South African Free Corps in DSWA 1914-15?

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Chris Dale
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South African Free Corps in DSWA 1914-15?

Post by Chris Dale » 28 Sep 2005 17:22

I'm looking for any information or photos of the South African Free Corps, a unit of Boers that served with the Schutztruppe 1914-15. Can anyone help?
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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 29 Sep 2005 07:12

The Abteilungen Maritz,the 1000 Boer force that fled to DSWA in 1914 under Salmon Gerhardus Maritz should also be noted.

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Post by Chris Dale » 29 Sep 2005 11:10

Hi Peter,
Thanks for that tip. I'd not heard of the Abeilung Maritz, although General Maritz did serve in the Free Corps. Perhaps the Abteilung formed part of the Free Corps? Do you know anything more about it?
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Chris

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 29 Sep 2005 15:23

Chris,

Do a Google on the Maritz Rebellion and that should provide some answers.

Governor Seitz on the 9th September 1914 issued a decree calling for Boer volunteers from South Africa to assist in the war against the British.He had the support of Adrian de Witt in raising the Südwestafrikanisches Freiwilligen-Korps.Around 40 or so native Boers joined up: one source I have states that around 1,700 Boers also resided in DSWA pre-1914.The idea was to send them into South Africa to formulate unrest as well.

However Maritz and his 700 men arriving in October constituted the bulk of the Boer Free Corps.Around 300 turned back or did not complete the trek to DSWA.

This link has some photos as well,Die Buren-Rebellion:

http://www.traditionsverband.de/magazin/buren.html





Image
http://www.traditionsverband.de/magazin ... Bild04.jpg

Kemp(middle) and Maritz(right) in DSWA.


It looks like some were fitted out with Colonial uniforms.Maritz's force was only around 300 men by the time they threw in the towel around January 1915.


A good chronology of the campaign.A young 'Bomber' Harris also served there.

http://www.klausdierks.com/Chronology/72.htm

http://www.klausdierks.com/Chronology/73.htm


Manie Maritz seems a strange character as well:

http://www.historycooperative.org/journ ... selen.html
In 1912 he was appointed as commandant in the newly formed South African Police Force but left almost at once to become a major in the Union Defence Force. A lieutenant-colonel in the army by late 1914, Maritz was deeply disturbed by Smuts's decision to invade German South West Africa as part of the imperial war effort and, under his leadership, virtually an entire command of a thousand strong rebelled and took up arms in an attempt to restore the Boer Republics that had been lost in the South African War of 1899–1902. While the other rebels eventually handed themselves over to government forces in 1915, Maritz made his way first to South West Africa and then on to Angola. By the late 1930s and still smarting from his earliest experiences with "Jews" like Joseph Silver, he cast aside the more orthodox mantle of white South Africanism, became a fully fledged antisemite, and wrote a poor man's version of Mein Kampf entitled My Lewe en my Strewe. He died in a car accident outside Pretoria Central Prison in 1940.
Regards,
Peter

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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 04 Oct 2005 16:33

Hi Peter,
Thanks very much, that's all really helpful as usual.
Cheers
Chris

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