Skirmish on Kito-Hill in March 1915 at GEA / BNR border

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Re: Skirmish on Kito-Hill in March 1915 at GEA / BNR border

Post by Tanzania » 29 Apr 2016 17:36

THE EXACT LOCATION OF KITO HILL (CHITO HILL) IN THE WEST OF FORMALY GERMAN EAST-AFRICA

So far I assumed the position of Kito Hill in old German Maps is identical with the currently highest mountain at the western area along the border, the Mbaa Hill with 2221 meter. Now it became obvious that the skirmish on 17. March 1915 where Lieutenant Gottfried Haun was mortally wounded, took place some kilometres away further to the south. In accordance with older source references in November 1954: “Kito Mountain (2189 m) lie 16 km north of the border on the road from Mbala to Sumbawanga” (However the digital height profiles from today shows only 1 meter differences between Mbaa, and Kito Hill.)
After another review with old Tanzanian survey maps the location of Kito Hill (today Chito Hill) could be exact determined.
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Later more. . .
“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: Skirmish on Kito-Hill in March 1915 at GEA / BNR border

Post by Tanzania » 24 Dec 2016 10:41

The heading of this topic started with theme about a Skirmish which took place on 17. March 1915 where Leutnant d.R. Gottfried Haun, commanding officer of the `Detachment Bismarckburg´ was mortally wounded. The further points covered the question about possible locations of his grave. The below mentioned four locations along the formally British-German border area were visited to find this and other graves as well as possible burial grounds and further other remaining from that time. This led automatically to other interesting subjects and questions which belongs not necessarily to the pure German Colonial history.
1. – REMAINS OF IKAWA / FIFE AND GRAVES IN PRESENT-DAY NAKONDE
2. – REMAINS AND GRAVES AT THE BRITISH MWENZO MISSION
3. – REMAINS AND GRAVES IN BRITISH BORDER STATION IKOMBA
4. – GRAVES IN KAWIMBE MISSION AND THE FORMALLY MILITARY CAMP
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
1. – REMAINS OF IKAWA / FIFE AND GRAVES IN PRESENT-DAY NAKONDE
The somewhat confusing naming of the British outpost near the present location of the border town Nakonde was extensively handled on the pervious pages but without a final summary about the results. Nakonde was the first location which have been visited in this summer 2016.
The Anglo-German Convention on 1. July 1890 of the so-called, Zanzibar-Helgoland Contract laid down the spheres of determined roughly.
Since June 1898 a common border commission fixed exact on-site the border demarcation between the North end of Lake Nyasa and the South part of Lake Tanganyika. The written provisions were published by Great Britain and the German Empire on the 23. February 1901.
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Boundary post No. 6 near Fife which was placed by the Anglo-German border commission in summer 1899.
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1895 – IKAWA (First naming)
The place which we talk about was founded in 1895 by B.S.A.C. (British South Africa Company) as a fortified post on the Stevenson Road between the next out post in the west, (British) Ikomba and Fort Hill in east. The new station was named after the Ikawa Stream, which flow
through this place at the intersection with the Stevenson Road and a substation was founded at Nyala. Also at the same time exists 9 miles to the west another British post which was named Fife. It seems to be that this station was already built 1891 by the A.L.C. (African Lakes Corporation). This old `ALC Fife´ was abounded and the `collector´ moved to the new `B.S.A.C. Ikawa´ post in 1895. But the deserted place was listed for a few further years as Old Fife. The Germans established 1901 Opposite Ikawa and the border their customs post Tunduma.
1898 – FIFE (Second naming)
Because of the now `unused Name Fife´, Ikawa was renamed on Cecil Rhodes initiative into Fife after Alexander Duff, Duke of Fife member of the first board of directors and vice-chairman of the B.S.A.C. Before 1911 Northern Rhodesia was administered as two separate territories
Barotseland-North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia. After 1911 both B.S.A.C. territories were amalgamation, jointly managed and renamed in Northern Rhodesia. In the course of these transformations also the former Fife District was renamed into Tanganyika District
and the Administrative Bomafor this district was moved from Kanyala to Fife. This settlement consists at that time two dozen brick buildings.
1914 / 1916 – IKAWA / `OLD FIFE´ (Third naming)
Due to the start of the war in 1914 the administrative function of the `Boma Fife´ was relocated from the precariously border to Kantongo, 14 miles to the south as the first location as `War-Time-Boma´. After some months the Boma Fife was again shifted to Chinungu and relocated again in 1916 to the former Isoka, 50 miles from the original location from the border to German East Africa. The place which we talk about, was now renamed again into Ikawa but called also in sources and on maps still as `Old Fife´. During the war Ikawa was occupied and used by British-, South African and Rhodesian forces as a military camp and base for raids and attacks into German East Africa. All Buildings on the right, northern bank of the Ikawa Stream have been destroyed in 1916 by the British themselves to give the own men a field of fire and to
prevent any shelter for opponents. This was also done with all houses, except of one building on the left, the southern side of Ikawa Stream.
Geoffrey Stokes, member of the Magistrate and Administrator at Fife and the North-Eastern Rhodesia Rifle association mentioned:
“ . . . By that time all buildings with the exception of the house formally occupied by the Assistant Native Commissioner
had been demolished – the remaining house have been turned into kind of fort. I presume all buildings on the right bank
of the Ikawa had been destroyed to give our men a field of fire and the Magistrate´s house, etc., on the left bank to deny
any shelter to raiding Germans. We built pole and dagga houses, offices, etc., at the site formerly occupied by Magistrate´s
house; the Civil Administration remaining there until von Lettow´s incursion at the time of the Armistice in November, 1918.”

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1923 / 1935 / 1947 IKAWA
The following three listed maps for 1923, 1935 and 1947 shows for `Our´ location opposite Tunduma only the name Ikawa or Kawa, with the bracketed notice of (Old Fife) in the 1935 map. The name Fife appears also in 1935 now only in connection for (Isoka) 50 miles from the original location to the south, as administrative district capital with the original old `Boma function´.
1923, Rhodesia showing railway and telegraph lines: http://www.rhodesia.me.uk/images/Rhodes ... nal5LR.jpg
1935, Northern Rhodesia: http://www.philatelicdatabase.com/wp-co ... a-1935.jpg
1947, Tanganyika - Northern Rhodesia: http://www.britishempire.co.uk/images2/ ... ikamap.jpg
1950´s – NAKONDE (Forth naming)
It seems to be that the formally name Fife or Old Fife, with or without brackets for the location directly on the border, didn´t survived the Second World War. This also applies for the Isoka and bracketed name (Fife). The new naming from Ikawa / Kawa into Nakonde appears first time in 1960 (See maps below), before the independence in 1964. Textual notices for the final and exact changing date in the naming Nakonde couldn´t be found. Probable the administrative function and their building to the 3 km distance of the formally Ikawa centre to the direct border post, opposite the Tanganyika border station Tunduma, shifted over the years nearer to the border.
1960, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland: http://www.greatnorthroad.org/elements/ ... ration.jpg
1966, Malawi, Rhodesia and Zambia: http://www.greatnorthroad.org/elements/ ... a_1966.jpg
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Original Source: https://www.google.de/maps/@-9.3517468, ... a=!3m1!1e3
View on the formally `Stevenson Road´ to the North. The left visible side road lead to the old cemetery area.
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After 350 meters on the side road, a rough byway start on the right side with one part of a forest with the graves.
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This area, 500 metres north of the Ikawa stream was probably the first European cemetery of the formally Ikawa / Fife.
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The first remnants are a brick base without any further indications (left) and a second, concreted pedestal with a marble cross.
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This base shows no characteristics, which enable an identification. Only the conical shape of the external edges of the bricks
suggest that this base rest originates from the Colonial period. Further names or indications for nationals are not recognisable.
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Here we come now to the puzzle about the grave of Major a.D. Heinrich von Berg * 8. 2. 1854 - † 1. 1. 1899. Undoubted the name of an aristocratically German officer. The unusual location, the impressive marble cross and exact person's dates of birth and death suggests a simplified search. Investigations for the single, or family name in the online list of German peerage register are unsuccessful. Also Oliver’s reverence to the German adventure and trader Carl Wiese shows no correlations to Heinrich v. Berg. As far as I could determine, Wiese was there about ten years before active. It is very revealing that indications about him are only in English available:
»Expedition in East-Central Africa, 1888-1891: A Report«, (by) Carl Wiese, University of Oklahoma, 1983. http://ahr.oxfordjournals.org/content/89/4/1131.extract
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Remnants of further three outlines of Grave borders could be just identified, but without any further hints about time, names or nationality. With Bergs and the further unidentified tombstone, together five graves or parts of it are still present. Details are sometimes on photos not really identifiably. The additional shown light brown lines on both lower photos are the rough alignment of the grave edgings with the bricks.
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To get to the point, no “mass graves” and no references on “bloodbath on German soldiers”, not even any clear reference of British or German graves from the Great War period could be found there. The further search on the communal cemetery was also unsuccessful.
The whole fights, within a radius of 50 kilometres around Fife can be considered as minor or secondary during 1914-1918:
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Original Source: https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/8228
»The British Annexation of Northern Zambezia 1884-1924 Anatomy of a Conquest«, MacPherson, Edinburg University, 1976, p. 415.
The sources shows not any European German soldier who was killed in action and buried around Ikawa / Fife during 1914-1918.
6. December 1914
Attack of Oberleutnant Aumann with 135 Askari and 130 Ruga-Ruga and one 4,7-cm-Gun on Fife.
(No German losses)
28. December 1914
Renewed attack of Oberleutnant Aumann with 135 Askari and 130 Ruga-Ruga and one 4,7-cm-Gun on Fife.
(German losses: one dead and one captured Askari)
1915, 1916 and 1917
In these three years there were not any fight around Fife.
(No German losses)
2. - 4. November 1918
Attack of the Detachment Köhl (2., 3. + 4. Feld Kompanie) of the Schutztruppe on Fife and nearby Mwenzo.
(No German losses)
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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ZAMBIA DAILY MAIL – Report from 11th December 2016
The `forgotten´ German graves in Nakonde – BRIAN MALAMA, Nakonde
UNKNOWN to many people, Nakonde, in the north, which border Tanzania, is home to the remains of five German soldiers who
fought in the First World War. The soldiers are buried in a protected national heritage site called Old Fife on the old Malawi road
in Katozi ward, three kilometres from the BOMA and the Great North Road.
The more than 100 years old grave site now lies in ruins, though it is a national heritage. Among those who were until recently
unaware of this historical site in Nakonde District Commissioner Field Simwinga. The only significant mark is a black marble
tombstone covering Major Heinrich von Berg´s grave, which appears to have been recently replaced by his family.
The rest of the tombstones were made of burnt bricks and are now in a state of disrepair, and are destined to disappear from
significance. Old Fife is a sorry site and does not represented the status of a national monument. Lloyd Siame, a retired civil
servant, recommends a complete take over by the National Heritage and Conservation Commission (NHCC).
The site can attain tourism significance because of its rich history, which is absent from our history text books at both college and
primary school levels. “We do get German nationals who come over to visit the graves of their forefathers. But Zambia can do better in preservation of history.” Mr Siame suggests.
James Sichinga, a cross border trader, observe that no-one has ever explained the significance of the burial site. “The only thing
I know about this place is its name Fife. I also know that 500 metres from here lies a big trench where soldiers used to hide. The other thing is the same place was a centre for shipment of slaves from Blantyre, Malawi, to Mpulungu.” Mr Sichinga recounted.
During the First World War, the British and the German troops waged fierce battles at the border town in defence of territorial
boundaries between Zambia and Tanzania. The Eats African Campaign was a series of battles and guerrilla actions, which started
in German East Africa and spread to portions of Mozambique, Northern Rhodesia, British East Africa, Uganda and the Belgian
Congo. The campaign ended in November 1917 with the British triumphing and claiming Northern Rhodesia, now called Zambia.
German troops and Africans who fought in the war perished at the hands of the British soldiers. For most of them, their names
cannot be traced now. Only the five German soldiers have had their burial site preserved for over a century on the Zambia soil.
History has it that the strategy of the German colonial forces, led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, was to divert forces from the Western Front to Africa. His strategy achieved only mixed results after 1916, when he was driven out of German East Africa and Allied Forces took over Southern African, Indian and other colonies.
Teddy Chilambwe, a business man in Nakonde who offered himself as a tour guide, narrates how the British and the German
soldiers battled for territory between Tunduma and Nakonde. “The British forces set up a command post at Fife in Katozi while a spying tower was erected in Mwenzo at a mission operated by the United Church of Scotland by 1914, “Mr Chilambwe explained. According to oral history, the British Empire under King Georg V and its Allied Forces, France and Russia possessed superior military might over other forces.
“We are told that the British regiment had constructed a tunnel between Nakonde and Mwenzo. In the tunnel was a long cable
which was used to alert the military police at Fife when the Germans approached the border between Tanzania and Zambia, “Mr Chilambwe said. Mr Chilambwe further explained that Tunduma came about following several blood baths which saw scores of German troops mercilessly decapitated. “Tunduma in Namwanga means a chilling experience which came about as a result of the fierce wars from crossing into what is now Zambia, Mr Chilambwe narrated.
The war raged on until November 14, 1918, when word of armistice from Isoka through Chinsali, Serenje, to Mkushi were set up a
reasonable distance from the Great North Road to keep away Germany and its allied forces´ attacks.
NHCC regional director Billiard Lishiko states that the German war graves are a national monument. Going by the state of disrepair
and absence of a curator at the monument, there is need to do more to bring the site up to standard.
Original Source: https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/?p=88760
(In June I try to explain Mr Siame why the only one remaining German grave couldn´t be from the Great War. Anyway; – Image)
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The only one remaining building ruin direct vicinity of Ikawa / Fife couldn´t really identified if the age was 60, or 120 years.
With the beginning of the 20 century, Europeans add a substance, similar to cement also to the air-dried and burned bricks
which were manufactured in Africa. In such a case, the burned bricks could be preserved if they were installed above ground.
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View on the `Stevenson Road´ from the north down the Ikawa deepening south wards.
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The lowland of the Ikawa stream. In the middle of the image on the horizon the expected formally centre of Ikawa / Fife.
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The `famous´ Ikawa stream with view to the west.Image
In the eastern direction the eponym was nothing more than a swampy puddle. Image
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: Skirmish on Kito-Hill in March 1915 at GEA / BNR border

Post by Chris Dale » 28 Dec 2016 22:15

Great work as always Holger, I love reading your posts here.
Cheers
Chris

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Re: Skirmish on Kito-Hill in March 1915 at GEA / BNR border

Post by Tanzania » 27 Jan 2017 10:23

2. – REMAINS AND GRAVES AT THE BRITISH MWENZO MISSION
Mwenzo is at about 15 kilometres to the west from the Zambian border town Nakonde and accessible on tarmac and good track.ImageImageOriginal Source: https://www.google.de/maps/@-9.3338336, ... a=!3m1!1e3
The main avenue of the Mission area (With the most inland widespread `Casuarina equisetifolia´ trees, I saw ever in Africa.)
Image`Morbid charm of former times´. This ruin was the formally nurses building, 200 metres before the principal mission building.ImageImageThe Mission church building which start in 1914 and not really finished before the Great War ended in 1918.
ImageImage
The extension of the Livingstonia Mission started already in 1879 from Lake Nyasa. Tonga evangelists were in charge since 1882 in North East Rhodesia at Mwenzo (means “heart” in local Bemba language) in the area of the powerful Winamwanga tribe and in 1890 the first simple church was build. But only 12
years later, the first real Mission activities from the `Free Church of Scotland´ (F.C.S. Reformed Church) could start after the arrival of Reverent Alexander Dewar with his five new assistants at Mwenzo in 1894.
ImageOriginal Source: https://archive.org/details/daybreakinliving011984mbp»Daybreak in Livingstonia, The story of the Livingstonia Mission in British Central Africa«, R. Laws, Glenfarge 1900, p.186Rev. McCallum succeeded Rev. Alexander Dewar and when McCallum in turn left Mwenzo, Yohane Afwenge Banda, a Tonga evangelist, who worked on this location already since 1882, cared for the Mission station up
to December 1900 when Rev. Dr. James A. Chisholm arrived. `Jim´ Chisholm was the best-known, and worked the longest period of all missionaries at Mwenzo. Since the beginning, Chisholm was very active. He build as first a Hospital for the people in his responsible district and up to 1912 further three schools have been erected.ImageOriginal Source: http://ukzambians.co.uk/home/wp-content ... odesia.jpg
When the war started also at the BNR / GEA border, “much of the population fled and Dr. Chisholm decided to follow. By 6th, September 1914 he had moved to the village of Katongo, some twelve miles to the south, leaving John Afwenge Banda behind him to care for the station as best he could”. December 1916 the mission hospital was substantially enlarged as preparation for Northey´s offensive, May 1916. Even if the border war in North Rhodesia were secondary, Mwenzo what subject to the same, partly catastrophic, economic and social impacts due to the administrative measures as the entire country, between 1914-1918. I got also the permission to review the extensive record office of the Mission. Extracts of the written assessments will be shown otherwise. Below are listed pictures from this photo-archive. They couldn´t remove out of the shrink-wrapped plastic folders, so that unfortunately light reflections become visible. Because of the not observable photo-rear-side, nearly all photos couldn´t be
exactly dated or localized. The first of the following photos shows Rev. Dr. James Chisholm, before and during the Great War. ImageOriginal Source: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/1834.htmlAppendix III: Biographies, In: »Christian Missionaries and the Creation of Northern Rhodesia 1880-1924«, R. Rotberg, Princeton 1965. When I see Chisholm on the first lower photo, which was outside labelled: »Dr. James Chisholm, Mwenzo September 1914«, it is today hardly conceivable with what implicitness Belgian, German and British missionaries, pastors and reverends exchanged their liturgical costume and dressing material against rifles and patron belts during the War in Africa and led their wards into the fights. ImageImage With friendly help from the GWF I can add these data: “Dr. James A. Chisholm is shown as a Captain in the Northern Rhodesia Medical Corps on the 1914/1915 Star Medal Roll, the roll shows an entry date into theatre of operations of 1st October 1914. The inverted chevrons on his lower right arm are not indication of rank but are overseas service chevrons denoting each year’s service.Image ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageThe next photos pictured the buildings in, and around the Mission, before, during and after the Great War. On account of the many archive pictures in Mwenzo, I tried to reduce the posted Photos to these, which are not already published in the Internet. Image
ImageImageImageImageMany further nice photos after the Great War are pictured here: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/m ... teresting/
It has been proven that this photo was not taken in the vicinity of Mwenzo. The pictured name Florence Bay (Chitimba Bay) was the landing stage of the Livingstonia Mission at Lake Nyasa. The photo is also shown and backgrounds are mentioned here: http://embangweni.com/Caseby/chap_49.htm ImageOn the next lower photo is shown a river with a, by rope manhandled ferry with a Ford T Ambulance. Because this car type wasn´t delivered in greater numbers to British East- or Central-Africa before 1915, I assume the photo was taken in, or after 1916 in British Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) or British Central Africa Protectorate (Malawi). Very likely in the hinterland or stage of one of the two
countries, because further Military Staff or soldier aren´t obvious and therefore the whole scene makes a very peaceful impression.
ImageBuildings in Mwenzo or Fife, with sandbags and embrasures during the first phase of the border war in 1914-1915?!?Image
ImageBoth following photos; possible a group of the E-Company, Northern Rhodesia Police ready for patrol in 1915-1916?!?ImageImage
Next two photos: Parts of Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers’s column of the 2nd South African Rifles at Old Fife in May 1916?!?ImageImage
In, and around Mwenzo and the nearby village and railway station Chozi, are three different cemeteries. But, only the cemetery directly behind the old church building contains some older graves and tombstones from the Colonial period. Accordingly to the statements of the local people there are still graves from the Great War; but nobody knows where and who. The lists and records of the Mission archive gave also not any traces or indications for any victims during 1914-1918. On the ground the situation was also not really better then in Nakonde (Ikawa / Fife) days before; Several graves could be identified, but without any gravestones.
ImageSome other graves however showed tombstones with names, but from the time period after the Great War. ImageImage
ImageImageOnly one grave from the Great War could be found; Kusuke Kuche (Hemdedi Chiwone) died 7th March 1918.Image
Also the grave from Bertha Kaunda Mukwasa 1.4.1914 – 14.9.1937, mother of the first Zambian president, Kenneth Kaunda.
Image

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: Major a.D. Heinrich von Berg († 1. 1. 1899)

Post by Tanzania » 01 Feb 2017 13:55

Some additions to Major a.D. Heinrich von Berg († 1. 1. 1899)
Regarding the tombstone with name and dates of Major a.D. Heinrich von Berg on the cemetery in Fife / Ikawa near Nakonde, I found some indications and backgrounds about him. Von Berg´s name was mentioned in a few text passages in an old book from Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant) a.D. Otto Schloifer, the expedition leader who brought the first German steamer `Hedwig von Wissmann´ to Lake Tanganyika in 1898-1900.
Major von Berg was the formally, long-standing Adjutant of the Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Ernst of Prussia (1826–1902),before he retired and attend the expedition of First Lieutenant Otto Schloifer through Portuguese East Africa, British Nyasa Landand Northern Rhodesia to German East Africa as hunter and presumable also as private benefactor for the overall steamer-project. During the stay in Northern Rhodesia von Berg was struck by Blackwater fever and died in Fife in the night 31.12.1898 / 1.1.1899.Schloifer provided the grave with a wooden cross and fencing. Very likely the Family von Berg changed this against a marble cross.
“. . . . . In letzter Sekunde (March 1898 in Germany) schloss sich mir noch als Volontär Major a.D. Heinrich von Berg an, langjähriger Adjutant des Prinzen Georg von Preußen, der draußen jagen und die Expedition mit Wildbrett versorgen wollte. . . . Ende April 1898 war ich mit allem fertig und reiste nun mit Major von Berg und Runge (Garde-Pionier-Unteroffizier und
Lazarett-Gehilfe Ernst Runge
) auf dem neusten D.O.A.L.-Dampfer `König´ von Neapel ab
. . .
(28. August 1898 in British Nyasaland) Ich reiste mit Major von Berg nach Blantyre, und zwar mit dem landesüblichen Transportmittel, der „Mashila“,. . . Trotz aller Fürsorge aber von Runges und meiner Seite blieb niemand von Fieber verschont, die Strapazen und das Wetter waren zu schlimm; wir wurden alle Augenblicke bis auf die Haut durchnässt und schliefen stets in feuchten Betten. Beim Regen stellten sich auch die Frösche, oft wahre Riesen, in Massen ein; sie hatten ein ungemein kräftiges Organ und waren recht musikalisch; ich unterschied bei ihren Konzerten sechs verschiedene Stimmen, vom Sopran bis zum tiefsten Baß.
Einen schmerzlichen Verlust erlitten wir gerade zum Jahreswechsel. Am 28. Dezember schickte mir der Collector Mackinnonaus Fife einen Eilboten mit der Nachricht, dass Major von Berg bei Ihm krank läge und dass ihm Medikamente fehlten. Berg hatte mir gerade noch geschrieben, dass er sich mit uns vereinigen und mir bei dem Transport behilflich sein wollte. Ich entsandte sofort Runge mit allem Nötigen. Am 29. kam wieder schlechte Botschaft; da wir aber gerade in einem furchtbaren Dreck staken, gar nicht vom Fleck kamen und da auch alles krank war, konnte ich die Expedition nicht verlassen.
Als jedoch in der Nacht vom 30. zum 31. (Dezember 1898) gemeldet wurde, dass es sehr schlimm um den Major stünde, machte ich mich am frühen Morgen des 31. auf und marschierte den ganzen Tag und die Silvesternacht durch; da der Mond
bald hinter Wolken verschwand und es fürchterlich goss, so stolperte ich dauernd und lag alle paar Minuten auf der Erde oder
vielmehr im Sumpf. Früh am Neujahrsmorgen kam ich an eine Hütte, in der etwa 50 schwarze Männer und Frauen rauchend
und stinkend zusammengepfercht lagen; ich quetschte mich dazwischen und ruhte mich ein paar Stunden aus. Dann ging es
weiter.
Als ich nachmittags ziemlich erschöpft in Fife eintraf, hörte ich zu meiner Bestürzung, dass der Major frühmorgens an Herzschwäche infolge Schwarzwasserfiebers in Runges Armen entschlafen und bereits mittags beerdigt war. Ich konnte nur noch sein Grab besuchen, Blumensamen darauf streuen und den Zimmermann Gröning anweisen, ein Kreuz und eine Umzäunung anzubringen. Heinrich von Berg war ein Edelmann durch und durch; er war mir ein guter Freund und der Expedition ein Gönner und Helfer gewesen. Wir alle und auch die Engländer, die ihn sehr schätzten, halben aufrichtig um ihn getrauert und ihn in der Folge schmerzlich vermisst. . . . .“

Original Source: http://www.namibiana.de/de/bana-uleia-e ... niers.html»Bana Uleia«, Ein Lebenswerk in Afrika. Aus den Tagebüchern eines alten Kolonialpioniers, O. Schloifer, Berlin 1941, p. 78 + 98.
.
“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: Skirmish on Kito-Hill in March 1915 at GEA / BNR border

Post by danebrog » 06 Feb 2017 16:09

Kotthaus - ein Name bürgt für Qualität!!

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Re: Skirmish on Kito-Hill in March 1915 at GEA / BNR border

Post by Tanzania » 06 Nov 2017 18:19

Below are some additions to the original theme heading: Skirmish on Kito-Hill in March 1915 at GEA / BNR border.
Coming from Lake Rukwa, we passed the Kito-Berg last summer on the way to Fort Namema in the Mambwe Region.

On the track from Mtai / Sumbawanga, view on the mountain range with Kito-Berg from the North-east direction.
IMG_6907.JPG
Source: Own photo June 2017


The eastern flank of the Kito-Berg with houses of the Kaluko Village in the right foreground (Isopa Ward / Kalambo District)
(Google Maps position: https://www.google.de/maps/place/Isopa, ... 31.5055958 )
IMG_6927.JPG
Source: Own photo June 2017


On the track to the Mambwe Region, a last view on the mountain range with the Kito-Berg from the South-east direction.
IMG_6933.JPG
Source: Own photo June 2017


In the multi - part Belgian work on the First World War in Africa, there are text passages and also maps about the Operations on the border
between German East Africa and British North Rhodesia. Thereby are now several descriptions of what happened on March 17, 1915, about
this, basically insignificant battle in this remote theatre of war, and we also have the opportunity to compare Belgian, British and German data.

Les campagnes coloniales belges: 1914-1918 / Royaume de Belgique, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, État-Major Général
de l'Armée, Section de l'Historique: Tome 1 (1927) Introduction, les opérations au Caméroun, les opérations en Rhodésie,
la période défensive à la frontière orientale. (Whole book in pdf, 431 pages)
http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/k ... fo/7788601

Translation of Belgian sources:

17. March 1915, Skirmish at Tshipongoma
At 5:30 am on March 17, 1915, German troops attacked the village of Tshipongoma, just south of the Samfu River, 20 kilometres northeast of
Abercorn. The platoon of Corporal Debroeck (60 men of the 1st Company of the 1st Battalion), were sent to this village for clarification. The
British Captain Mac Carthy, two English volunteers and local policemen, were also in the camp of Tshipongoma Village.
The cries of the people in the village gave the signal to intervene. Debroeck gathered and immediately divided his unit in two columns, to attack
the enemy in the village 500 meters away. He himself took command of one section, leaving the other to 1st Sergeant Mataka. The enemy fled
at the approach of the Belgians, leaving behind the natives whom he had already captured. But lying in the tall grass, he started a heavy fire on
the attackers, who were outside. Debroeck threw himself resolutely on the opponent, who was thrown back. As soon as he noticed the retreat of
the enemy, 1st Sergeant Mataka started the attack, knocking out the Germans and throwing them back behind the Samfu.
Debroeck’s unit lost 3 dead and 3 wounded. An English European volunteer was also killed during the battle. The Germans, whose number was
estimated at over one hundred, left behind a European and three blacks. They also had a European and eight black wounded soldiers. After this
operation and to limit the raids of the Germans in the reachable areas, it was decided to take an intermediate position between the surveillance
network stretched by the Rhodesian police units on the border and the garrison of Abercorn. Two platoons of these units were positioned on the
Sombe hill.
Source: Les campagnes coloniales belges: 1914-1918, Tome 1 Introduction, les opérations au Cameroun, les opérations en Rhodésie,
la période défensive à la frontière orientale, 1927, page 98
http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/k ... ew/7788720

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Translation of Ludwig Boell´s information:

On February 13 (1915), an English detachment of about 150 rifles crossed the border east of Kawimbe and headed north to the area of Mwasje,
but withdrawn at the appearance of a patrol sent by Bismarckburg and went to the farm located on the Saisi, Jericho, where a fortified camp had
been established, occupied by an Anglo-Belgian detachment of 26 Europeans, 408 Askari, 2 M.G. and 2 guns under Lieutenant Colonel Hodson.

Both this division and the North Rhodesia gunners sent to reinforce Fife invaded several times German territory, mainly into the unprotected
Mambwe countryside. An attempt by the Bismarckburg Detachment to establish a fortified camp for the reassurance and protection of the people
of the Ssafu led to an unfortunate Skirmish on March 17 (1915) in which the leader, Lieutenant d.R. Haun. Haun fell mortally wounded into enemy
hands. The Detachment returned to Kitampa.
To observe the enemy on the Farm Jericho and to maintain the connection with the Detachment of Bismarckburg, Captain Falkenstein detached
the Platoon Markgraf, lying at Rwiba, Detachment Aumann in the area of Kassonsia to the landscape Mambwe. The enemy reconnaissance units
had advanced considerably from Fife to Mkoma, he expected a hostile advance on Itaka and asked the commando for reinforcements.

When at the beginning of April (1915) several enemy detachments crossed the border between Kalambo and Saisi and reached the Mosi River
on the 4th (April 1915), the German command thought it necessary to intervene in reinforcements, thus initiating a new phase of the campaign.

Source: The operations in East Africa, World War 1914-1918, page 102, Ludwig Boell, Walter Dachert 1951.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Text passage of the British position:

In late February 1915 McCarthy with a NRP patrol killed one Ruga Ruga and captured 11 others. Three weeks later on 17th March he was camped
on the Samfu River near the border along with 61 Belgian Askari, 2 European and 4 African NRP soldiers when a German force of 5 Europeans and
150 Askari attacked his camp. The Allies beat of the attack capturing one enemy European and killing another and also killing 3 Askari.

The Belgians lost 3 Askari killed. Private W. Bacon NRP was also killed. The captured German officer was the commander of the Bismarckburg police, Reserve Lieutenant Haun, and he was severely wounded. (After Haun’s capture Bismarckburg was reinforced by a platoon of the German 10th Field Company, which was enlarged with recruits until on 26th May it became the 29th Field Company.)

Source: http://www.kaiserscross.com/188001/363401.html

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Lettow-Vorbeck´s reminiscences :

The Police at Bismarckburg, under Lieutenant Haun of the Reserve the capable administrator of the District, had joined the Schutztruppe. Several
skirmishes took place in hostile territory, and in this district also the enemy was, on the whole, kept successfully at a distance. It was not till early in
February, 1915 that several hundred hostile Askari invaded from Abercorn and some of them penetrated to near Mwasje Mission, but then retired.
Then, in the middle of March, Lieutenant Haun´s force was surprised in camp at Mount Kito by an Anglo-Belgian detachment. The Commander was
severely wounded and taken prisoner, and several Askari were killed.

Lieutenant Aumann, with a force subsequently formed into a company, was detached from Captain Falkenstein, and covered the German border in
the neighbourhood of Mbozi, where, in February, 1915, hostile detachments several hundred strong had frequently invaded German territory; at the
end of March an unknown number of Europeans were reported in Karonga, while Fife and other places on the frontier there were some eight
hundred men. So the enemy appeared to be preparing to attack. He was patrolling as far as the country near Itaka, and early in April it was reported
that Kituta, at the southern end of Lake Tanganyika had been entrenched by the Belgians.

Source: My reminiscences of East Africa, By General von Lettow-Vorbeck, British Version: Hurst and Blackett Ltd., page 98, London 1922.


This map shows the border of GEA and BNR between Kalambo and Saisi River, the position of Kito-Berg and Tshipongoma on the Samfu River.
10. - Région d´Abercorn. – Saisi.jpg
Original Source: http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/k ... ew/7788719


The information suggests that the skirmish on 17 March 1915 took place not directly on Kito Mountain, but 17 km further south-south-east, at the
border river Samfu between German East Africa and British Northern Rhodesia. Probably, however, this area was so remote, and thus unknown,
that the Kito-Berg was here as a rough position indication. It is also not clear whether this battle took place on German or British territory. The
Belgian location of the village Tshipongoma appears in no other source and is also present on any known map. The information that there was a
German force with 150 Askari in the middle of March 1915 on the Kito-Berg or on the Samfu was used is not possible on the basis of the existing
German lists. Apart from the detachment Bismarckburg with 66 former Police Askari, there was no further German unit in this remote area. Because
of the complete absence of German forces at this border, only on April 4, 1915, a platoon of the 5th Field Company was sent from the Langenburg
district, hundreds of kilometres away, to the area east of Kawimbe on German territory. The British-Belgian statements about their respective
strengths are either deliberate or, in the absence of correct information, greatly understated. Conversely, the strength of German units is generally
exaggerated by two to three times. In order to achieve a reasonably realistic ratio, German figures have to be halved, and British figures doubled
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“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: Skirmish on Kito-Hill in March 1915 at GEA / BNR border

Post by Tanzania » 10 Nov 2017 19:43

As already mentioned, Lieutenant d.R. Haun was mortally wounded during the skirmish around the Ssafu border river and transported by
the opponent to Kawimbe, where he died on the same day in the hospital. The previous evidence indicated that Haun was buried there
at least at that time. In order to complete the search, we have been already in 2016 in Kawimbe to search for this grave and other clues.
1.JPG
Source: Own photo June 2016
3.JPG
Source: Own photo June 2016
2.JPG
Source: Own photo June 2016


Here a Link to Kawimbe Mission Church how it looks at the end of the 19th Century: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationala ... 5404186035
This fantastic photo album are posted by the National Archives UK on flickr, shows inter alia, very rare pictures from the British-German
Boundary commission in 1898 / 1899; - from Kituta at Lake Tanganyika to Karonga at Lake Nyassa and from Abercorn to Fort Johnston.


The Google position with detail location of the former Military Camp during the war and the Civil- and Military Cemetery around Kawimbe.
4.jpg
Original Source: https://www.google.de/maps/place/Kawimb ... 31.5270089


This photo picture the scene over the Civil- & Military Cemetery, 600 meters West south-west of the Kawimbe Church. The still existing
tombstones are under the 2 meters high elephant grass. To the right (North) of the small group of trees on the right side of the picture,
according to the village elder, was the former British Military Camp during the war.
5.JPG
Source: Own photo June 2016
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“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

User avatar
Tanzania
Member
Posts: 500
Joined: 04 Jun 2009 13:59
Location: Germany

Re: Skirmish on Kito-Hill in March 1915 at GEA / BNR border

Post by Tanzania » 10 Nov 2017 19:45

On the former civil and military cemetery we found around 50 tombstones, dating between 1898 and 1948.
Dumb witnesses of a colonial epoch in East Africa, with names that unfortunately no one knows or cares today.

The Military graves of Commonwealth members in Kawimbe were reburied first in 1925 to Abercorn and later to Ndola.
Commonwealth War Grave Commission: https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/ce ... 20CEMETERY
Zambia, Copperbelt, NDOLA district, Kansenji, Military cemetery: http://www.eggsa.org/library/main.php?g ... &g2_page=2
09.JPG
10.JPG
11.JPG
12.JPG
13.JPG
Although we scanned the entire compound for five hours with several people, we found no traces of a labelled grave,
suggesting that Lieutenant Haun was the source.

Cheers Holger
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“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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