. Ratio: 4 to 1
(The official British work by Charles Hordern mentioned on footnote 1 of page 452: “Belgian losses are officially given as 1
European and 16 o.r. killed, 55 wounded, 9 missing. Contemporary report made to the GHQ gave considerable higher figures

13th - 14th September 1916, Itaga-Hill, 17 km northwest of Tabora
The Muansa-B- and Muansa-D-Company of the Detachment Wintgens were thrown from the Itaga-Hill during the night by the
attack by the 3. Regiment (Major Leopold E. Bataille with XIII. IX. and X. Battalion) and the 4. Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel
Armand Huyghé
with XI. XII and XIII Battalion). The Germans lost during the rushed retreat four 3,7-cm-Guns and two MG.
Around midday Wintgens arrived after a forced march from Lulanguru, and started immediately with the counter attack. This
descission also involved a substantial risk because the western front against the South Brigade was now almost defenceless.
Von Langenn-Steinkeller attacked the Itaga-Hill from the East meanwhile Wintgens arrived from the west and attacked the
opponent on the hill and further Belgian forces near the Itaga Mission in their right flank and the back. The lost gun´s and MG
were recaptured together with two modern 7-cm-St. Chamond Mountain guns and three additional MG. The two 10,5-cm Guns
on the southern Ngeruka-Hill and both C 73 Field-Guns on the eastern Mawagali-Hill took effective action during the fights.

Detachment Wintgens: 7. Reserve-, 8. Field-, Ruanda-A-, Ruanda-B- and Muansa-C-Company
Detachment v. Langenn-Steinkeller: 7. Field-, 26. Field-, Muansa-D-Company
Battery Vogel with two C/73 Field Guns, one 10,5-cm-`Koenigsberg´- Gun and one 10,5-cm-Howitzer

Belgian battle strength: approximate 3,600 fighters (five Battalions = fifteen Companies)
German battle strength: approximate 1,200 fighters (eight Companies)
Belgian losses: unknown, but was estimated four to five times higher than the 58 Germans. Ratio: ?
(The opponent losses must be so heavy that the official Belgian work don’t mentioned the numbers as the only exception. On
next day, the responsible Belgian Commander of the North-Brigade Colonel Philippe Molitior, was removed from his function.)

27th - 29th October 1916, Ngominji, 48 km southwest of Iringa
Coming from Madibira, Detachment Wintgens arrived on 26th October Ngominji an attacked at once the entrenched opponent.
The British occupied and fortified post was under the command of Captain Clarke. Parts of the Wintgens Detachment secured
against the west and northwest. The attack was done by 8. F.-K. and Ruanda-B.-K. Leutnant Lang was killed on the top of his
Company and Leutnant Bauer heavy wounded. In addition to the captured Guns, MG´s, Rifles, munition and the radio station,
the most important prey were the rich food stuffs for the starving Europeans and Askaris.

British battle strength: 150 fighters with 4 MG and 2 Navy Guns
German battle strength: 300 fighters with 6 MG (Recorded by Vizefeldwebel d.R. Gotthard Pfeiffer, Platoon leader 8. F.-K.)
British losses: 40 against 4 Germans. Ratio: 10 to 1

8. Feld-Kompanie . . . . . . . . . . . .Leutnant Friedrich Bauer, since 29. October Leutnant d.R. Georg Heß
29. Feld-Kompanie . . . . . . . . . . .Oblt. z.S. d.R. Theodor Siebel
(Ruanda) A-Kompanie. . . . . . . . . Marine Ober-Ingenieur Walter Bockmann, since 29.10.1916 Vizefeldwebel d.R. Otto Möhrchen
(Ruanda) B-Kompanie . . . . . . . . .Leutnant d.R. Emmerich Lang, since 29.10.1916 Marine Ober-Ingenieur Walter Bockmann
(Muansa) C-Kompanie . . . . . . . . .Leutnant d.R. Ralph Wahle

M.G.-Kompanie with eight MG . . . Vizefeldwebel d.R. Otto Möhrchen, since 29.10.1916 unknown

11th - 15th November 1916, Lupembe, 65 km east from Njombe
The base in Lupembe, built originally by the German was well entrenched along the summit of a high ridge, with steep slopes to
north and south and a deep gully on the west. The weak point was on the east, where the slope was gradual. On 11th and 12th
November the 8. F.-K. led a `forcible exploration´ against the positions of the opponent and discovered that this post was strong
fortified and staffed by the opponent. Nerveless Wintgens Detachment got the order from Colonel Kurt Wahle and attacked on
13th November. Because of the heavy losses Wintgens Companies retired afterwards on the southern Nulungulu heights. But
Wahle insisted on his order to attack the opponent again on the next day, the 14th November with the same results like before.

British battle strength: Lieutenant A.H.L. Wyatt with 300 fighters with 6-8 MG and 3 Field Guns
German battle strength: 600 fighters with 6 MG (Recorded by Vizefeldwebel d.R. Gotthard Pfeiffer, Platoon leader 8. F.-K.)
British losses: unknown against 84 Germans. Ratio: unknown

The heavy German losses were recorded in detail by Ludwig Boell: 30 dead (6 Europeans and 24 Askaris), 20 heavy wounded
(7 Europeans and 13 Askaris), 23 slight injured (5 Europeans and 18 Askaris), 11 missing persons (1 European and 10 Askaris)
Lupembe were besides Ussoke on 7. September near Tabora the location with the highest losses for the Detachment during the
whole campaign. Vizefeldwebel Pfeiffer mentioned even though the loss of 15 Europeans and 100 Askaris during the five battle
days. The figure of 6 dead, 6 heavy wounded and 1 missed person match even this number. The number of 100 lost Askaris
exceed actually Boell´s number of 47 Askaris by more than 100%. This were 20% combat strength of the whole Detachment.
Already the first attacks of the 8.F.-K. showed very clear that that Lupembe was at that time a difficult vulnerable position with
a well-entrenched opponents. But Wintgens followed Wahle´s order and attacked the enemy positions on 13. November, with
the same result. Pfeiffer mentioned in detail the heavy fights and how the 8. F.-K. overcome and passed the first, the second
and the third trench system, only to come after under heavy fire from 8 MG (!) in the flank and were subsequently thrown back.

Source: Kämpfer an vergessenen Fronten, Aufzeichnungen des Vizefeldwebels d.R. Pfeiffer der 8. Feldkompanie ( 20.5.1917)

Latest at this point it was clear that this was a senseless endeavour. But because Wahle´s order the besiegement and attacks
were continued on the 15. November. After a conversation between Wahle and Wintgens on 17. November the fights stopped.

Already the failed attacks and sieges at Saissi / BNR in summer 1915 and Luvungi / Belgian Congo in the following autumn had
shown that Kurt Wahle wasn’t successful with this traditional strategy, due to the missing resources at the Schutztruppe for this
tactic. At the same time when Wintgens Detachment stand in front of Lupembe, Langenn-Steinkeller stood at Ubena and Wahle
themselves with Zingel´ s Detachment in front of Malangali. None of these three objectives could be achieved in all of the days.

Strategically, the goal was achieved to come in direct contact with the Detachment Kraut, and thus the East- and West-Troops
of the Schutztruppe were again united, but tactically it was a defeat with heavy and unnecessary losses. This becomes even
clearer when the Detachment Wintgens could bypass Lupembe on 18. November and showed there were no military necessity.

Whether these incidents have contributed in Wintgens to the idea to fare in future better without superiors, remains speculation.

16th - 23rd February 1917, Tandala northeast-end of Lake Nyasa
A Platoon of the 8. Field Company led by Feldwebel d. R. Franz J. Müller attacked parts of the 1./1. K.A.R and the S.A.M.C.
and thrown the back to Tandala. Through the retreat the British lost two MG to the Germans. The appearance of the other
remaining parts of the 1./1. KAR and the Column Murray, coming from Ubena, forced Müller to break off the siege, deduct
his unit and join with the whole detachment.
The exact British- and German battle strength are not known
British losses: 22 against 9 Germans. Ratio: 2 to 1

20th April 1917, Sankt Moritz Mission south of Lake Rukwa
Hauptmann Wintgens attacked with Ruanda-B- and 26. Field Company four entrenched British companies of RNR and BSAP under
Colonel Tomlinson and thrown them 6 km back to the south.
The exact British and German battle strengths are unknown. Approximately 500 against 230
Enemy losses: 73 against 5 Germans. – Ratio: 15 to 1

7th June 1917, south from Mkalama (30 km north from Singida)
Patrol fight between a column of the 4. Nigeria Battalion (Lieutenant Rademaekers with 200 fighters and 4 MG) and a Combat
Patrol of the 26. Field Company with Obermaschinist Hansen and Obergefreiter d.R. Bernhard Bode with 50 Askaris and 1 MG.
Enemy losses: 23 against 1 German. – Ratio: 23 to 1

29th June 1917, Fort Ikoma in the Serengeti Steppe
The Column Larsen marched without tactical reconnaissance from Muansa towards east. Under the assumption the Fort was
occupied only by the German patrol, lead by Unterzahlmeister a. D. Verch, one further European and 12 Askari, the Belgian-
British force attacked without any flank-protection the opponent frontal. Naumann positioned four of his six MG inside Ikoma,
divided before the detachment into two units and attacked unexpected the opponent from two directions outside the enclosure
of the Fort. After a bloody and hard melee the surviving Belgians and British surrendered. (Only the Company commanded by
Captain J.J. Drought, E.A.M.R. were missing 70 Askari and Lieutenant Sutherland. It can assumed that these Askari deserted.)
(Boell mentioned 5 German losses; Naumann 4. The difference is bases in one wounded Askari)
Belgian-British battle strength: 375 Belgian, and 100 English Askaris with 3 MG.
German battle strength: 203 fighters with 6 MG and one 3,7-cm-Field Gun
Enemy losses: 188 against 4 Germans. – Ratio: 47 to 1
Photos in GWF: ... a/&page=22

29th August 1917, Kahe Station on the Northern railway
Naumann split his detachment on the 27th August and shield against the west and south with 12 to 15 km distance into both
directions. Only a strong commando unit led by Vizefeldwebel d.R. Adolf Fortak attacked the Kahe Railway station and
destroyed 3 Locomotives, 30 - 40 full, with military equipment loaded railway waggons and the main station buildings and
warehouses. 40 Askaris were killed, 3 Europeans and further 17 Askaris were captured but realised later by word of honour.
British battle strength: 200 British Askaris and armed security staff of the station.
German battle strength: 5 Europeans and 50 Askari.
British losses: 60 against no German. – Ratio: 60 to 0

2nd September 1998, Penguin Books Random House in London UK
The Scottish Historian Niall Ferguson, history Professor at Harvard, mentioned in his highly acclaimed book: »The Pity of War«
also a clear difference in the kill-to-loss-rates of the opponents on the Western Front 1914 - 1918 and designated the reasons,
among others things, with a “greater effectiveness in the command structure and line of communication” in the German Army.
Simultaneous he claims “Germany was Europe's most anti-militarist country”. But this last statement was however not proven!

Regarding the numerical superiority of the Allied, Charles Hordern got to the point when he mentioned:
It may, however, be remarked that they brought out into harsh relief that the fact that mere superiority in number, without
the full ability not only to move them rapidly but maintain them adequately, was as embarrassment, not an advantage.


Will be continued. . .
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Chris Dale
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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by Chris Dale » 27 Nov 2016 23:26

Incredible work Holger! I've learned a lot here...

One thing I learned is a possible identification for one of my illustrations, so this may be Ralph Wahle?


Keep up the great work!


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Re: Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission in South-West of GEA

Post by danebrog » 29 Dec 2016 13:28

Ross Andersons Thesis about the GEA campaign: it distinctly even exceeds the excellent works of Hew Strachan, who was - typically enough - his supervisor
Contains some interesting accounts of the Wintgens-Naumann Raid.

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Re: Lt.-Col. Tomlinson´s records around St. Moritz in March 1917

Post by Tanzania » 14 Jan 2017 13:29


Clash in March 1917 at St. Moritz Mission (Galula) in South-West of GEA (Part VII)

Ross Andersons Thesis about the GEA campaign: it distinctly even exceeds the excellent works of Hew Strachan,
who was - typically enough - his supervisor contains some interesting accounts of the Wintgens-Naumann Raid.
As noted we can split the `Clash at St. Moritz´, generally in three action phases and time frames with different locations:

I. – 20th March 1917
Wintgens attacked Tomlinson (two miles south of St. Moritz)

II. – 21st to 25th March 1917
Tomlinson withdraw; Wintgens followed, encircled and attacked Tomlinson (six miles south of St. Moritz)

III. – 26th to 31st March 1917
Wintgens withdraw; Murray followed, encircled and attacked Wintgens (immediate surrounding of St. Moritz)

If we limited Andersons work and text passages only for the `Clash at St. Moritz´ between the 20th March and 1st April,
it becomes very clear that he used sometimes only Boell´s work (some of the passages are translated almost literal)
He did this, due to missing British references. This is quite strange, due to the usually very detailed British war records.

The course of events in point I. on 20th and II. for 21st was almost identical in all sources. But, for sample the time 22.
to 24. wasn´t even mentioned in the records of Tomlinson himself! (See text excerpts below). Furthermore, and this is
crucial, for the time frame from 26. to 31. March isn´t mentioned in any British source, which is known to me in detail;
the fights around St. Moritz Mission themselves. It´s understandable that Tomlinson didn´t state any about these days,
because he was affected from the fights before and falling sick for the next four months. But also Lieut.-Col. Ronald
Ernest Murray
, who led now the whole `Southern Rhodesia Column´ didn’t took this into any account with details.

It is understandable that he, or any other British source from that time indicate clearly the renewed escape of Wintgens
Detachment after the 1st April 1917, but if the fights in the last days of March in the immediate surrounding of St. Moritz
wasn´t not also a failure there would be no reason to hide this. For me it´s also not clear, if, and when, which British unit
and how far they followed the Detachment Wintgens to the North-east direction, eastern of Lake Rukwa!?

See the different Red arrows within the yellow squares on both following British maps.



Let me come back to your earlier book recommendation about Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred James Tomlinson and his
point of view about the event at St. Moritz at that time. For me it´s always very interesting to compare the very different
views in the records of one and the same event. In all the cases it´s more than the typical `half full or empty glass´.


1st March 1917
On 1st March, Murray wired me saying he would be at Old Langenburg (on the east side of the lake) on 3rd with his column.
Arrangements had to be made for 500 carriers for the RNR, and I had to see about getting supplies for us Old Langenburg.
These were brought across by arrangement with the naval officer in charge.

3rd March 1917
On the 3rd March C Company, NRP, arrive from Old Langenburg in barges. I had selected a camping ground for them just
previously. Our carriers arrived on Sunday, 4th. Col. Murray, Major Parson and Lieut. Allport came along about 1 o´clock and
had lunch with Wane and myself. The RNR left for New Langenburg at 3:30 p.m., and after marching 5 miles we camped.
Heavy rain occurred during the night. This prevented the mosquitoes from being busy! We were pretty well soaked through
the next morning, but got off at 6:00 a.m., and marched 18 miles in the day.



Fourteen more miles brought us into New Langenburg. Capt. James with his NRP company was here, and great excitement
was caused because a party of the enemy was reported to be a village called Malapindi, 17 miles beyond Rungwe (eight
miles north) on the New Utengule road. I had breakfast with Mr. Hector Duff, the Chief Political Officer, who did not seem
to consider that New Langenburg stood in any danger of an attack from the enemy. However, James was taking no risks, and
had placed barbed wire entanglements around the fort.
The NRP and two Maxims of the RNR left at 12 noon under James to Igale Pass; and Addison, with 82 rifles RNR and four
Maxims, left for the same destination at 5:00 p.m. Wintgens was knowing to be making west, and there was no force to
oppose him in the event of his going towards the Northern Rhodesian border, and hence our move. Col. Murray arrived
previous at Addison leaving.

6th March 1917
At 9:00 p.m., (6th March) one of Mr. Wells´ (Political Officer) natives come in and reported that the enemy had left a small
party at Malapindi, and had stated the main force would march for Mbose Mission, which was then occupied by Kennedy,
assistant to Wells.

7th March 1917
On the 7th, the remainder of the RNR, under myself, at 11:00 a.m. left the Igale Pass, this being on the road to Mbose. Sgt.
Major McGee
, of the Intelligence, with some of his scouts had been detailed to come with me. The road was bad, and the
Drifts had been washed out with the rivers all swollen, so marching was slow. I haltered for the night at a quarter to six, at
the bottom of the pass.

8th March 1917
On the 8th March 1917, we toiled up the Igale Pass. We could see for miles around as we go higher up, with the picturesque
Rungwe mission in the distance, otherwise the whole expanse seemed desolate. Addison, who was encamped at the top of
the pass, reported he found that a Sgt. Cummings, who had charge of the depot of stores and provisions, had made off into
the bush with all his tenga-tenga, believed the enemy to be in the vicinity, and not knowing that our troops were close by.
He had taken as much of the stores as he could with him, but had left a fair quantity behind. A note of what was found in the
huts was taken, and amongst this was a case or two of whiskey.
On my arrival Capt. James was instructed to leave with his NRP company for Fife as a garrison for that place. He was fixed
up with rations and tenga-tenga, and marched away at 9:00 a.m.
Soon after James had left on the Fife road, natives come to our camp and reported a party of the enemy of some 20 or 30
askaris with two whites were encamped about 7 miles away (as far as could be gathered), on the Old Utengule road, and
were raiding cattle and gathering food from kraals around about.
Lieut. Williams, two European NCO´s and 50 askaris were detailed at 9:30 a.m. to proceed to the place, while Sgt. Major
(Intelligence NCO) and his scouts reconnoitred in advance. A report from Williams was received at 8:10 p.m., in
which he stated that McGee had watched the enemy from about 1600 yards. There were five tents in the encampment,
and it was his (William´s) intention to rush the position next morning. He asked for 30 more rifles to make a safe job of it.
I sent along Lieut. Booth with two European NCOs and 30 askaris at 9:00 p.m. to join up with Williams. I reminded Booth
that it was essential to capture some of the askaris to get information as to where the main body of the enemy were.

9th March 1917
At 8:30 next morning Williams sent in to say that the German party had been rushed at dawn and two of the enemy askaris
had been killed, one wounded, and one captured. The remainder had escaped into the bush. Many head of cattle had been
found, and the whole of the equipment was in his hand. The captured askaris stated that Wintgens, with five companies, 15
Maxims and two small field guns, was at Old Utengule Mission.

10th March 1917
Col. Murray arrived on the 10th morning. Local patrols had been sent out at dawn. At 11:00 a.m. a report came in from a NRP
patrol stating it was engaging a party of the enemy at the same place where Williams fad rushed them the day before Sgts.
and Baker with 20 askaris were dispatched to reinforce the patrol. Capt. Dickenson with his company of NRP
followed, and later Sgt. Onyett with the BSAP contingent. The whole of our force returned at 1:45 p.m., as it was found the
enemy only consisted of about 20 askaris, who had run away on meeting our patrol.

11th March 1917
On the following day I received orders to march to Mbose Mission, the RNR, and NRP (under Capt. James), who had been
told to join me from Fife, making up my small mobile column. Eight Maxims formed part of the force. My orders were to prevent
the enemy from crossing the Songwe River, but if he had already done this, to pursue and harass him as much as possible.

12th March 1917
I crossed the headwater of the Songwe River on the 12th. Very heavy rains were experienced from 1:00 p.m. till nightfall. The
marching was over steep hills and declines, rushing streams intervening. The tenga-tenga straggled, and it was long after
dark before many of them came to our encampment. It can be imagined of the placing of the outposts was a difficult job, but
one that had to be carefully seen to.

13th March 1917
The 13th March found us on the march again at 5:45 a.m. The River Mpogolo was found to be badly bridged, which delayed
us sadly, and a good deal of the route lay through swamps. No sooner had we got through one and were congratulating our-
selves than another began, sometimes a mile at a stretch with black slush half way up our legs. We halted at 5:00 p.m., and
to crown all it rained the whole of that night without ceasing.

14th March 1917
Swamps again on the 14th, and we were not sorry to reach Mbose Mission at 7:00 a.m., after marching for about two hours.
The mission contained good brick buildings a large church, all of them tiled, with well-cultivated grounds and garden around
the whole. A picturesque spot surrounded by swampy country. Mr. Kennedy, Assistant Political Officer, resided here, and he
informed me that Capt. James had left for Mwemuzimpiya the day before, as a small party of the enemy were reported to be
there. Soon after a wounded Askari arrived from James, but he could not give much information beyond the fact that an enemy
party had been met with.
I sent a despatch out to James informing him that I should be marching for Panda Hill, Songwe drift, on the Bismarckburg road
as soon as rations were received for my mobile force from Fife, and to send any reports to me along the route he had been

15th March 1917
On the 15th still no ration convoy had reached me from Fife, but I had to press on. Major Carbutt with his company, a medical
sections, scouts and signaller were detailed and left for Panda Hill at 11:00 a.m., Kennedy kindly give me two messengers to
accompany Carbutt to assist in trading food.
In the meantime I had sent Lieut. Carr and Sgt. Dorehill with 50 askaris and a Maxim to Itaka, with the necessary carriers, to
bring in native food collected there by Kennedy, as this would help to ration my force.
At 2:30 p.m. (15th) I received a telegram brought by messenger from Fife informing me Murray was commencing to operate
against the enemy, and instructing me to close in on Old Utengule. Upon this I left at 3:30 p.m. for the Songwe at Panda Hill,
halting for the night about six miles along the road. I asked Kennedy to send on the ration convoy as soon as he could on its
arrival at his place. As can be realised the whole of us were on very short commons, but difficulties had to be overcome, and I
hoped the expected rations would reach us ere long. I had to leave 25 of the askaris at Mbose sick, the church being turned
into a hospital. This was depletion of my small force which I had not bargained for; and of course there were some of the
tenga-tenga absolutely gone as well, who had to be left behind.
At 10:00 p.m. a messenger was brought to me with a despatch from Murray stating it was now reported that Wintgens had
gone to Galula, St. Moritz Mission (higher up on the Songwe River), and instructed me to proceed with my small column
there, and that he would pursue the enemy from Old Utengule. This meant that he with the main force would be going up the
right bank of the Songwe, whilst I proceeded to the left of the river, both taking a northerly direction.

16th March 1917
Early next morning (16th) I sent to Carbutt instructing him to meet me at a point near Ndolesi on the Bismarckburg road about
20 miles due west of Panda Hill whilst I returned to Mbose, reaching there again at 8:45 a.m. The ration convoy had arrived,
so I was able to make a start 11:00 a.m. for Ndolesi.
Heavy marching all the rest of the day through swamps made us quite ready for halt at 5:300 p.m.; and to make matters still
more unpleasant it rained all night long,. . . . .

17th March 1917
. . . . . and was still raining at 6:30 a.m. on the following morning (17th), when we moved on again. I was marching with the
advanced party, when, just as we gained the Bismarckburg road about a mile and a half from where we had encamped, we
came upon an outpost of three askaris. One of the askaris began an excited conversation with the guide who was standing
by me, and this native turned to me and said, “Germans”.
The outpost fired at us and then bolted. Looking further up the road I noticed smoke issuing from the bush. But for the heavy
rain falling at the time we should not have surprised this party. Lieut. Usher´s platoon was at once extended and engaged the
enemy, whilst Lieut. Carr and extended in support. The enemy, whom we found consisted of four Europeans and 30 askaris,
were completely taken by surprise, and the whole, after a machine gun had commenced firing become jammed, made off into
the bush, leaving behind all their camp equipment, about 8000 rounds of ammunition, and spare Maxim parts with about 20
belts. This was a good capture, as Murray was using German Maxims captured by his column a few weeks before. Our
casualties were Lieut. Usher wounded in the wrist and two of our askaris severely wounded. Only one German Askari was
All out tenga-tenga cleared the moment fire opened, and it took hours to get them together again and collect their loads from
the veld. As it was there were about 20 of them missing in the evening, with about the same number of loads. I may say here
this was the curse of fighting with tenga-tenga as our only means of transport. But, after all, it was not surprising that the poor
beggars made off terrified the moment firing began. Nothing on earth would induce them to remain at the rear of the column
even. Our machine gun detachments were very handicapped on several occasions because of the Maxim porters losing their
heads. All the same we had the tenga-tenga to thank to a large extent for being able to carry on our operations.

From the wounded Askari I learned that the enemy party was one from Wintgens force which had been sent out to collect food
and cattle. Having reached Ndolesi I awaited Carbutt´s arrival, and he turned up about 4:30 p.m., bringing with him James and
the NRP.
Carbutt had also engaged a party of the enemy soon after hearing my fire in the morning. He had captured three prisoners,
two of them being Europeans, one Lieut. Wahle, a son of the aged German General. This officer was wounded in the arm,
and made an awful fuss. Both told me that he had demanded a doctor to be sent for at once to attend to him! Arrangements
were made for the wounded and prisoners to march for Fife the next day under the charge of Lieut. Usher, who was of course
also wounded. Of the six stretchers brought with Surg. Capt. Murray, five had to be used for this party so that the medical
arrangements were sadly depleted.
All my force was again together, and as it was too late to move on that afternoon, orders were issued for an early march next
morning. I was somewhat surprised to receive a further despatch from Col. Murray stating he had given up the idea of pursuing
Wintgens north up the Songwe River, but was now following on the Bismarckburg road to Itaka (west from Utengule and about
two days march from St. Moritz), where he would remain in support of me (A long distance for me to look for support by Murray)
and should the enemy decide to St. Bonifaz Mission on the Saisi River (25 miles due west of St. Moritz) he would move for that
place. I was instructed to advance on St. Moritz (Galula), and should the enemy retreat, to pursue and harass him. My order
from Murray – important!

18th March 1917
On the 18th March I resumed my march at 7:00 a.m. west along the Bismarck road, but soon branched into a path going north.
The cattle that were lost previous day during the fighting turned up with their escort, which was most opportune, for our rations
were very short. I sent on a small Askari patrol to look for more cattle.
The streams were found very full, and the wading of these made a rate of marching slow, and we had swamps again to contend
with. That evening we camped at Nyugu. The askari patrol sent back to tell me many cattle had been found at Itega village.

19th March 1917
Very hilly country was encountered the next morning, and many torrents had to be crossed. When we reached Itega I was glad
to pick up nearly 100 cattle. The native guide said these had been collected for the enemy, but the women found at the kraal
denied this most strenuously, hoping, I suppose, that I would leave them.
A few miles further on, when nearing Dzanga village, word was sent to me that some German askaris could be seen among the
huts. The hills here come to abrupt end with the path dipping steeply into a valley, and the Songwe River could be distinguished
in the distance.
The force was halted, and Lieut. Poole was detailed to proceed with his platoon to surround the kraal. We could watch exactly
what was taking place, and when firing commenced, in about three quarters of an hour, there was a rush of about 20 askaris
who got through and cleared for all they were worth.. On joining Poole, it was found he had captured the one German in charge,
slightly wounded, one Askari sergeant, severely wounded, and a native servant, also severely wounded, beside taking eight
rifles, ammunition and all equipment. Seventeen askaris, fugitives who had run from the fight on the 17th, were also at this post.
The wounded Askari sergeant informed Scout Dawson, who was acting as intelligence officer, that Wintgens, with 50 whites,
400 askaris, 3 small field guns and 14 machine guns, was at St. Moritz in an entrenched position. I sent back at once to inform
Murray of this.
It was rather amusing to find a note in one of the huts written by the German to Wintgens stating he had placed his askaris in
advantageous positions to guard against surprise. After having haltered at Dzanga for a meal, we pushed on through the valley.
Galula was stated to be four hours´ march from the village, but seen from the hills the buildings of St. Moritz Missions appear
much closer.

20th March 1917
On the 20th we went on at 6:15 a.m., and leaving the kaffir path, I made for the Itaka-Galula road on out left, which we struck at
10:30 a.m. After moving along the road we haltered at a point I judged to be about six miles from where the enemy was, at the
mission. This movement I made so that in case necessity arose, I could look for Murray´s support on the road.

Some local natives gave us the information that a party of the enemy – the number was very hazy – had gone on the road
towards Itaka the day before. I sent two reconnaissance patrols forward at 1:30 p.m., the platoon of NRN, under Lieut. Baker,
to proceed on the right, and NRP, under Sgt. Bainbridge, on the left of the road. “Road” hardly described it, a “cleared track”
it would be more fitly called. I informed these patrols I should move with the remainder of the force at 3:00 p.m., and to intended
to advance to about two miles from St. Moritz, and there take up an entrenched position to operate from. When about three miles
from the mission we heard the patrol in advance under Baker being fired upon at about 3:00 p.m., and shortly afterwards on our
advance continuing, the main force came under heavy fire. It was soon evident that Wintgens had marched from St. Moritz on
the same road as we were, to encounter us.

Major Addison was in charge of the advanced party. The enemy pressed my force from the front for some three quarter of an
hour. I sent up the NRP support under Capt. James and Lieut. Burton, keeping Major Carbutt´s company and two Maxims in
reserve. The fighting area was on a level plain with long grass and fairly thick bush. Carbutt´s company had also formed the
rear guard and tenga-tenga escort.


My flanks were later threatened, more especially on the right, and the remaining two Maxims did good service at this time and
stemmed this attack, while Sgt. Bainbridge was able to cope with the lesser attack on the left. The fire waned and burst out
afresh every now and then. The enemy appeared to have been reinforced twice during the action.

I could foresee a difficult task when dusk should approach, so instructed Carbutt with 40 RNR, to return to the place where we
had haltered in the morning, where there was a stream, and there to commence entrenching with his men and tenga-tenga. On
my orders at 5:30 p.m. my adjutant, Wane , wrote a despatch ( bullets sweeping over us at the time) for Col. Murray informing
him that on my advance to St. Moritz the enemy had been encountered, and that reinforcements were needed to defeat him,
and stating that I should dig in on the Itaka road. This was sent off an ex-KAR native, who had been given me as guide by
Kennedy at Mbose. The sun was setting low when I went back to Carbutt, and Wane, who rendered invaluable assistance to
me and shewed great pluck, went off to tell Addison to retire at dusk, and to let him know our position for the night.

When I meet Carbutt he told me he had had a most difficult time in getting the tenga-tenga together, the reserve ammunition,
tools, etc., that they had been carrying were lying all over the veld, and carriers themselves absolutely overcome with fear.
Carbutt had managed splendidly, and the work of digging a perimeter was proceeding. I found the natives trying to squeeze
the cattle into a kraal much too small for them, and so ordered the escort to take the whole mob of 90 odd head except for half
of a dozen, and to make down the Itaka road towards Murray, scribbling a note for the askari in charge.

It was during our retirement at the time when daylight was rapidly failing that the enemy charged and fiercely attacked our line.
Three of the Europeans with the maxims were wounded, and two guns were captured. Pte. Nderemani had presence of mind
to destroy the look, etc. of one before the enemy got it. A third Maxim was carried out by native Cpl. Zakeyo, but was the next
day taken by a party of the enemy, when Sgt. Breedon, who had been cut off during the fight, and was endeavouring to hide it
in the veld, was taken prisoner; the enemy watched him in the act of doing this, and ordered his hands up!

Reuter´s special correspondent in his account of General Northey´s operation during March, 1917,
thus describes what took place:
On 21 March, Colonel Tomlinson and the RNR, who had got rather too far ahead of Murray´s main
body, was fiercely attacked by part of Wintgens force about three miles south of St. Moritz. Any
amount of pluck was shown by the enemy, who repeatedly charged up to our machine guns; they
must have suffered very heavily. A captured German with the attacking force stated that of the eight
whites with the party five killed and three wounded. Colonel Tomlinson had to retire, losing two whites
and two natives killed and 10 natives wounded, and abandoning three machine guns, one of which
was destroyed before being captured by the enemy.

(As always the reality looked somewhat different as what the typical British war propaganda stated at that time.
For the Clash between the 20th March and 1st April 1917 not any German European or Askari were captured)

21st March 1917
My position was serious when the force was all collected again at the place where we had halted in the morning. Here I would
pay a tribute to Surg. Capt. Murray (of the Northern Rhodesia Medical Service) for the organisation of his field dressing station
under extraordinary difficulties. Major Addison and Carbutt and my Adjutant counselled my retiring on Murray. It was impossible
to move the wounded. There was only one stretcher to begin with. As far as was then known, Sgts. Anderson and Armfield had
been killed, Sgt. Breeden captured, Lieut. Baker missing. Of the NRP Capt. James and Gunner Holloway were wounded. There
were 29 RNR askaris either killed, wounded or missing, and 20 NRP askaris ditto.

Leaving Surg. Capt. Murray with his small staff and the wounded at the dressing station, I started off in the darkness with the
force in single file towards Itaka, (Wane with me), leading a small detachment of RNR with us, and the tenga-tenga next, for it
would never have done to have had them in the rear at night time with their continual straggling. There was a risk of meeting
the party of the enemy who were reported on the Itaka road, or coming upon their encampment, and this, coupled with the fact
that I had left my wounded behind, made me determine to form camp as soon as possible. I naturally expected that Murray
must come up quickly.
I judged we had completed a little over two miles when, after crossing a stream, some rising ground was come up, and this
gave me the opportunity I wanted. The force was placed in a rough square formation with the tenga-tenga and their loads
inside. It took some two hours for all to come up, and then the whole camp except for the solitary sentries posted was soon
wrapped in such sleep as comes to those who are absolutely worn out and fatigued.

At the first streak of down on the 21st March 1917, Wane and I were up and looking round for the best position. The site was
Not far from the haltering place of the previous night, and soon all the askaris were digging trenches. I made my position as
secure as possible, placing an abatis of branches about 25 yards out.
A patrol was sent towards St. Moritz, but was fired upon about 7:00 a.m. from our previous day´s camp, where Surg. Capt.
and the wounded had been left, which the enemy was found to have occupied. I sent Lieut. Poole under white flag
to give Wintgens information concerning the prisoners capture by us on the 17th and 18th, and requested information of my
men captured and wounded by him. Poole returned at 4:00 p.m., and stated that after a lot of palavering between Lieut.
(who was in command of the camp where Surg. Capt. Murray was) and Wintgens, the later had allowed our medical
officer to proceed to me, and that the wounded were being sent also, except for Sgt. Siddons, badly wounded in the thigh,
and three askaris very severely wounded, who had been taken into St. Moritz.

Wintgens sent a letter complaining that in the past the German medical units when captured had not been returned, and
gave a list of some 10 names. All these could be satisfactorily accounted for; some had been found using arms against us,
and others would not return, although they were given the opportunity.
Soon after Poole had given me his report, an enemy medical warrant officer arrived at the stream below my position, under
the Red Cross flag, escorting Surg. Capt. Murray with the wounded. The enemy had provided stretchers. Our medical
orderlies and our medicines and most of our dressings had been kept by Wintgens. Dr. Murray reported that three separate
parties had fired and charged into his camp that morning, although there were Red Cross flags up. Fortunately the wounded
were not further hit.

(This enemy medical warrant officer was the German Medical-officer Dr. R. Wolff who attend the whole campaign up to the
2nd September 1917 as part of Lieutenant Zingel´s column. Wolf mentioned that since 1917 the British didn´t agree anymore
to exchange any prisoners or wounded. They were conscious that the Germans realized their prisoners and wounded anyway.
Because of the own limited resources for foodstuff the Germans have to realise on a word of honour most of their prisoners.
However, if it was proved that the same person(s) was captured a second time, he has been executed due to the martial law.
Wolf mentioned also that British officers constantly complaining about the long distances during the marching. They feeling
already abused when they have to eat the same rations as any German officer and NCO´s. So everyone was happy if these
strenuous `Enemy´s´ have left the column immediately. One looked slightly mercifully down to this `pampered´ opponent.)

About 6:45 p.m. the enemy suddenly began a most determined attack again. Having failed with the line, yet another was
brought up, when after some twenty minutes´ stiff fighting this also was beaten off and repelled. I remember thinking I only
hoped Murray had heard the deafening row. Bugles sounded, which evidently meant the attacking force was being assembled
after the fight, for the fire died away as complete darkness come on. Lieut. Baker was wounded this day by a sniper. A fearful
slanting shot into the shoulder an out through the lung. Poor fellow, he locked pitifully bad when I saw him.

The next three days (22nd, 23rd and 24th March) are unlisted in the records. Tomlinson´s column was further on, encircled
by only two German companies (Ruanda-B-K. and 26. F.-K.), during the 8. F.-K. was in a defending position at St. Moritz.

25th March 1917
On Sunday the 25th, a patrol of three RNR Matabele askaris picked by Carbutt, were sent out scouting, starting off at 5:00 a.m.
The three returned at 8:00 p.m. and stated there were many lights and fires at the mission, so that I had a good idea Wintgens
had not moved away, leaving a small force guarding me!
I went to Lieut. Booth and told him I wanted him to start out that evening to find Col. Murray and tell him my position. While in
his dug-out one of the field gun shells come along and nearly made short work of us, but luckily it was a dug “dud” and failed
to explode. I did nothing more than give us a dust bath!
Booth started off with three RNR askaris at 7:30 p.m., making a wide tour detour to avoid the enemy between our position and
Itaka, and I wished him good luck. The askaris and tenga-tenga had found a way to the stream through some dark undergrowth
which began beyond the shelter trench by the small spring, and by this means water and some quantity of mealies on the cob
were obtained, keeping them from absolute hunger.

26th March 1917
On Monday the 26th, at about 5:00 p.m., Wane came and told me that flag signalling had been observed from one of the hills.
Great excitement ensued, and a message was made out from Col. Murray saying Booth was with him, and he (Murray)
Understood the situation, instructing me to hang on, as he would relieve us the next day.

27th March 1917[/u][/b]
And on Tuesday the 27th March, 1917, some of Murray´s column arrived in our trenches at 10:30 a.m., the enemy retired
without firing a shot. Capt. Latham with half company of NRP took up his post in what had been the enemy´s trenches an
hour before, across the stream towards St. Moritz.
My instructions were to vacate my position at once, and march for Murray´s camp six miles back on the Itaka road. I met
Col. Murray about two miles back, and we had lots to talk about. One of the first remarks he made was that he would have
relieved me many days sooner had he known what the country was like between us, but that his information was that there
was a large ravine on the road which the enemy held in force. And also that he had sent Lieut. Wardroper with a message
to me to turn my advancing force into a reconnaissance patrol, but that Wardroper had not been able to reach me – I was
fighting by the time Wardroper could have reached me. (I afterwards was informed General Northey had sent a message
stating Col. Murray should not have split his force)
Arrangements had been made at once for the careful removal of my wounded. I found the large herd of cattle I had sent off
in the Itaka road after the fight of the 20th had been secured at Murray´s camp with the escort intact, and these had helped
considerably in the rationing of the troops.

28th March 1917
On the 28th preparations were made for the advance of the Southern Rhodesian Column to move towards St. Moritz Mission
to cut off the enemy who were left there; the main portion, so the intelligence staff had reported to Murray had gone towards
St. Bonifaz Mission (Saisi River, West). But this was not so.
Lieut. Col. Baxter with the 1st KAR arrived in camp in the afternoon. (It was puzzle to me if Murray thought it right to go to Itaka,
why Baxter who had crossed the Songwe River also at the Bismarck Road drift, did not here receive orders to go up the right
bank of the Songwe to carry out a surrounding movement of Wintgens at Galula St. Moritz.)

29th March 1917
Poor Lieut. Baker died from the effects of his wound at 5:00 a.m. on the 29th, and was buried near the Itaka path at 12:00 noon,
all available officers attend the funeral. I was left at the base with my force when the Column moved out the same time morning.

30th March 1917
Next day Col. Murray sent a message to say apparently Wintgens was still at St. Moritz Mission, and instructed me to send
forward all fit men under Major Addison; and Addison marched away at 3:30 p.m. with all available 1st RNR, NRP, and certain
details of the KAR.
I was feeling very ill from a large swelling on my face, but did not think at that time that this was the beginning of a serious
illness (blood poisoning), which nearly cost my life. Surg. Capt. Bouwer, S.A.M.C., was at the base at that time, which was
opportune, for the garrison left was composed of those who were not able to go forward owing to sickness.

1st April 1917
However, when on 1st April I received a further message from Murray informing me that Wintgens had vacated St. Moritz
During the night previous (Wintgens had crossed the Songwe River; being bridged, and gone northwards Tabora), and
instructed me to come to the Mission, where an advanced base would be formed for further operations, ill as I was feeling
I managed to march the 10 or 11 miles; but when Surgeon Major Standish-White examined my cheek he at once ordered
that I should go off without delay to Fife for the Mwenzo hospital, where after an operation on my face, I reminder for nearly
four months.
The further happenings of the RNR, which I had the honour of commanding up to this date, I leave for others to take up.
That we officers and non-commissioned officers and native soldiers did not spare ourselves in the service of his Majesty
and the Empire is shewn in the foregoing reminiscences. We can but be proud of the record of a regiment, the ranks of
which were mainly composed of raw natives taken from their work in mines, farms or stores, and from, in many cases, their
kraals in the veld within the year; and we can but regret the lives of those who have fallen in the service of their King and
country. At the same time a feeling of gratification and satisfaction comes over us when we remember we had the honour
of participating in the events of the Great War under General Northey in what was known as German East Africa. (Murray
had only been six miles from where I was the whole time; eight days, and yet did not come to the relief of my small force)

Original Source: ... inson.html
»Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred James Tomlinson, Memoirs of a Rhodesian Pioneer«, p. 86-100, compiled by Trish Jackson, 2011

The Granddaughter of Alfred Tomlinson, Valerie Tomlinson expressed in 1972 in one of the older brochure `Rhodesiana´
a clear criticism about the military decision from Lieut.-Col. R.E. Murray and the negative consequences for her grandfather.
“. . . At the outbreak of war in 1914, Lt.-Col. Tomlinson commanded the First Rhodesia Native Regiment in East Africa.
Serialised reminiscences were published in the old Rhodesia Defence Force Journal and do not concern this biography
as they are too long, making a book in themselves. However, towards the end of his service in East Africa he was in a
dangerous position near St. Moritz where he and his force were hard-pressed by the enemy under the command of
Col. Wintgens, in fact it was apparently touch and go as to whether he would have to surrender or not. He was
relieved by Col. Murray’s column and in Col. Tomlinson's "Some Reminiscences" (Outpost, June 1932) he writes:

"My instructions were to vacate my position at once and march for Murray’s camp six miles back on the Itaka road. I
met Col. Murray about two miles back, and we had lots to talk about. One of the first remarks he made was that he would
have relieved me many days sooner had he known what the country was like between us, but that his information was that
there was a large ravine on the road which the enemy held in force; and also that he had sent Lieut. Wardroper with a
message to me to turn my advancing force into a reconnoitring patrol, but that Wardroper had not been able to reach me,
for we were fighting when he should have given his message, so he went back to report." Later, in July 1922, Mr. L. N.
then at Shabani, wrote his account and comments of the incident having been present as Lieutenant, Transport,
at the time. In his paper he says (among other things): "I will never forget the evening I arrived at Col. Murray’s camp on
my return from New Langenburg where I had been in connection with a rinderpest scare, how amazed I was when I heard
that Col. Tomlinson was engaged by the enemy about six miles off and to be told the chances were he might have to
surrender and at the same time hearing the firing going on which was kept up day and night. "It is admitted that accurate
intelligence was very hard to get and therefore it behoves column commanders to be careful, but as regards the strength
of the enemy on this occasion it was well known that Wintgens had no more than at the outside 400 rifles including Europeans,
therefore there is no justification for whoever was responsible for this gross piece of bungling. And the irony of it is that very
nearly all General Northey's officers got decorations, either British or foreign, except the only officer who did the correct thing
and had to endure alone the whole of the enemy attack for more than a week. . . . . ."

Original Source:
Alfred James Tomlinson, by Valerie Tomlinson, p. 1-12, In: »RHODESIANA, Publication No. 26 - July, 1972«, Salisbury, Rhodesia
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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