German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by danebrog » 13 Feb 2021 11:35

Holger, Holger - slowly but surely you are giving "Uncle Ludwig" some serious competition.
Wirklich ganz Famos!
I really would love to get involved in the research on Wintgen's Spielwiese. But with two museums that I am now involved in maintaining, there is (unfortunately) absolutely no time for that.

Olli aus den Elbtalauen

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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 14 Feb 2021 09:59

Hi Oliver

Thanks for your statement. I respect always your feedback.
90% of the details are from Uncle Ludwig; - below with Uncle Wahle.

Major-General Kurt Wahle & Captain Ludwig Boell.jpg

Sounds maybe a bit abstract; - but everything is only for an extended vacation planning.
We want to make a loop to Rwanda and Burundi, among others, this summer. Ticket and
car are booked and hopefully Corona is not playing a prank. Please cross your fingers.

It's a shame that you don't have time now. Maybe in 2022; - the plan is to continue with the entire
campaign in Portuguese-East Africa / Mozambique, all the way down to Namacurra. Of course,
Uncle Ludwig will accompany us.
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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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 18 Feb 2021 13:53

These three Map sections picture the situation and position of the six German Companies and Detachments at the end of
October 1915 at the border area, between Kamanyola & the Ruzizi-Arch and the southern Tshamata-Mauntain & Uramata.

41-1_Urundi-Congo Border between Kamanyola and Uramata.png
41-2_Urundi-Congo Border between Kamanyola and Uramata.png
41-3_Urundi-Congo Border between Kamanyola and Uramata.png
Original sources:

Luvungi had been so fortified in this way and the Belgian artillery so outnumbered the Germans, that Major-General Wahle
finally gave up the intention of another attack after receiving the Commando telegram of 11. November. However, he wanted
to pursue Lieutenant-Colonel v. Lettow-Vorbeck’ s proposal and lure the opponent out of his fortified positions in order to beat
him in the open field. The Germans were aware that, even if numerically inferior, they were tactically superior in open terrain.
Captain Wintgens in particular, as a true master of mobile warfare on a small scale, successfully demonstrated this time and

On 17. November, Major-General Wahle gave the order to undertake appropriate investigations. The start of this "offensive
reconnaissance" was set for 23. November. The concentration of the troops on 21. November at Rugombo had already been
decided and prepared when Major-General Wahle fell so unhappily on a reconnaissance ride on 19. November that he was
unable to attend in person. He returned afterwards the command to Captain Schulz.

On 21. November also Major Erich von Langenn-Steinkeller arrived in Rugombo. According to the order on 1. November, he
was supposed to take over the leadership of the enlarged `Detachment Urundi´. Major v. Langenn-Steinkeller was already,
with interruptions in spring 1915 in the Bismarckburg district, occupied with administrative tasks as Military commander for
Urundi since the beginning of the year. In the meantime the following events took place:

On 10. November, there was a skirmish between the patrol of Lieutenant d.R. Hermann Hausen of the 14. Reserve-Company
with a Belgian unit, on the western Congo-Mountains at the breakthrough of the Lubirizi-River. The opponent lost 5 dead and
one wounded. The German patrol, there was one dead and two wounded Askaris.

From 12. to 14. November, new reconnaissance results were obtained. These findings were also confirmed by locals, who
stated that another large Belgian base had been built 3 hrs. Southwest of Luvungi, and south of Bunjenjeri with 1,000 men.

On 19. November, Captain Paul Braunschweig, with most of his 14. Reserve-Company, had a heavy and long skirmish against
an enemy twice as strong on the Nurulambira-Mountain near the upper reaches of the Lubirizi-River. The enemy lost 20 dead
and two dozen injured. On the German side, the losses were relatively low with 3 dead, 12 wounded Askaris, and one missing.

As Commander of the `Schutztruppe´ in front of Luvungi, Captain Schulz planned a larger operation on the northern Ruzizi-Arch
near Kamanyola for the end of November. A detailed plan was worked out and the following commands issued:

"1. The enemy occupied the Kamanyola area with around 100 men. (The locals who lived there were armed with Albini-rifles
by the Belgians) Another strong Belgian post is located on the Nunja-Mountain and east of it on the Ruzizi. The Ruzizi crossings
are guarded by the local people. According to information from our scouts, these locals have been instructed to resist German
attacks until Belgian reinforcements arrive from Luvungi or Bunjenjeri.

2. I want to attack the enemy posts and positions at Sultan Kamanyola on 23. November at daybreak with the 22.-, 25.- and 30.
Field- Company. The aim is to weaken the opposing troops and to take away the herd of cattle, with the help of the two Sultans
and Kissaassi, who are in our area. The population of these cattle is a decisive factor in feeding the large number of
Belgian Troops gatherings throughout the Ruzizi Valley.

3. Luvungi and the surrounding positions will be taken under fired at on 23. November at daybreak by the C/73 field gun and
the 3,7-cm Revolver-Cannon and thereby deflected. The ordered companies arrive at the Shumani-Ford on 22. November at
9:30 a.m. and are given the following tasks:

3.a. The 22. Field-Company will occupy the `Big Kajange-Mountain´ in the Ruzizi-Arch with the order to secure in the southern
direction of Luvungi and Bunjenjeri and thus to vigorously counter an attack on our left flank. The M.G. the `Detachment Möwe´
is also provided with crew for this to the company, which is currently still with the 28. Field-Company.

3.b. The 25.Field-Company also advanced from the Ruzizi-Arch and secured the right flank to the north. Furthermore, it must
be ensured that the livestock of Sultan Kamaniola can be removed.

3.c. The 30. Field-Company, as well as a Platoon of the 28. Field-Company under the Company leader Captain Paul Rothert,
including the M.G. of the `Detachment Urundi´ remain at my disposal. First Lieutenant z.S. d.Sw. Konrad von Falkenhausen
and Lieutenant d.R. Lothar Bohlen are ordered to me as Ordinance officers. Private (?) Schneider member of Chief's staff of
the Western Commander in also remains at my disposal.

4. The 8.8-cm SK on the C/73 mount will be ready for action on 23. November at 7:00 am, north of the village of Wassaassa,
but on German territory in order to intervene in the fights at any time.

5. A platoon of the 14. Reserve-Company equipped with all Machine-guns of the company and also with the Machine-gun of
the `Detachment Urundi´ Department will be commanded by Lieutenant d.R. Hermann Hausen. The 3,7-cm Revolver-Cannon,
under Lieutenant d.R. August Batzner will also be ready for action on 23. November, 7:00 am on the `Small Kajange-Mountain´

6. Our posts on the Ruzizi-River remain in their positions and continue to observe the areas assigned to them. Mai-ya-Moto Post,
north of the Ruzizi-Arch and Kamanyola, will especially observe the areas and roads from the north. The other 2 Platoons of the
14. Reserve, Company under Captain Braunschweig remain at the disposal of Major-General Wahle in Rugombo.

7. In addition to the signal post of the 30. Field Company on Suria-Mountain, another signal-post (heliograph) will be installed
and set up by the 14. Reserve-Company on 23. November on the `Small Kajange Mountain'. (Occupied by the signalling-staff
and a European). The second signal apparatus of the 14. Reserve-Company is operated by personnel from the 30. F.- C. The
second heliograph of the 30. Field-Company remains at my disposal. If heliographs cannot be used, flags and flare pistols must
be used. Continuous waving of the wise flag means: Luvungi or Bunjenjeri troops are approaching. All communications will be
always in Swahili language. A repeated shooting with the signal pistol (white star) means: All subordinate troops gather in the
direction of the ferry at Mai-ya-Moto.

8. As pocket ammunition for all `Schutztruppen´-members, 150 cartridges, as machine-gun ammunition per rifle 4,500 rounds.
Equipment for Askaris, field march without blankets and without a tent. Bringing the knapsacks and bags are free. Askaris and
Europeans will take food for a day. The 22. Field-Company ensures that from 23. November, noon in Mai-ya-Moto, boiled flour
porridge (Ugali) is available for all troops.

9. The Warundi Sultans Wassassa and Kissassi and their people report to me at the Shumani-ferry station on the Ruzizi on 22.
November at 9:30 p.m. in the evening. Each company carries light pistols.

10. Wounded will be transported to the Shumani-ford or the ferry at Mai-ya-Moto. At Shumani, Medical Sergeant (?) Bärenroth
and at Mai-ya-Moto Medical Doctor Dr. Karl Lowes will be responsible for first medical care and for the further transport of the
wounded to the Rugombo field hospital. Sergeant Garlof Hottendorf and a Group from the 28. Field-Company remain there and
secured the Shumani ferry.

11. I will be with the 30th Field Company.

The operation started as planned on the German side. The 22. Field-Company occupied the "Great Kajange Mountain" without
encountering the enemy. The 25. Field Company met the enemy on 23. November, shortly after sunrise. However, this backed
down on Kamanyola, whereupon the 25. F.-K. followed this enemy and occupied the settlement for a short time. This opponent
then withdrew to the north-western Congo Mountains. The livestock were driven off as planned. Captain Schulz stopped with the
30. Field-Company and half of 28. Field-Company on the `Big Kajange-Mountain´ and secured against Luvungi and Bunjenjeri.
However, this opponent did not react and remained in his fortified positions. It was only when the Germans marched back that
2 opponent Companies followed cautiously. As a result, the machine guns under Lieutenant d.R. Hermann Hausen were able
to intervene quite successfully from the “Small Kajange-Berg”. In the crossfire of the machine guns from this Mountain and the
25. Field-Company, the opposing units suffered many dead and wounded. The 25. Field-Company have two wounded Askaris.

However, the actual purpose of the enterprise of getting the opponent to fight in the open field was not achieved. This operation
was known to the troops as the "Ox-Battle of Kamanyola". During this operation, Staff-Sergeant Sabath fired at the positions of
Luvungi with the C/73 Field-gun. For the first time he used a method of indirect aiming and adjustment for artillery that he had
designed himself. According to the judgment of Lieutenant-Commander a.D. Werner Schönfeld, who was present at that time in
Urundi, this equipment and the using has proven itself very well.


Lieutenant-Commander Schönfeld was at this time in the western part of GEA to take over command of the somewhat mysterious
Detachment-T, a special-commando that should to attack the Lukuga fortifications on Lake Tanganyika. He also used this artillery
equipment from Sabath half a year later very successfully against the South Africans on the Eastern Front, at Mlembule and Tuliani,
in summer of 1916. As responsible artillery commander, he personally directed the fire of several guns from the SMS `Königsberg´
(Two 10,5-cm SK L/40 C88 and one 8,8-cm SK L/30 C89) from the Kanga-ridge, east of the Nguru-Mountains. This artillery mission
was the most successful of the entire campaign in German-East Africa; - the attacking South-Africans were held up for weeks and
suffered heavy losses. Incidentally, it wasn´t the identical 8,8-cm SK gun that was used at Luvungi in November - December 1915.

For further backgrounds and details, see later: Part VII –– 3. - MILITARY- TECHNICAL ORDNANCE EXCURSUS (Subpart E)

2 Belgian guns immediately responded to the Fire of the strong-smoke C/73 Field-gun led by Staff-Sergeant Sabath. Its location
was clearly visible after each shot through the thick cloud of black powder smoke. Nevertheless, the enemy did not succeed in
hitting the German gun, as the Belgians could not watch their own artillery impacts and therefore could not correct their own guns,
as Staff-Sergeant Sabath changed his positions more frequently. In contrast, the shots from his C/73 Field-gun were very good
and a Belgian one is said to have been hit.

In the period that followed, however, the Ruzizi front was quiet. Only the Belgian artillery fired at the German positions more often.
Occasionally the German artillery replied and fired also a few shots.

On 2. December 1915, Major-General Wahle set out for Lake Kivu to meet with Captain Wintgens in Shangugu near the northern
Ruzizi. On December 8th, however, he was back in Rugombo.

On 27. November, the 23. Field-Company under Captain d.R. Rudolf Klinghardt had also unexpectedly arrived in Rugombo, but
was not taken any more into action.

On 4. December, a patrol under Lieutenant d.R. Bernhard Wunder of the 30. Field-Company clashed with an enemy patrol, south
of the Lubirizi-River, east of the rising Congo Mountains, inflicted the loss of 4 dead and 4 wounded, without any losses of his own.

On 10. December 1915, Major-General Wahle wrote a report to the Commando in which he particularly emphasized the passivity
of the Belgians. The Belgians would avoid any fight, although with 2,500 troops they had a clear superiority. With the exception of
Luvungi, the opponent would have given up all positions between the Ruzizi River and the western Congo Mountains. Wahle also
mentions the increased difficulties that arose when crossing the Ruzizi, as the beginning of the rainy season made the river swell.
To the south of Tshiwitoke the floodplains that had arisen formed an excellent obstacle for the enemy. Nevertheless, the German
Patrols would constantly harass the enemy, explore enemy positions and interrupt communication routes. In this respect, the
achieved results were to be seen as a success, as the enemy continued to move further to the western Congo Mountains and the
Belgians left their area west of the Ruzizi more and more to the `Schutztruppe´. In view of the size of the Belgian Congo, this had
no strategic effects.

In December 1915, the `Detachment Urundi´ under Major v. Langenn-Steinkeller war responsible for securing the border between
Kajaga on Lake Tanganyika and Uramata on the Kagunusi-River. To the north of this, until after Mai-ya-Moto, the Companies were
entrusted with tasks for more offensive scouting and combat patrols under Captain Schulz. (14. Reserve-, 22.-, 23.-, 25.-, 28.- and
30. Field-Company) The 10.- and 14. Field-Company, which were promised to the Western Commander-in-Chief, Major-General
, had not yet arrived.

The state of health of the `Schutztruppen´- units in the Ruzizi valley also gave rise to legitimate concerns. In this area, especially in
the lowlands and swamps in the immediate vicinity of the river banks, as well as the narrow basins, some diseases were endemic.
In the Ruzizi-Valley, malaria was particularly prevalent and the secondary diseases of so-called relapsing fever (black water fever)
and brain-malaria were particularly high. The troop's overall health was slowly but surely deteriorating. It was therefore ensured that
all units were relocated to higher regions at regular intervals. Medical and drug care must generally be described as inadequate.
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“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 18 Feb 2021 14:05

Due to its strategic location, Kigoma was the main supply base in the west of GEA until 1916. The central railway ended in Kigoma
and the port was also the largest as a starting point for transports to northern Usumbura and other deliveries to Urundi and Rwanda.
The photo below, shows a Field-Company of the `Schutztruppe´ in Kigoma, gather together behind the warehouse of the station; -
still armed with the old, strong-smoke, single-shot rifle Mauser 1871. The photo comes from the collection of Commander Gustav
, military commander in Kigoma, and was most likely taken in the second half of 1915. (The scaffolding in the background
shows the expansion of the "Hotel zur Kigomabucht", owned by Johannes Wagentrutz, who started the expansion still mid of 1915.)

42_Field-Company in Kigoma in III-IV 1915.jpg
Original source: http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankf ... 7_0096.jpg

For the troops in Ruanda, at Kissenji at the northern end of Lake Kiwu, only one Doctor, Dr. Karl Lowes war responsible, since
the second Medical officer, Dr. Curt Petzoldt had been returned to the Bukoba district. For the entire units between Lake-Kiwu
and Lake-Tanganyika, only three troop doctors were available: The Medical officers Dr. Gerhard Grothusen and Dr. Johannes
and Senior physician d.R. Dr. Wolfgang Gothein.

Major General Wahle planned another operation as a `Reconnaissance offensive´ for the mid of December, which should start
from the German post in Shangugu and target the stronger enemy position in Nya Lukemba at the southern end of Lake- Kivu.
(From an administrative point of view, however, this was no longer Urundi, but in German time already belonged to the Rwanda.
Internally, I have and will divide this is also in different contributions in the AHF; - German War Graves & Cemetery in Rwanda.)

On 14. December, Major General Wahle received a Commando telegram dated from the11. December, ordering the 23.- and 25.
Field-Company to march to Kissenji in Rwanda and the 22. Field-Company to Morogoro. The first two Companies marched north
to Lake Kiwu on 16. and 18. December, while the 25. Field-Company marched south on 17. December and was shipped with the
“Goetzen” from Usumbura to Kigoma. Furthermore, the Western Commander should move his headquarters back from Rugombo
to Kigoma.

On 16. December, by order of Major General Wahle, the 8,8-cm SK L/30 was transported back to Usumbura to be reinstalled on
the M.P.L. C/89 Navy-mount at the stern of the “Goetzen”.

On 20. December, Captain Schulz take over the Command from Wahle for the remaining troops; the 14. Reserve-Company, the
28.- and 30. Field-Company, the C/73 Field-gun and the 3,7-cm Revolver-cannon.

On 26. December, Major v. Langenn-Steinkeller, returned back to Usumbura, after a short consultation with Major-General Wahle
in Kigoma, and from then on took over the border protection on the lower Ruzizi with the `Detachment Urundi´.

At the end of 1915, calm finally returned in the Ruzizi valley, on both sides of this border-river.


The following is a list of the `Schutztruppen´- units that were deployed and came into action in the Ruzizi Valley. Of course,
this can only be a snapshot, since between October and November 1915 the staffing and positions changed several times.
In some cases names of Platoon- and Company-leaders can hardly be researched continuously over a long period of time.

Western Commander-in-Chief: Major-General a.D. Kurt Wahle
Operation-Commander in front of Luvungi: Captain Hans Schulz
Adjutant: First-Lieutenant z.S. d.S. Konrad von Falkenhausen and Lieutenant d.R. Lothar Bohlen

14. Reserve-Company, Company-Leader: Captain Paul Braunschweig
Platoon-Leader: Lieutenant Gunnar von Kleist
Platoon-Leader: Lieutenant d.R. Hermann Hausen
Platoon-Leader: Sergeant d.R Willy Förster (-? -)

22. Field-Company, Company-Leader: First Lieutenant d.R. Dr. Edwin Niemir
Platoon-Leader: Lieutenant d.R. a.D. Bernhard Count v. Matuschka, Baron v. Toppolczan u. Spaetgen
Platoon-Leader: Lieutenant d.R. Bernhard Wunder
Platoon-Leader: Staff-Sergeant d.L. Ernst Thielemann

25. Field-Company, Company-Leader: First Lieutenant d.L I Hans Müller
Platoon-Leader: Lieutenant d.R. Uriel Baron Raitz von Frentz
Platoon-Leader: Lieutenant d.R. Otto von Scherbening
Platoon-Leader: Staff-Sergeant (-? -) Kühne

28. Field-Company, Company-Leader: Captain Paul Rothert
Platoon-Leader: First-Lieutenant d.R. Alexander Herrgott
Platoon-Leader: Lieutenant d.R. Artur Heekt
Platoon-Leader: Staff-Sergeant d.R. Ernst Dieterle

30. Field-Company, Company-Leader: Captain Wilhelm Bock von Wülfingen
Platoon-Leader: Lieutenant d.R. Dr. Hans Kolewe
Platoon-Leader: Lieutenant d.R. Bernhard Wunder
Platoon-Leader: Staff-Sergeant d.R. Werner Baron von Stosch

Artillery-Detachment, one 8,8-cm SK, one 7,85-cm C/73 Field-gun, one 3,7-cm Revolver-gun
Gun-leader: Lieutenant d.R. August Batzner
Detachment & Gun-leader: Staff-Sergeant d.R. Herrmann Sabath
Gun-leader: Artillery-First-Mate d.R. Ludwig Vogt

Detachment v. Debschitz, Detachment-Leader: First Lieutenant d.L. II Wolf von Debschitz
Platoon-Leader: First-Lieutenant z.S. Job Odebrecht
Platoon-Leader: Lieutenant d.R. Max Wentzel

Detachment Urundi, Detachment-Leader: Major Erich von Langenn-Steinkeller
Platoon / Section-Leader: Staff-Sergeant Johann Schmelzer
Platoon / Section-Leader: Staff-Sergeant d.R. August Thomsen
Platoon / Section-Leader: Staff-Sergeant (-? -) Ascan Roderich Lutteroth

Something more needs to be said about the translations of Ludwig Boell's manuscript. The original text passages, some of
which are in a very cryptic telegram style, contain terms that are no longer used in today's colloquial German. Torn out of
context, a number of passages would no longer be understandable even in German. The length of sentences with a number
of inserted subordinate clauses and lists are also no longer appropriate.

Even then, the statements in the original telegrams and their content led to misunderstandings among those involved, as the
above examples show; - and that with people like Lettow-Vorbeck and Wahle themselves, who even knew each other well
personally. English is a very simple language, which may be one of the reasons that it became the world language. However,
this also means that during the translating from German into English, the exact meaning is often lost if certain processes are
not described in more detail for explanatory purposes. But the translations in these articles are of course still a long way from
today's colloquial English. The spellings of geographical locations made by different phonetics between German, French and
English have been adapted to the Anglophone spelling for better recognition. (Sample – German: Russissi / English: Ruzizi)

How difficult and time-consuming translations of Ludwig Boell's extensive works are, is shown, among other things, by the
advance notice by South African military historian David Brock Katz in his English review from 2017. “Ludwig Boell and the
Other Side of the Hill: The East African Campaign in the First World War from the German Perspective.
” At that time he
noticed that he was in work with the translation of Ludwig Boell's German book: The Campaign in East Africa 1914-1918.

Will be continued with: 4. – MILITARY- TECHNICAL ORDNANCE EXCURSUS (Subpart E)
Cheers Holger
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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 04 Apr 2021 20:30


The previous contributions serve, in a broader sense, still to the military background of those killed and wounded
in Urundi of the `Schutztruppe´ in GEA. With the above-mentioned `artillery-technical excursus´, however, we are
moving for a short time away from the actual subject heading. Even if these few articles belong more to the artillery
thread of the AHF, we want to deal at this point with the details and background of the two larger guns that were
used by the `Schutztruppe´ in Urundi in 1915 and 1916, and which have been already mentioned in the last posts.

The use of the guns in front of Luvungi at the Ruzizi River serves also a particularly clear example of the decisive
factor of artillery in the capture and defence of fortified positions during the First World War in East Africa, such as
Jassin in January 1915, British East Africa and in July 1915 Saisi / Jericho at the border in Northern Rhodesia.

In front of Luvungi were one 7.85-cm L/20 Krupp field cannon C/73 and a 8.8-cm S.K. L/30 Krupp M. 1891



The C/1873 Krupp field-gun 7,85-cm L/20 in Urundi

As is known, there exists two versions of the Model C 1873 field gun: the heavy version in caliber 8.8 cm L/22.6
for the so-called 'foot artillery' and the light version in caliber 7.85- cm L/20 for the so-called `riding artillery´, as an
accompaniment for cavalry units. In the literature, the light version was also listed as 8-cm, and the heavy with 9-cm.

43_Original C73.png
Original Source: Die Feld-Artillerie Österreichs, Deutschlands, Englands, Russlands, Italiens und Frankreichs in Bezug
auf ihre Bewaffnung, Ausrüstung, Organisation und Leistungsfähigkeit, K.K. Hauptmann Dr. Carl Beckerhinn, Wien 1879

In the second half of 1889 the 'Wissmann-Force' precursor of the `Schutztruppe´ in German East Africa received twelve
C/1873 field guns of both types; - Four pieces with a caliber of 8.8 cm and eight with a caliber of 7.85 cm. This situation
did not change in the next 25 years either. At the beginning of the war, due to a false alarm, four guns were sunk in the
port basin of Daressalam on 5. August 1914 in order, to let them not fall into the hands of the enemy. In contrast to the
gun barrels, the four mounts could later be lifted and used again. The remaining eight C/1873 field guns were all used
throughout during the Great War I in whole GEA from 1914 to 1917. The C/73 gun which was used in Burundi was the
light version in caliber 7.85 cm, which clearly shows the ammunition-requirements-lists in the German primary sources.
Source: ... -01-18.htm

This photo shows the `Light-Artillery-Detachment Daressalam´ with the three C/1873 Field-guns near the capital,
taken at the start of 1915. One of these three is the C/73 Field-gun, which came later into action in front of Luvungi.

44_Three_C73 field guns.png
Original Source: ... ellung.jpg

Below a brief summary of the history of this C/73 field gun in GEA 1914-1916

At the beginning of the war, this and other C/73 were positioned in Daressalam. On 8. August 1914, a battery,
called `Ruvu-Battery´ was formed with six of these old field cannons, 30 km west of Daressalam, on the central-
railway near Pugu. After the withdrawal of one cannon to Muansa, one to Bukoba and further two to the northern
front near Kilimanjaro, the last two remaining guns were returned back to Daressalam on 30. November 1914.
With a third, old C/73 salute cannon, which stood before at the Boma in Tabora, the `Light Artillery Detachment
Daressalam´, was formed with three guns on 2. December 1914.

General Wahle applied for two C/73 cannons of the `Light Artillery Detachment Daressalam´ for his first attack on
Saisi / Jericho on 28. June 1915, in the Bismarckburg district on the North-Rhodesian border. Both guns were then
taken with the Central-railway to Kigoma and from there via Lake Tanganyika to Bismarckburg. The last, third gun
remained in Daressalam. The 135 km transport from Bismarckburg to Saisi (or Jericho Farm) then took place over
land, using carriers that pulled both guns over roads and streets. Limber was used for both guns. Lieutenant d.R.
August Batzner
, before and after General Wahle's adjutant, was the artillery commander in charge in front of Saisi.

The main reason for the failure of the first attack, 28./ 29. June 1915 was the lack of any artillery by the attacking
units of the Schutztruppe. The second attack, four weeks later, was also unsuccessful because the results of the
C/73 field guns were very poor. The eyewitness First Lieutenant d.R. Wolf v. Debschitz gave an interesting report
on the shelling from his point of view:

After a while our artillery started firing. Before and after, I haven't seen any more such a bad artillery fire like on
this day. Very few projectiles exploded at all. As it turned out later, this was due to the fact that most of the shells
were C/82 shrapnel, which had only fuses, not double fuses. This meant that the fire fuse of a shrapnel projectile
could only be set for time, but had no impact fuse and thus could not explode. Except for a few shots that hit within
the fortified area, almost everything went too short or too far, so that our Askaris were already joking.

Later, when most of the ammunition was already ineffective, it turned out that the cartridges were loaded unevenly.
Of course, nothing can be hit with this ammunition and such guns. This was probably due to the lively powder trade,
which had flourished earlier in Daressalam and was operated by Baharias (local employees) of the artillery depot.
One should have examined the cartridges before firing, then this waste of ammunition would have been avoided.

Original Source: Militärisches Bundesarchivs Freiburg, Nachlassakte Ludwig Boell, Akte N / 4, I. Teil,
Kapitel 11, Die Ereignisse an der Bismarckburg-Grenze von Kriegsausbruch bis Mai 1916, S. 91 / 935.

Belgian detail-map with the position of the two C/73 field guns north of the Saisi River.

45_Position of two C73 at Saisi end of July 1915.png
Original Source: ... ew/7788733

Here we come now to a very interesting artillery-technical detail about the failure in the using in the C/73 field
guns in front of Saisi at the end of July 1915. In the official German account of the events, the wrong and too
old ammunition is still listed as the reason for the failure of the artillery in front of Saisi. The following excerpt
from the correspondence between both GEA-Veterans, Ludwig Boell and Hermann Sabath, however, reveals
a further reason for the first time. Here, 38 years after Saisi, it is mentioned that not the ammunition but both
C/73 field guns had different ranges. One was an old, worn-out salute cannon (from Tabora?), the other gun,
as good as new, came from the depot in Daressalam.

Hermann Sabath, later artillery commander in front of Luvungi, explains that the measurement of the distance
to the target was made alternately with both guns, which led to these serious misses. This means, guns of
different quality or age also have different shooting results. This fact was discovered only later by the separate
shooting of artillery for the positioning of targets during sighting. As an experienced and trained artillery man,
August Batzner should have known and observed this. In order to protect their war comrade, Boell and Sabath,
never changed the official reason. But, there are also statements from other artillerymen who also mention, that
the old and wrong ammunition had produced poor results.

Below, page No. 6 from Sabath´s letter, to Ludwig Boell on 2. January 1953 as revision to his final book version.
46_Letter from Sabath to Boell_02.01.1953.jpg
Source: Bundesarchiv Koblenz, Nachlass-Akte N 1170, Hermann Friedrich Sabath, Ordner Nr.15 ---
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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 06 Apr 2021 13:38

After the retreat of the `Schutztruppe´ from the Saisi-River on 3. August 1915, both C/73 Field guns were pulled
back with their ammunition-limber on the same route through the Mambwe-Area to Bismarckburg. The steamer
GOETZEN transported them afterwards to Kigoma, were they stored at the disposal of the `Detachment Möwe´.
In early September 1915, also both guns were shipped with their limbers to Usumbura, the most northern port of
Lake Tanganyika of GEA part, by sea, to reinforce the remote north-western combat zones of Urundi and Rwanda.

One gun was transported immediately overland, to Rugombo, in order to be available in time for the attack on 27.
September 1915
on Luvungi. There the C/73 field cannon was first subordinated to the command of Lieutenant d.R.
August Batzner
, later to Staff Sergeant d.R. Hermann Sabath. Within the `Detachment Schulz´ this gun was used
several times until the end of 1915 at this part of front. The other gun was also transported overland from Usumbura
to Rwanda and used there within the `Detachment Wintgens´ at the long-contested Ssebeja (river) position.

Due to the increasing superiority of the Belgians on Lake Tanganyika, one C/73 field cannon was brought back from
Rugombo to Usumbura in January 1916 and positioned at the local military station to defend City and Harbour. There
it was subordinated to the `Detachment Urundi´ under Captain d.L. II Albrecht Hering. No further fights were recorded.
After the Belgians started with the attack on Rwanda in mid of April 1916, Major Erich von Lanngen-Steinkeller moved
with the `Detachment Urundi´ from Usumbura north to support the `Detachment Wintgens´, which was still at Kissenji.

On 2. May 1916 there were only 4 Europeans and 30 recruits of the `Schutztruppe´ with two guns (C/73 field- and the
3,7-cm revolver-gun, also from Rugombo) under the command of Staff Sergeant d.R. Johann Schmelzer in Usumbura.
In mid-May 1916, Belgian ships appeared several times off Usumbura without the C/73 gun being able to intervene.
On 6. June 1916 at 5:30 in the evening, two opposing companies of the 'Force Publique' attacked Usumbura from the
West after they had crossed the Ruzizi-River near Kajaga with 400 riflemen, a Mountain gun and three Machine-guns.
The C/73 field gun and the 3,7-cm revolver cannon were used for the last time and were able to repel the attack.

But since the `Force Publique´ advanced with the IV. and VII. Battalion from the northern Uramata into the direction of
Usumbura, the small German Detachment withdrew with both guns in an easterly direction on the road to Gitega. In the
meantime, the V. Belgian Battalion had reached Mtatra, 25 km northeast of Usumbura, and advanced also through the
mountains to the new position of the, meanwhile reinforced `Detachment Hering´, 8 km east of Usumbura. Captain d.L.
II Albrecht Hering
, who had now taken over the commando again, blow up the C/73 including ammunition as well as the
6,5-cm old Mountain-gun from the `Detachment Wintgens´, on 9. June 1916, in order not to lose his manoeuvrability in
the hilly terrain. They withdrew with the 3,7-cm RK to the East, to unite with the `Detachment von Lanngen-Steinkeller´.

The port and the military station in Usumbura were the linchpin for the two districts of Urundi and Rwanda within
German East Africa, remote in the far north-west. Even from the capital Daressalam, which is about of 1500 km
away, Usumbura could be reached via the central railway and ship traffic within 5 days. Every transport of troops
or arms and ammunition supplies to Urundi and Rwanda went through Usumbura. Below are three photos from
the Boma (Military station) in Usumbura. However, the photos from the pre-war period, between 1907 and 1914.

47_Boma Usumbura.jpg
Original Source: http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankf ... 3_0014.jpg

48_Boma Usumbura .jpg
Original Source: http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankf ... 0_0033.jpg

49-1_Tower from Boma Usumbura.jpg
Original source: http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankf ... 1_0033.jpg

Below we see an enlarged section of the photo above. Shown is the parapet area of the tower which belongs
to the Usumbura military station. Above this parapet, between the pillars which support the roof, an object can
be seen. It consists of two parallel, vertical spoke-wheels, between which an elongated, cylindrical body in the
middle between. The overall appearance of the object allows the assumption that it could be possibly a cannon;
even an old C/73 field gun. We know from the records that the C/73 field gun deployed in front of Luvungi was
subsequently in Usumbura from January to May 1916. The military station was built a little more than one km
from the bank and of course the towers offered a better overview. Further photos prove that there was a clear
field of fire between the Boma and the bank and that the C/73 with a range of 4,7 km could be used effectively
from there. However, since the photos were taken before the war and there was no C/73 field gun in Usumbura
before 1915, it remains as a refuted hypothesis, that this picture shows `our´ C/73 Field gun on a Boma-tower.

49-2_Enlargement from Boma tower.png

Cheers Holger
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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 10 Apr 2021 09:57


The 8.8-cm S.K. L/30 Krupp Modell 1891 in Urundi

Here we come to a particularly interesting artillery-technical aspect; - the "metamorphosis" of an 8.8 cm L/30 Navy
gun with a recoil-break-system, to a field gun with the same calibre, in different versions and which was also used
in front of Luvungi. As is known, the small cruiser SMS `Königsberg´, which operated in the Indic Ocean and sank
off the GEA coast, originally had ten 10,5-cm SK L/40 and two 8,8-cm SK L/30 on board. The following explanation
of the 8,8-cm SK L/30 gun could also be described in a broader sense as part of: " The Spirits of the Königsberg ".
What is really new here is the fact that a gun from Konigsberg’s `auxiliary-cruiser-charge´ was also used in Urundi.

Below a brief summary of the history of this 8,8-cm S.K. L/30 in GEA 1914-1917

On 30. July 1914, the survey ship SMS `Möwe´ took over the two 8,8-cm SK, part of auxiliary-cruiser-charge from
the small cruiser SMS` Königsberg´. But neither the SMS `Möwe´, nor the D.O.A.L. steamer `Tabora´, `President´
or `Field Marshal´ meet the necessary criteria, such as necessary speed and inconspicuous appearance, to equip
them with the two 8,8-cm SK as armed auxiliary cruisers. After the survey ship SMS `Möwe´ was self-sunk in the
port of Daressalam on 8. August 1914, the crew and other navy-reservists formed the `Detachment Möwe´ and
were transported by several trains, with the two 8.8 cm SK and other equipment from the SMS `Möwe´, between
the 12. and 30. August 1914 on the Central railway, from Daressalam to the port of Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika.
Since the only German steamer on the gigantic Lake Tanganyika, `Hedwig von Wissmann´ did not have enough
stability to be armed with the 8.8 cm SK, a stable wooden-raft was built in September 1914, which could carry both
guns. The `Hedwig von Wissmann´ pulled this raft with a low speed of 3 - 5 its respective locations and came
several times into action against enemy targets on land. This to the end of 1914, and in the first months of 1915.

In this time the original Central-Pivot-Carriages C/89 were used on the wooden-raft without the protective-shields.
Even if most of the following photos are already known, they will be listed again as addition to the text passages.
The raft in the construction-phase, in tow of the `Hedwig von Wissmannn´, and in Kigoma harbour near `Kingani´.

50_Wooden-raft in the construction-phase
50_Wooden-raft in the construction-phase.png
Original Source: ... %202-8.pdf

51_Wooden-raft in tow of the `Hedwig von Wissmann´
51_Wooden-raft in tow of the Hedwig von Wissmann.png
Original Source: http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankf ... 8_0030.jpg

52_Wooden-raft in Kigoma harbour near the `Kingani´
52_Wooden-raft in Kigoma harbour near the Kingani.jpg
Original Source: http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankf ... 9_0054.jpg

Further Photos, technical Information about gun and ammunition of `our´ 8,8-cm S.K. L/30 can be found here:

On Kaiserbunker can be seen Details of ammunition of this gun type:

Ralph Lovett has further photos on his excellent home page from this gun-type: ... _L_30.html

Also the former Josephus Daniels home, offer further photos: Krupp 8.8 cm L/30

Last, but not least the well known home page by Tony DiGiulian about all types of Naval Weapons:
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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 11 Apr 2021 07:40

The `Goetzen´ entered in service on 9. June 1915 by the `Detachment Möwe´ and handed over to the
`Schutztruppe´ on the next day. The lower Belgian photo shows the steamer with the imperial war flag,
but still without any armament. As a result, the 8.8 cm S.K. L/30 was installed on the bow only afterwards.

(53_Goetzen after 9.June 1915 without 8.8 cm S.K. L/30)
53_Goetzen after 9.June 1915 without 8.8 cm S.K. L30.png
Original Source:

The `Goetzen´ with the 8.8 cm S.K. L/30, also on M.P.L. C/89 with protective-shield at the bow of the steamer.
(54_8.8 cm S.K. L/30 on M.P.L. C/89 on bow of Goetzen)
54_8.8 cm S.K. L30 on M.P.L. C89 on bow of Goetzen.png
Original Source: http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankf ... 8_0029.jpg

A nice, detailed photo of the 8.8-cm S.K. L/30 with the crew, also at the bow, will be shown in the film-clip, below.
(55_Detail of 8,8-cm S.K. L/30 on M.P.L. C/89 on bow of Goetzen)
55_Detail of 8,8-cm S.K. L30 on M.P.L. C89 on bow of Goetzen.png
Original Source:

After the "Goetzen" was upgraded in Kigoma in mid-August 1915, she received a 10,5-cm S.K. L/40
and headlights of the sunken cruiser `Königsberg´ as well as a raised chimney attachment for a better
view in the rear area. Because of this, the 8,8-cm S.K. L/30 now positioned at the stern of the steamer.

(56_8,8-cm S.K. L/30 on M.P.L. C/89 on stern of Goetzen)
56_8,8-cm S.K. L30 on M.P.L. C89 on stern of Goetzen.jpg
Source: Private Archive
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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 12 Apr 2021 11:33

At the end of 1914 the German naval supremacy on Lake Tanganyika was secured. Because of this, the
second 8.8-cm S.K. L/30 gun, was already dismantled from the Wooden-raft at the beginning of February
. First Lieutenant z.S. d.R. Theodor Siebel had taken the commando of the small German flotilla on
Lake Victoria and made the proposal to arm the steamer `Muansa´ with this gun. As a result, Lieutenant
Commander a.D. Oskar Kendrick
was, on 22. February 1915 with this second 8.8-cm S.K. L/30, on the
way from Kigoma to Muansa; main German base on Lake Victoria, when two events influenced this plan.

On 6. February 1915, the German steamer `Adjutant´ in the Rufiji-Delta had already been recaptured by
the` Detachment Delta´. Four weeks later, on 6. March 1915, the `Muansa´ was sunk in combat with the
British Steamer `Winifred´ on Lake Victoria, because the British opponent was armed with a 10.2-cm / 4
inch L/40 MK III S.K., of the sunken British cruiser HMS `Pegasus´. The escalation of the gun caliber was
clearly felt also here on the African Lakes, at the `end of the world´. Now there was no need for the use of
this second 8.8 cm S.K. L/30 on Lake Victoria, and also the Captain of the SMS `Königsberg, Commander
Max Looff
, needed this gun for the `Adjutant´, to support his Small Cruiser, the situation unchanged, and
this 8.8 cm SK L/30 gun was transported further to the coast by Central-railway and then to the Rufiji River.

So the first, `Urundi´ 8.8-cm S.K. L/30 gun remained alone on Lake Tanganyika; first on the raft, then on the
bow and stern of the `Goetzen´. In summer and autumn 1915 this steamer was used intensively for transport-
tasks between Bismarkburg, Kigoma and Usumbura. At this time, there were no fighting on Lake Tanganyika,
which means, the 8,8-cm S.K. L/30 wasn´t used. This situation didn´t changed to the end of September 1915.

On 1. October 1915, Captain Hans Schulz telegraphed the command and asked for the Goetzen’s rear gun.
The commando agreed on 5. October 1915, and the 8.8-cm S.K. L/30 was dismantled from the stern position
Of the steamer. (See also: viewtopic.php?p=2321642#p2321642)
Meanwhile, one of the recovered C/73 carriages, which had been sunk on 5. August 1914, were transported
from Daressalam to Kigoma with an ammunition-limber from the depot and was rebuilt in the railway workshop.

In Kigoma, the 8.8-cm L/30 gun-barrel was removed from the C/1891 navy-mount and inserted into the C/1873
land-mount. It is highly likely that the Central-Pivot-Carriage was left on the stern of the `Goetzen´, because as
only a temporary use in front of Luvungi was planned from the start. The reconstruction was not complicated; -
the trunnions of the 8.8-cm gun-barrel fit into the old bearings of the C/73 carriage without further conversions.

The following schematic sketches show the various development and construction phases of the 8.8-cm S.K. L/30

57_8,8-cm L/30 Model C/1891_First rebuild version
57_8,8-cm L30 Model C1891_First rebuild version.png

58_8,8-cm L/30 Model C/1891_Second rebuild version
58_8,8-cm L30 Model C1891_Second rebuild version.png

59_8,8-cm L/30 Model C/1891_Third rebuild version
59_8,8-cm L30 Model C1891_Third rebuild version.png

Original Graphic Sources:

"Die Feld-Artillerie Österreichs, Deutschlands, Englands, Russlands, Italiens und Frankreichs in Bezug auf ihre
Bewaffnung, Ausrüstung, Organisation und Leistungsfähigkeit, K.K. Hauptmann Dr. Carl Beckerhinn, Wien 1879"

"Die Schnelllade-Kanonen der Schiffs-Artillerie: (für Einheitspatronen) und ihre Munition, nebst Vorschriften für
die Behandlung und Bedienung an Bord in Dienst befindlicher Schiffe, Marine Amt. E.S. Mittler und Sohn, 1898"
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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 18 Apr 2021 13:18

The 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. on land-carriages and their constructions

There are no original drawings or photographic evidence for the two schematic sketches above
(57_First and 58_Second). The representations are based on several primary text sources. Only
for the last schematic sketch (59_Third) is there evidence in the RSA Military Museum in Jo-burg.

Both, First Survey Mate Anton Ruhland and First Lieutenant Ludwig Boell described in their notes that initially
only the 8,8-cm L/30 Gun-barrel was attached on an existing C/73 mount during the first land missions without
the upper-mount (with recoil-brake and slide-carriage). This first version was only used in front of Luvungi from
15. October to 15. December 1915. Due to the lack of a recoil-brake and the two-meter-long recoil of the whole
gun, it had to be rearranged and new targeted after each shot. Therefore, this First version has not proven itself.
Only later, with the Second Version ( 58 ) it was possible to mount the 8,8-cm Gun-barrel together with the whole
upper mount and the brake-cylinders on the bottom C/1873 Gun-carriage, so that this version had a tube return.

The C/73 mount, in which the barrel with the trunnion was directly stored, turned out to be unsuitable for
shooting. The entire recoil was transmitted directly to the mount and caused it to retract almost two meters.
This made it extremely difficult to operate the gun. Only after the conversion of the carriage, in which the
upper carriage was placed on an axle with the slide and the brake cylinders, could the gun fire properly. –
Transporting the ammunition for this gun is also difficult. Since everything had to be carried out by porters,
four men were needed for each packing container (5 grenades), who carried away the cartridge case, which
was attached to two carrying bars. Naturally, the packing vessels suffered from being knocked and dropped;
they leaked, and often during the rainy season, and especially after wading through rivers, the water was in
the containers, which naturally caused the ammunition to suffer. In addition, the metal vessels became very
warm in the glowing heat of the sun and this temperature change also had a harmful effect on the ammunition.
In the course of time, the zinc vessels were replaced by wooden boxes, each containing two grenades and
which could easily be transported by a carrier. As a result, more carriers were saved and, above all, better
storage of the ammunition was achieved. Conservation was particularly important as there was no ammunition
supply and the stock was quite limited. When the war broke out, 400 shells were the total ammunition stock
for both guns.
"Verwendung von Schiffsgeschützen im Ostafrikanischen Feldzug 1914 - 1918",
Obervermessungsgast Anton Ruhland, Marine – Rundschau, J.G. 1927 , Heft 3.

In addition, First Lieutenant z.S. Hans Apel, officer on the Small Cruiser SMS `Königsberg´, also described in
detail in his notes the conversion of the 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. versions. Subsequently, in the `second step´, he was
also involved in the design and successful construction of the larger 10,5-cm L/40 S.K. mounts which were also
built, together with the ammunition limber in the shipyard and railway workshop in Daressalam. Major Darrell D.
of the South African Army and Captain Hans Apel exchanged extensive correspondence after World War II,
including, about the `Urundi´ 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. gun, which was first in `Fort Klapperkop´ in Pretoria in the 1970´s.

Sources: ---

"Kreuzer Königsberg, 1. Weltkrieg Deutsch-Ostafrika, 5. Kapitel: Die Schiffsgeschütze als Artillerie der
kaiserlichen Schutztruppe (1915-1916)", Hans Apel, Kapitän zur See, Lebensbericht, Privatdruck 1973.

The further history, routes and actions of the `Urundi´ 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. gun

The lower old photo shows the southern flank of the Suria-Mountain in the Ruzizi-Arch, with the Kamanyola-
escarpment lying behind. Both, Luvungi, lower left, and Rugombo (Nya-Kagunda), on the right, are located
outside the image. The circle shows about the last firing-position of the 8,8-cm L/30 on 15. December 1915.

(60_Picture of Suria / Surya Mountain in the Ruzizi-Arch)
60_Picture of Suria-Surya Mountain in the Ruzizi-Arch.png
Original Source:
"Congo Belge et Ruanda-Urundi", Deux cent vingt-deux photographies, Libraire Générale, Bruxelles 1952
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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 18 Apr 2021 15:03

On the photo above and on the map below, the mountain path and the later passable road, which leads
directly from Rugombo, can be clearly seen, on which `our´ 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. gun have been transported.

(61_Map of Suria / Surya Mountain in the Ruzizi-Arch)
61_Map of Suria Surya Mountain in the Ruzizi-Arch.png
Original Source:

After the operations in front of Luvungi, further offensive operations in the Ruzizi-valley were suspended from mid
December 1915. On 16. December 1915, General-Major z.D. Kurt Wahle, forwarded the order of the Commando,
to transport this 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. gun with the ammunition-limber, back to Usumbura. There it was installed again
in the M.P.L mount C/89 on the `Goetzen´ in the first week of January 1916.

This 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. gun was now again in its old position at the stern of the steamer for the next months since
the beginning of 1916. During this time, there were are no reported combat operations. In general, it seems very
questionable that this gun ever fired a sharp shot from aboard the `Goetzen´. Incidentally, the same applies to the
larger 10,5-cm L/40 S.K. at the bow of the steamer. None of the available preliminary sources mentions fights with
enemy ships or the shelling of enemy positions on land.

Before Luvungi, however, it was now recognized that the land use of the First 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. Gun-version (57) on
the C/73 mount without barrel-return was associated with disadvantages. Further considerations led to the second
version (58), in which the gun-barrel and upper-mount, with barrel-return and brake-cylinders were used. This next
rebuild version (58_Second) have been done in the railway workshop in Daressalam.

In the second Half of 1915 and in the first months of 1916, the Railway workshop in Daressalam worked feverishly
on the mounts of the twelve Königsberg guns (ten x 10,5-cm L/40 and two x 8,8-cm L/30) in order to convert them
for the combat on land. At the same time, the British had already gathered enough troops from of the entire empire
and in the first week of March 1916 they began their offensive from British East Africa, against the northern part of
GEA, around the Kilimanjaro-massif.

Since the Second 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. Gun was also in the same phase of conversion at this time, the C/73 mount was
simultaneously prepared for the First 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. Gun, to the point that a final assembly for land use could take
place in Kigoma. The upper part of both C/73 gun-mounts was separated, reinforced and provided with additional L-
profiles so that the upper mount only had to be screwed on. Both 8,8 guns were demonstrably converted in this way.

Lieutenant-General Sir Jacob Louis van Deventer and his 2. Division started to advance on 16. March 1916, from
Arusha, southwest of the Kilimanjaro, in the direction of Kondoa-Irangi. For this newly established front, units and
weapons were now called in from all parts of German East Africa. This also included the 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. of the
`Goetzen´, as well as the 14. Reserve-Company, which had also previously been deployed on the Ruzizi. In the
meantime the 8,8-cm gun barrel had been retrofitted with the new lower mount, that had arrived from Daressalam.
Gun and Company arrived on 21. April 1916 with the Central Railway at Dodoma Station, and then immediately
marched north towards Kondoa-Irangi.
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Re: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 11 May 2021 13:42

`Our´ Urundi 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. as 58_Second rebuild version in front of Kondoa-Irangi

The gun leader of this 8,8-cm S.K., First Lieutenant z.S. Ernst Wunderlich, former officer on the survey ship
`Möwe´, had been in action with the `Detachment Ruanda´, north of Urundi, since 25. August 1914. He was
officially responsible for this gun only from May 1916. But it is very likely that he has already accompanied
the whole transport from Kigoma to Dodoma since the first week of April and also the march to Kondoa-Irangi.

In the meantime the Commando of the `Schutztruppe´ in GEA had decided to devote more attention to this
new enemy, who had appeared in front of Kondoa-Irangi and threatened the Central-Railway. Lettow-Vorbeck
and a large part of the companies on the northern front marched off to Kondoa-Irangi. Also, all available artillery
was gathered here. In addition to the 8,8-cm S.K. under First Lieutenant Wunderlich, the following artillery was
concentrated in front of this new front: A wheeled 10,5-cm L/40 S.K. under Lieutenant z.S. Reinhold Kohtz, as
well as four guns from the blockade runner `Marie´, who reached the GEA coast 16. March 1916; Two 10,5-cm
light Field-howitzer L/16, Krupp Model 1898 / 08
, as 1. Battery with Captain Roland von Kaltenborn-Stachau
and two 7,5-cm L/14 Mountain-guns, Krupp Model 1913, as the 2. Battery under First Lieutenant Franz Köhl.

Sources: “Der Feldzug in Ostafrika 1914 - 1918“, Ludwig Boell, S.187-188.

“Der Kampf um Deutsch-Ostafrika 1914-18“, 8. Kapitel: `Die Kämpfe um Kondoa-Irangi´, S. 32
Hauptmann Franz Köhl in der Schutztruppe für Deutsch-Ostafrika, Verlag Kameradschaft, 1919 ... fo/7775225

Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck himself mentioned this 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. in action at Kondoa-Irangi in his book:

[ ] . . . We had brought with us two naval guns, one 3.5-inch and one 4-inch, on traveling carriages, and at
once got them into action. From our dominating position they bombarded, apparently with good effect, the
enemy's camps south of Kondoa-Irangi . . .

[ ] . . . Our artillery - the two mountain guns and two field howitzers, which had come out in the second store-
ship, had also arrived - fired upon such favourable targets as presented themselves. The buildings of Kondoa -
Irangi, where General van Deventer had arrived, were also fired at occasionally by our four inch gun.

[ ] . . . So our companies proceeded, and the commanders ordered up the baggage in order to settle down for
the night. I myself went to the Headquarters Camp, which had remained on the big hills a little further back. I
tried to relieve my great exhaustion with a cup of coffee and a little rum; but, knowing that I had no more orders
to issue, I soon fell fast asleep. Next to my sleeping place was the 3.5-inch gun. Towards eleven p.m. 1 was
awakened by remarks made by Lieutenant Wunderlich, of the Navy, who was in command of the gun; he
could not make out the frequent flashes he saw in the direction of the enemy. Neither, at first, was 1 quite
certain about them. . .

Source: “My Reminiscences of East Africa”, Chapter IV. `The enemy´s advance in the
area of the northern Railway´ Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, London, Hurst and Blackett 1920. ... ck.html#25

The South African Private Eric Speechly Thompson, member of the 7th South African Infantry Regiment describes in
his notes some artillery duels between German and British Guns between Friday, 26. May and Saturday, 3. June 1916.

A Machine Gunner's Odyssey through German East Africa: The Diary of E S Thompson,
Part 2. 25 May - 17 September 1916, in: Military History Journal, Vol 7 No 5 - June 1988

After the units of the `Schutztruppe´ had taken position in the vicinity of Kondoa-Irangi, the first attack took place
on the 9. May 1916. The enemy could also be driven from the southern and south-eastern positions. In the initial
fights, both opponents were equally strong with 3500 rifles and the `Schutztruppe´ was therefore naturally able to
record successes. In the later course of the fighting, at the end of May, start of June, the South Africans received
considerable reinforcements, so the `Schutztruppe´ with about 4,000 rifles were faced against 10,000 opponents.
The initial artillery superiority of the Germans was also quickly lost after a number of additional enemy batteries
also appeared on this front, with the 28th Mountain Battery, 1st South African Field Battery, 10th Heavy Battery
and 11th Howitzer Battery; - Together 25 British, against 9 German guns and the dispute turned more and more
into positional battles. From the 20. June 1916 on, the Commando had to withdraw again, with the main troops in
order to turn to the enemy on the north-west front, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Christiaan Smuts. Around Konda-Irangi
remained only ten Companies with 1,800 rifles and three guns, including the Urundi 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. under First
Lieutenant z.S. Wunderlich
and the 10,5-cm L/40 S.K. before on bow of the Goetzen, under Lieutenant z.S. Kohtz.
On June 22, the two heavy guns moved to a more rearward position at the Kwa-Handu Pass in the Burungi region.

62_Cutout of the War diary, Schutztruppe in GEA on 23. June 1916
62_Cutout of the War diary, Schutztruppe in GEA on 23. June 1916.JPG
Source: War diary of the High Command of the Imperial Schutztruppe in GEA 1.1.1916 to 12.12.1917

63_Ludwig Boell map_Kondoa-Irangi - Kwa-Handu Pass / Burungi - Meda - Membe
63_Ludwig Boell map_Kondoa-Irangi - Kwa-Handu Pass - Burungi - Meda - Membe.jpg
Original Source: “Der Feldzug in Ostafrika 1914 - 1918“, Ludwig Boell, Originale Kartenbeilage

The withdrawal of `our´ Urundi 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. from Kondoa-Irangi to Morogoro

With start of July, the remained German units withdraw slowly in a southern direction, so as not to be outflanked
by the opponent. Here the units split up and withdrew to the Central Railway in three different ways. One column
marched south-west towards Saranda and Kilimatinde. The middle one, in a purely southern direction, via Meia-
Meia to Dodoma. The smallest, group with the two Königsberg-guns under the command of First Lieutenant z.S.
, retreated south-east to Mpapua. Combat patrols cleared up the spaces between the three different
Groups. This also forced General van Deventer to split up his units. Despite their numerical superiority, the South
Africans were unable to flank and destroy the increasingly dwindling opponent who were withdrawing to the South.

There were great supply problems on both sides, but the SA units were less experienced in this, than the German
opponents. In addition, the area of the Maasai steppe is particularly `contaminated´ with tsetse flies, which reduced
the number of horses of the, alt last three Mounted South African Brigades by 20,000 horses within only 6 weeks
and made specially these units almost immobile. Brigadier-General Manie Botha was given the task of pursuing the
the small `Detachment´ under First Lieutenant z.S. Wunderlich, with the 1st Mounted South African Brigade and 10
field guns. The German Detachment consisted of the two heavy guns with the gun crew, the 14. Reserve-Company,
parts of the 9. Mounted Rifle-Company and a Platoon of the 19. Field-Company with a strength of 584 Rifles. On the
South African side were about 2.800 Shooters.

On 12. July 1916, Lieutenant z.S. Kohtz received order from the Command to march immediately with his 10.5-cm
L/40 S.K.
via Njangalo to the Kikombo train station on the Central railway. There, gun and crew were transported in
one of the last trains in a westerly direction to Tabora. There it was pulled further north with the Western troops and
was lost at Korogwe on 2. September 1916 in fighting against the Belgian 'Force Publique'. The small Detachment
under First Lieutenant z.S. Wunderlich was now been integrated into the `Detachment Otto´ and further defensive
battles took place near Njangalo on 24. and 27. July 1916. With the withdrawal of the 10,5-cm L/40 S.K., in addition
to the 8,8-cm L/30 S.K., (still as Second rebuild version), only the 6-cm L/15 Colonial gun was in the `Detachment
Otto´. The 2. Battery with the two 7.5 cm L/14 Mountain guns, was already on its way to Morogoro by train. From
the 2. August, the further retreat was via Mpapua to Bulwe Station of the Central Railway and transport to Morogoro.

In order to avoid confusion with the route of the second 8,8-cm L/30 under First Lieutenant d.R. Walter Sternheim,
which came from the North-eastern front, both a map excerpt from Ludwig Boell and a text list by Charles Hordern
are attached. Both `Urundi-Veterans´, the 14. Res.-Company and the 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. accompanied this retreat
from Kondoa-Irangi, Burungi, Meda, Njangalo, Mpapua, at Bulwe on the Central-Railway, to Kilossa and Morogoro.

64_Ludwig Boell map_Njangalo - Mpapua - Bulwe - Kilossa - Morogoro - Mlali
64_Ludwig Boell map_Njangalo - Mpapua - Bulwe - Kilossa - Morogoro - Mlali.jpg
Original Source: “Der Feldzug in Ostafrika 1914 - 1918“, Ludwig Boell, Originale Kartenbeilage

Lettow-Vorbeck shows in his book on map-sketch No. 11, also this retreat from the different directions
with the `Detachment Otto´ from the North-western direction, and `Detachment Kraut´ from North-east.

Source: ... eck-11.jpg

65_Charles Hordern footnote_Positions of the two 8,8-cm L/30 S.K., p. 343 (387)
65_Charles Hordern footnote_Positions of the two 8,8-cm L30 S.K.png
Original Source: ... up&seq=387

First Survey Mate Anton Ruhland, who belonged to the Gun personal, described also how difficult it was
to transport the 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. off-road through the bush, especially through ravines and over rivers.

When crossing larger rivers, the gun was pulled through the river with chains, as there were no boats of
sufficient carrying capacity everywhere, whereby it sometimes happened that the gun disappeared from
view for a long time and then on the other bank as a large lump of mud reappeared. Of course, the material
suffered greatly from this treatment, especially since grease and oil, which is necessary for cleaning and
preservation, were not always available. Substitutes then had to be used, and when we got to a station,
the gun operator tried to get fats of any kind, sometimes even elephant or hippopotamus fat for the gun,
but also for personal use. A mixture of peanut and coconut oil proved to be very useful for filling the brake
cylinder of the mount.
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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: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 12 May 2021 13:59

`Our´ Urundi 8,8-cm L/30 Model C/1891 as 59_Third rebuild version

In this last of the three mount versions for land use, the original upper mount (with gun-barrel, cradle, slide and
brake cylinders) was attached to a new, self-constructed lower mount. The photos of the only 8.8 cm gun still in
existence show that the wheels not only have a larger diameter compared to the C/73, in addition, this newly built
lower mount has been and is much lighter thus also had a lower weight than the C/73 version. This weight saving
and thus greater mobility was an important factor for the Bush War and could have been a reason for the newly
built variant. The wheel axle and trunnion are also clearly arranged in a vertical line. As a result, centre of gravity
will be centred and thus more evenly distributed on the axis, which has a more favourable effect on transport. The
decisive factor for this new, lighter, but also more stable construction was probably that the old C/73 bracket could
no longer be subjected to the new and stronger recoil forces and that the connection at the interface between the
old lower bracket and the new upper bracket could not be closed satisfactorily. The lighter and yet more stable
construction can best be recognized by the two cantilevered axes, which were formed by square hollow profiles
100 x 100 mm without protruding from the lower carriage body without upper or lower cross bracing for support.

The conversion from the second, to the third 8,8-cm L/30 variant in Morogoro

Since heavy artillery is very obstructive in rapid troop movements, the 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. under First Lieutenant z.S.
was sent already on 2. July 1916 with a transport-train from Gulwe train-station to Morogoro, which was
arrived on 4. July 4:00 a.m. As described above, the construction of the newly designed mounts had meanwhile been
completed in the workshop of the flotilla shipyard in Daressalam. However, due to the evacuation of the capital and
the removal of food, several transports had to be carried out at the same time, so that the gun carriage did not have
to arrive in Morogoro until after the 15. July. Then the upper part of the gun was converted with the new lower mount
and the `Urundi´ 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. received its final appearance. However, the documents currently available do not
prove whether the second 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. under First Lieutenant d.R. Walter Sternheim, could also be converted.
Meanwhile the `Detachment Otto´, fought at Gode-Gode train station on 11. July, and then retreated east to Kilossa.
More units of the `Schutztruppe´ gathered there, so that there were also heavy defensive battles on 25. and 27. July.

As far as known, the photo below is the only of the 59_Third rebuild version of the 8,8-cm L/30 S.K.
(probably in Morogoro), founded by the 2nd Mounted Brigade. Clearly recognizable the hole caused
by the detonation at the end of the gun barrel on the right-hand side. The ammunition limber, which
can be seen on the left side on this photo was one from one of the twelve old original C/73 field guns.

66_8,8-cm L/30 Model C/1891 as 59_Third rebuild version, which was abounded at Mlali on 24. August 1916
66_8,8-cm L30 Model C1891 as 59_Third rebuilt version, which was abounded at Mlali on 24. August 1916.jpg
Own photo in 2006 at:

[ ] . . . When the commander returned to Morogoro around noon, there were reports from the railway protection
posts in the Ngerengere bend, according to which it could be safely assumed that stronger forces had reached
the Ngerengere-River around 10 a.m. at Omari, 20 km northwest of Mikesse. An order was immediately issued to
destroy the entire remaining stretch of the railway and to completely evacuate Morogoro, with the 2nd squadron
of the command and the rear-formations marching directly south in the afternoon in order to reach Kissaki via
Silesia through the mountains as quickly as possible. . . .

[ ] . . . Liebermann's detachment, which had arrived in the early afternoon, had Captain Otto follow the 14. R.-K.
along the mountains who occupied the pass southeast of Mlali at 4 p.m. and thus dominated the ascent. During
the night, Captain Otto could not carry out the change of the front to the northwest ordered by the command, as it
was possible to bring the mountain guns to the heights, but not the heavy 8,8-cm gun. Since he was essentially
lying in the positions north of Mlali as a result, the 2nd Mounted Brigade went back five kilometres to the northwest
in the morning after setting the magazine on fire. . . .

[ ] . . . As a result, the 8,8-cm gun could use the road, but could not be brought to the top of the pass on this road
either, as it was too steep and the ammunition wagon broke. From halfway up it took part in the pursuit fire picked
up by the 2nd Battery and in fighting an enemy battery which had meanwhile started fire on the companies still
standing at Mlali. Due to the impossibility of evacuation, the 8,8-cm gun fired all of its ammunition by order of the
Commando and was blown up in the evening. At 6 o'clock in the afternoon, the `Detachment Otto´ moved from
the Mlali pass to Mgeta as rear-guard. . . .

Source: “Der Feldzug in Ostafrika 1914 - 1918“, Ludwig Boell, page 222 - 224.

On the map below, the Mlali-Stream is incorrectly shown as the main river. South of this bridge, the Mlali flows into
the Upper course of the Ngerengere-River, and later into the Kingani-River. This will be shown in future post #31.
According to German records, the event also took place further South-west and more uphill on the Mlali-pass road.

67_Charles Hordern_Affair of Mlali 24. August 1916
67_Charles Hordern_Affair of Mlali 24. August 1916.png
Original Source: ... up&seq=696

68_8,8-cm L/30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version in the military museum Jo-Burg / RSA
68_8,8-cm L30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt Version in the military museum Jo-Burg-RSA.jpg

The exhibition board in the museum, however, shows an incorrect date and inconsistent technical details.

69_Exhibition-sign of this 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. in the military museum
69_Exhibition sign of this 8,8-cm L30 S.K. in the military museum.jpg
Own photos in 2006 at:
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Last edited by Tanzania on 12 May 2021 14:08, edited 1 time in total.
“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: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 12 May 2021 14:03

Here some more detail photos from `Our´ 8,8-cm L/30 S.K. which was used in front of Luvungi / Urundi,
and still exists in the South-African Military Museum in Jo-Burg. All photos are taken in November 2006.

(Who came up with the idea to paint this gun in light pig-pink? Reference to the film `Operation Petticoat´?)

71_8,8-cm L/30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version (`Our´ Urundi – Mlali gun)
70_8,8-cm L30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version.jpg

71_8,8-cm L/30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version (`Our´ Urundi – Mlali gun)
71_8,8-cm L30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version.jpg

The photo below, shows very clearly the curved horizontal front section, to accommodate the protective
shield, which was made of 12 mm sheet steel, but which was not used when the Gun was used on land.

72_8,8-cm L/30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version (`Our´ Urundi – Mlali gun)
72_8,8-cm L30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version.jpg
Own photos in 2006 at:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
“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: German War Graves & Cemetery in Burundi / GEA

Post by Tanzania » 12 May 2021 14:06

73_8,8-cm L/30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version (`Our´ Urundi – Mlali gun)
73_8,8-cm L30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version.jpg

74_8,8-cm L/30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version (`Our´ Urundi – Mlali gun)
74_8,8-cm L30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version.jpg

75_8,8-cm L/30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version (`Our´ Urundi – Mlali gun)
75_8,8-cm L30 S.K. as 59_Third rebuilt version.jpg
Own photos in 2006 at:
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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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