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[74]
The Alleged Militarism in the German Colonies

Having exposed the methods of the anti-German propagandists, it is time to survey more particularly the substance of their charges. Two charges which have been systematically drummed into the ears of the world, and particularly neutral nations, are that Germany had militarized her colonies, had used them as "bases from which to prey upon the commerce of the world," and to menace other nations - this absurd charge is made in Reply Note of the Allied Powers to Germany's representations on the Versailles Treaty - and that she had systematically ill-treated the native populations under her rule.

 
I. The Charge of Militarism Examined

Taking these charges in order, I assert without hesitation that there never was the slightest foundation for the myth of an aggressive Germany desirous of acquiring territories overseas in order to use them for the injury of other Powers. This fact is so obvious that it would not have needed statement were it not that the continual denial of it has become a source of so much misrepresentation. As an instance of how the scales of justice were weighed against Germany during the war by men who wanted to get hold of her oversea possessions, I may recall an article published by Mr. Massey, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, wherein he wrote:

      "It is important to remember that commercial development was not Germany's primary aim when she acquired her possessions in the Pacific. The evidence is now indisputable that her first and main object was to secure strong naval bases, from which, in the event of war, her cruisers and submarines would be able to dominate and raid the great ocean highways to the Far East and to Australia and New Zealand."

Now Germany obtained nearly all her colonies in 1884-5. The suggestion that it was her ruling design "from the first" to make them bases for submarine warfare at a time when submarines were hardly heard of, and many years before their utility in warfare became recognized - first by France and [75] England - is a proof not so much of ignorance in the writer, who knew better, but of an attempt to impose on the ignorance and credulity of the uninformed multitude. The fact is that the first British submarines were launched early in 1901, while the German Naval Estimates contained a vote for submarines for the first time in 1905, and then it was for the bagatelle of £75,000, and was for "experiments."

The interests of historical truth, if nothing else, demand that this accusation of aggressive purpose be refuted as in direct contradiction to the facts. Such points of vantage for military purposes never existed in the German colonies, neither were any planned or contemplated. The one apparent exception is the naval station of Tsing-tao (Kiao-chou), which was made an armed post just as the British position at Wei-Hai-Wei was, and for the same reason of self-defence. For the rest, there were in the German protectorates no fortified naval stations (though both Great Britain and France had many formidable ones), no harbours for U-boats, and none from which the submarines, had such existed, could have sallied forth. There were no harbour fortifications, no shore batteries, under shelter of which German war-vessels could have held themselves in readiness, no places in which they could have lain in safety and taken in coal. There was nothing of this kind. Such enterprises would have necessitated the stationing of a considerable number of warships in the African and South Sea colonies, but this was never done. One small cruiser was stationed off German East Africa; but as a rule there were either no ships at all stationed at the other colonies, or only antiquated warships, with guns of small calibre.

When the war broke out the few small warships which did happen to be in the neighbourhood of the German colonies in Africa and the South Sea were compelled to leave the harbours of the Protectorates concerned, because these could offer them no protection. Naturally, they received orders from the Admiralty at home to pursue cruiser warfare, so far as they were at all capable of being used for such a purpose, but precisely because of Germany's great lack of colonial naval stations they were forced to take in coal and other neces- [76] sities as opportunity provided on the high seas. The cruiser Königsberg, which had been stationed in East Africa, finding the provisioning on the high seas no longer possible in spite of splendid leadership and achievements, and being utterly without any fortified point of support on the East African coast, was only able to take cover by running in at the mouth of the Rufiji River, which had been held by the enemy to be unnavigable.

Even such a bare possibility as this did not exist in the other African and South Sea colonies. The German harbours and coast towns lay unprotected and exposed to the cannon of the enemy's warships. Dar-es-Salam, the principal harbour in German East Africa, our largest colony, boasted only a few old saluting guns, fired with powder which developed clouds of smoke. Duala, in the Cameroons, was similarly equipped. Not a single other harbour in the African or any of the other colonies possessed cannon of any sort. Here and there attempts were made to block the harbour mouths by sinking ships or other methods, but these were mere improvisations, primitive methods of self-help. Nothing was prepared even for defence against an attack by sea, much less for the setting up of "points of support for an aggressive policy" on the part of German warships. In view of these facts it is an ungenerous and unchivalrous misuse of language to talk of the German colonies being used as starting-points for commercial piracy.

One thing more I would add: every penny expended on our colonies, whether derived from the German treasury or the independent revenues of the Protectorates, had to be accounted for to the Reichstag, and the records of parliamentary discussions will be sought in vain for any speech, statement, or other evidence countenancing in any way this absurd yet malicious accusation. No critics of colonial policy in general were so unsparing as the Social Democrats, simply because they disapproved of colonies, in accordance with the traditional principles of their party. Can anyone doubt that if the accusation had at any time had even the appearance of reality these lynx-eyed critics would not have exploited it for all it and they were worth?

[77] Let the reader judge fairly and impartially, for he owes it to himself so to do. If the conquest of oversea possessions by force of arms be taken as the proof of a militaristic imperialism on the part of a nation or its Government, then Germany need not plead guilty. Great Britain and France, however, both followed an active and militant policy of imperialism during the period in question. But if such action be not the test and proof of militant imperialism, how can Germany be held to have displayed such imperialism in the colonies? In the twenty-four years from the fall of Bismarck to the World War, Germany had sought and achieved very little in the sphere of colonial expansion. She acquired only Kiao-chou in China,1 the little South Sea Island of Samoa, the Caroline Islands (these by purchase), the Marianne Islands, and last of all, the extreme corner of the Congo as an expansion of the West African colony of the Cameroons. These were not spoils of war, but the result of peaceful treaties, which cannot be said of all the territorial acquisitions effected during the same period by the Allied Powers.

These extensions of Germany's colonial possessions during the reign of William II shrink into insignificance when compared with the British and French colonial expansion during the same period. Great Britain not only annexed the Boer Republics as the result of the Transvaal War, but secured possession of Egypt and the reconquered Soudan, and made other extensive additions to her African empire. She also extended her colonial possessions by the occupation of Wei-Hai-Wei in Eastern Asia, and the acquisition of the Tonga Islands and some of the Solomon Islands.

[78] France since 1890 has acquired still vaster stretches of colonial territory than Great Britain, for the greater part of her enormous colonial empire in Africa was annexed during that period. Warlike expeditions against the natives played a great part in these acquisitions. During the two decades preceding the World War, the French possessions in Asia were also considerably enlarged. Indeed, more than once France, in pursuing her aggressive policy in both continents, narrowly escaped coming into violent conflict with Great Britain. It is only necessary to recall the Siamese and Fashoda episodes.

In the entire scheme of German colonial policy there is nothing which could justify the accusation of aggression, and those who make it are bound in honour to prove it, which they have never done. Far from being aggressive and egoistic in colonial matters, Germany let slip many an opportunity which presented itself for the increase of her colonial possessions by special treaties with other Powers. Bismarck's successor, Count Caprivi, was disinclined to increase Germany's colonial dominion, and gave up great tracts of East African territory in exchange for Heligoland. The later Chancellor, Prince Bülow, who remained in office for so many years, set up as a motto of German policy: "No conquests, no fresh territorial acquisitions, but in place of these the continuance of the policy of the Open Door." When the Morocco affair made the continuance of this policy impossible in consequence of France's imperialistic attitude, in which she was supported by Great Britain, whose quid pro quo was a free hand in Egypt, Kiderlen-Waechter allowed himself to be persuaded to recognize France's claims to complete her domination in North Africa - the unhappy results of which are only now maturing - in return for a little West African territory of small importance ceded from the French Congo. The land in question was primeval forest, totally uncultivated, and could not be made to serve as a military station for the terrorizing of other Powers, or France assuredly would have been unwilling to part with it. An Anglo-German treaty, which was agreed upon immediately before the war, had for its object the peaceful penetration of [79] a part of the Portuguese possessions by means of German colonization. Germany was later to buy these lands from Portugal should financial considerations incline her to the sale, while Great Britain was to exercise the same right in respect of Mozambique. This arrangement hardly comes under the heading of imperialistic militarism. If it does, how stands it with Germany's partner to the bargain?2

I come now to the alleged militarization of the natives in the German colonies themselves. Merely to mention the legal restrictions as to the number of the colonial troops should be a sufficient refutation of this accusation. Only the three largest colonies - German East Africa, German South-West Africa, and the Cameroons - possessed Protectorate troops which were even organized as military troops. The Protectorate Troops Law of July 7-18, 1896, defines clearly enough the purpose of this force. It might only be used for the maintenance of public order and security in the African Protectorate territories, and the very number of these troops shows clearly that they could have been used for no other purpose.3 German East Africa, which has an area about twice as large as that of the German Empire, with approximately seven and three-quarter million black natives, possessed a Protectorate force of 2,500 native soldiers, commanded by 152 German officers and sub-officers, exclusive of 108 German Red Cross officers and sub-officers. In addition there was a police force composed of 2,140 coloured natives, under four German officers and 61 sub-officers, which served for purely police duties. Up to the outbreak of the World War these troops were armed with old rifles, single-shot guns, which used a powder producing much smoke. It is obvious that such weapons could only be used in defensive action against natives, and would be worthless if employed against armies armed with modern repeating rifles and smokeless powder; although in the neighbouring British and Belgian colonies the coloured troops [80] were armed with such modern weapons even before the war. German East Africa followed this example very slowly, and when the war broke out was just beginning to introduce modern weapons into a few companies. There was no artillery at all, with the exception of the old salute guns before mentioned and a few very small cannon, intended purely for use in the event of warfare with the natives.

Conditions in the Cameroons were much the same, with the exception that the numbers of Protectorate troops and police were far smaller than in East Africa. There were there 1,550 native troops and 1,285 native police, with the corresponding number of German officers and sub-officers.

German South-West Africa was the only colony which possessed a body of white Protectorate troops, and it numbered less than 2,000. The white police force was a body of between 500 and 600 men. It is obvious that this small body of troops and police, in charge of a territory more than half as large again as Germany, could only be intended to serve the purpose of maintaining order in regions not very thickly populated but whose population consisted of natives of very uncertain temper, as the South African Union authorities have since discovered.

The other German colonies possessed no Protectorate troops at all, but small police forces. These forces consisted in Togo of 500 natives and in German New Guinea, including the scattered islands, of 830 natives. In Samoa there was only a small police force composed of about thirty sons of native chieftains, and it served purely decorative purposes. This body was called the Fitafita.

The small number of troops in the German colonies can leave in reasonable minds no doubt of the fact that they can only have been intended to uphold order and security in the country itself, and that is how they were in fact used. This is particularly evident when their numbers are compared with those in neighbouring colonial territories. The German Protectorate and police troops were kept within the limits of what was usual in British colonies under similar conditions, [81] and remained considerably below the number of such forces in French and Belgian territory.

In this connexion it should not be forgotten that in case of a serious insurrection England was in a position to draw upon her Indian troops, and did so on various occasions in British East Africa, whereas Germany had no such reserves. No impartial judge, familiar with conditions in such colonial territories, could say that the troops in the German Protectorates were more numerous than was necessary for creating and upholding order and for assuring the undisturbed development of the countries affected.

In regard to East Africa, this is confirmed by an English authority, Brigadier-General C. P. Fendall, who writes in The East African Force, 1915 - 1919 (1921):

      "There was an idea that should war break out between England and Germany there would be no active fighting in Africa.... It was feared that the prestige of the white man would be lowered, and that the progress of civilization in Africa would be put back a hundred years. The prevalence of this idea led to the maintenance, both in British and German East Africa, of only sufficient troops to deal with local risings" (pp. 22-3).

The idea that the Germans might have used these small bodies of isolated troops, which in the event of war would at once have been cut off from all supplies from home, for the purposes of conquering neighbouring territory, is supremely ridiculous. Not a soul, either in Germany or in the German colonies, ever conceived of such an act of insanity.

Had aggressive plans of the kind existed, it would have been necessary to create far larger bodies of troops and to have equipped them with modern weapons as well as with artillery and depots of arms and ammunition. Yet when the World War came, and was carried into the German colonies in direct violation of the White Man's Pact - the Congo Act of 1885 - there was a sufficiency neither of troops, arms, nor ammunition in the German Protectorates to offer successful and continued resistance to an enemy who was vastly superior in numbers and equipment, and who came crowding in on all [82] sides. The fact that so much was nevertheless achieved, and that the main body of the German East African troops in particular were able to maintain themselves in the field during the entire war, was due not only to the excellence of German leadership and the support which the coloured troops received through the enrolment of German reservists, but also to the fidelity of the natives themselves. To this point, however, it will be necessary to return later.

The facts stated should be sufficient to show the groundlessness of the charge of militarization of the German colonies. Comparison of the German with the French military system can only serve to make a clear case clearer still. Germany had no colonial army, no coloured troops outside the colonies, no conscription of coloured troops - in fact, no plans or arrangements at all for the utilization of the blacks other than to uphold order and security in their own territories. On the other hand, what is the picture presented by the French colonies? It is a well-known fact that the French militarize their colonies to the greatest possible extent. Every male native of these colonies is liable to serve in the French army and to fight for France wherever it may suit her needs or interests to send him. It is in order that this liability may be imposed on the millions of her helpless natives, and not from any respect for the principles of equality and fraternity as between white and black, that the French make their oversea colonies integral "provinces" of France, since thereby the whole of the French dominions form a single political unit.

And what is the effect of this cruel and immoral system? Can it be that the British, with their world-wide Empire, are happy or proud in the knowledge that during the late war their Ally poured nearly a million coloured soldiers into the field to fight against Europeans? By so doing France has set an example of evil and sinister significance, as a consequence of which the entire attitude of the native races towards the whites has been changed vastly for the worse, their old respect and deference for the European have been diminished or altogether dispelled, and the native everywhere has been taught to regard himself as the equal, if not the superior, of those [83] whom he had been accustomed to look up to as his masters, since he finds that they cannot now carry on their wars with each other without his help.

Since the end of the war France has called more and more of her coloured subjects, especially her African negroes, into military service. According to the Dépêche Coloniale et Maritime for January, 1925, there were early in this year 200,000 regular coloured soldiers in the French army, of whom about 100,000 were brown North Africans, 75,000 negroes from Central Africa and elsewhere, and the rest mainly Asiatics from Indo-China. It is also reported that the number is to be increased to 300,000, and this, bear in mind, in time of peace. Military barracks filled with coloured troops are now found in all parts of France, as well as, unhappily, in the western part of my own country. Reflective people hardly need to be told what a potentiality of evil is here represented. This wholesale drafting into the French army of native and coloured people is done so that the thinly flowing blood of the mother country may be conserved. American and European newspaper correspondents in Morocco and Syria have written that only a comparatively small proportion of the French troops engaged in those countries are poilus. A French Army Order of February 21, 1922 (Bulletin officiel du Ministère des Colonies, 22 Mars, 1922, No. 3), expressly declares that all natives called up to military service may be used outside their native colony, except in certain clearly defined cases, such as physical unfitness, approaching expiry of period of service, etc.

And how do the natives under French rule like being militarized, and what is the effect upon them? The Dépêche Coloniale et Maritime of February 16, 1922, contains the following remarks upon this point by M. Delafosse:

      "Whether we like it or not, we are constrained to admit the fact that recruiting is generally unpopular in our colonies. During and since the war we have certainly succeeded, as a result of persistent efforts, in enlisting large numbers of natives; but in how many cases was the recruit really a volunteer? In certain districts, it is true, there were numbers of young folk who allowed themselves to be enlisted without complaint, [84] and even some who came and enlisted voluntarily, but the older men looked askance at the matter. Indeed, repeated and strongly emphasized Orders, and even forcible measures, were often necessary in order to make up the required contingents, not to speak of the cases in which the recruiting led to uprisings and revolts, of which several were of a serious nature. It is to be expected that the obligatory service will not be more favourably received by the natives than the volunteer recruiting."

According to my information this is what has happened. Conscription has naturally led to much unsettlement and disaffection amongst the natives, and this cannot but have dangerous repercussions in native territories under the rule of other European Powers. French reports show that in order to avoid being conscripted for military service in time of peace many thousands of natives are emigrating to the British colonies.4 That, on the other hand, the native soldiers who have seen service in Europe exercise a bad influence upon their fellow-natives on their return to their homelands is a conclusion accepted by all with expert knowledge of African conditions. Complaints of this nature from French officials in Africa are already on record.5

It is to the credit of Great Britain that her colonies are free from the French system of militarizing the natives, though the Amritsar trial held in London in May and June of last year showed that some at least of the recruiting of her Indian soldiers for the war in Europe closely followed the old press-gang methods.6

 
II. Who Let Loose the Dogs of War in the Colonies?

But there is more to be said in reply to the baseless charge against Germany of the militarization of her colonies and native populations. It is a plain and incontrovertible fact [85] that we were neither prepared for the war in the colonies nor did we engineer it. All responsible men in Germany as well as in the colonies, whether in public or private positions, had no doubt about the fact that the provocation of wars in Africa, in which black men under European leadership would be forced to fight against white men, would deal a deadly blow to the prestige of the white race among the blacks, and this has actually occurred. They were also of the opinion that the extension of conflicts between European nations to the African peoples was contrary to that spirit of humanity which should inspire modern colonization, a spirit which had also found expression in the Congo Act of February 26, 1885. This also determined the attitude of the German Secretary for the Colonies, who attempted, though in vain, to preserve the neutrality of at least those territories that came under the Congo Act. The German Governors were also anxious to prevent the extension of the war to the colonies, if only the attitude of the enemy had given them the least possibility of effecting this.

Owing to vindictive propaganda the impression has been created that Germany had herself carried the war into the colonies. This is untrue. In all the German colonies hostilities were begun, not by the Germans, but by their enemies. But a question of far greater importance than that of the first opening of hostilities along the frontiers is the question, Who first made it possible that war should be waged in the German colonies at all, especially in those districts which should and would have been preserved from war by virtue of the Congo Act, if the interests of the native populations had influenced the Allied Powers at all? The free-trade zone described in this Act included the German colonies of German East Africa and a part of the Cameroons, the British colonies of British East Africa, bordering on German East Africa, Uganda, Nyasaland, a part of Northern Rhodesia, and of the French colonies about one-half of French Equatorial Africa, bordering on the Cameroons.

In Article II of the Congo Act the signatories, who included not only Germany but Great Britain, France, and Belgium, [86] had pledged themselves in the event of war to do their utmost to bring about the neutralization of all the territories belonging to the Congo Basin. The treaty proceeded to declare:

      "The belligerent parties would be required from this time to refrain from carrying on hostilities in the neutralised territories and from using them as a base for warlike operations."

It was in accordance with this clear and unmistakable treaty obligation that the Belgian Government, through its diplomatic representative at Paris, broached the subject with the French Government on August 8, 1914, expressing its desire that the Congo Basin should be neutralized, as was intended and indeed guaranteed.7 The French Foreign Minister reported on August 9th that his Government was disposed to declare the neutrality of the Congo Basin and had requested Spain to propose this to the German Government. But soon other influences began to make themselves felt in Paris. On August 16th the Belgian Minister there reported that the French representative had told him that Spain had not yet returned an answer, since she was not acquainted with the views of the British Government. It appeared that England was still maintaining silence on the subject. The French representative had furthermore expressed the opinion that

      "it was in accordance with the present situation that Germany should be struck wherever it was possible to reach her. He was also of the opinion that this was England's point of view, and that England would make certain definite claims: France wanted to recover that part of the Congo which she had been forced to cede as a result of the Agadir incident."

On August 17th the Belgian Minister in London reported that the British Government declined to accept the Belgian proposal, and that German troops in German East Africa had already undertaken an offensive against the British Protectorate of Central Africa, while, on the other hand, British troops had already attacked the harbour of Dar-es-Salam, where they had destroyed the wireless station. Under these circumstances the British Government would not be able to accept the [87] Belgian proposal, even if it were convinced of its political and strategic expediency. The British Government also believed that the forces it was despatching to Africa would suffice to crush all resistance.

In order to put this British declaration in its proper light it is necessary to make it clear that the British attack upon Dar-es-Salam took place on August 8, 1914, and that another attack upon the inner south-western boundary of German East Africa and the seizure of a German steamer followed on August 13th. The first German counter-attack was made on August 15th, at Taveta.

On August 23rd the German Government applied to the American Government and requested it to bring about an agreement with the other belligerents which would keep the Congo Basin immune from war. The French, taking a leaf out of the book of their British Allies, now refused upon the alleged ground that the Germans had first opened up hostilities against the French possessions. This statement was equally baseless. The first hostile act in these African districts was perpetrated by the French in their sudden attack on August 6, 1914, upon the German frontier posts of Bonga and Singa, which were as yet totally ignorant that war had broken out. The Belgians, too, by their seizure of a German official engaged upon a peaceful mission to the Belgian Congo on August 6, 1914, a date on which German East Africa was without any knowledge of Belgium's participation in hostilities, committed the first act of war. They also confiscated the official's dhau or conveyance. Only thereafter did German troops attack Belgian posts (viz. on August 15th), though this was not known to the Belgian Government for some time after its endeavour to win its Allies for neutralization had failed.

It must be obvious to every open-minded critic that the Entente Powers regarded the German colonies, cut off as they were from every communication with home, as an easy spoil of war, which they had no intention of forgoing. The idea of neutralization, which arose in Belgium and was echoed at first in France, but never once found favour in England, was [88] soon swept aside. The Allies simply threw the Congo Act overboard as inconvenient and an obstacle to their designs. It followed that they were able with their navies to cut off the German Protectorates by sea, and to direct vastly superior forces against these isolated colonies, which in a military sense lay weak and unprotected - an easy prey. Whatever resistance was possible was offered, and acts of great heroism were done; but, entirely unprepared as they were, and incapable of prolonged defence against European armies, favoured with unlimited possibilities of pushing up reserves, they were bound in the end to be overcome, as they were. To declare in these circumstances that the colonial war was begun by the Germans is simply to say that black is white.

Exactly the same condition of things is found to exist when we examine the case of the colonies lying outside the basin of the Congo, and therefore unaffected by the restrictions of the international Congo Act. The chief administrative official of the German colony of Togo made the proposal to the governor of the neighbouring British colony to introduce the neutralization of the African territories. His proposal was rejected. The British and French, with their superior forces, soon broke the resistance of the small Protectorate police force and took possession of this German territory.

The first act of war in German South-West Africa was the surprise attack of a British force on the German frontier station Raman's Drift on September 14, 1914. Only two days later, on September 16th, did German troops attack the British settlement of Nakab.

No German attacks at all were possible in the South Sea Islands, for there were no ships and no military. New Guinea was fallen upon and captured by the Australians in a military expedition, Samoa by the New Zealanders, while the South Sea Islands north of the Equator were seized by Japan.

With regard to the two largest German colonies, German East Africa and German South-West Africa, there are proofs that Great Britain had made plans for capturing these in the event of an Anglo-German war. These preparations were made years before the outbreak of the World War. The leading [89] Dutch newspaper in South Africa, Die Burger, made revelations with regard to these colonial war preparations in a leading article in its issue of February 22, 1923. According to these the question was discussed at the Imperial Conference in London in 1907, and a collaboration of the Home and Dominion General Staffs was resolved upon. At the Imperial Conference of 1911, the attention of the representatives of the Dominions was called to the dangerous state of affairs in Europe, and the British Committee for the Defence of the Empire invited them to draw up a plan of campaign in which they were to make clear the steps, of a military or civil nature, which they would propose to take in the event of the outbreak of war in Europe. The Government of the South African Union, the head of which at that time was General Botha, drew up such a plan in agreement with the wishes of the British Committee named and the British General Staff. This contemplated an attack on German South-West Africa and the seizure of German East Africa in the eventuality envisaged. Thus General Botha's Government in 1914-1916 merely carried out designs which had been prepared three years before.

The seizure of these two German colonies was also prepared for in detail. Propagandism directed against German South-West Africa, containing exaggerated reports of the strength and number of the German Protectorate troops, and falsely alleging the intention to attack the South African Union, was common in British South Africa before the war. The Union Defence Act of 1912, which made the Union troops liable for service anywhere in South Africa, even outside the Union, had German South-West Africa specially in view, as was stated in the Union Parliament. Indeed, the only other colonial Power in South Africa besides Germany was and is Portugal, who is united to Great Britain both by an ancient alliance and by close interest. Numbers of British subjects, in the guise of prospectors, commercial travellers, traders, etc., carried on systematic investigations and espionage in South-West Africa, and many of them returned to the colony with General Botha as British officers after the outbreak of the war. The maps used by the South African expeditionary [90] troops during the campaign were more exact as to the waterways, wells, pastures, and other matters of military importance than those used by the Germans themselves, as was discovered by the German troops who occasionally captured the owners of such maps.8

The British Consul in Lüderitz Bay during journeys in the South-West before the war took exact observations of the country, particularly the south and the south-eastern frontier, where the invading troops later marched in. These journeys lasted for months. This same Consul reappeared at Lüderitz Bay at the beginning of the war as the commander of a section of troops, and brought with him everything necessary, even to a condenser for supplying the place with water - equipment which could only have been available if prepared for long beforehand. There are other proofs, besides those mentioned, that the British military authorities had for years anticipated war against German South-West Africa, and had provided for the eventuality.

The same thing occurred in German East Africa. A year and a half before the outbreak of war a British Consul there had spied out the land with great thoroughness; this, indeed, seemed to be his principal occupation. The result of his observations is plainly revealed in the Field Notes on German East Africa. General Staff, India (printed in Simla) which was used as a source of information by the British troops during the campaign.9

No less a witness than General Botha himself can be cited as proving the existence before the war of British designs - however far they may have been elaborated - against Germany's oversea dominions. In 1909, General Botha, later Prime Minister of the South African Union, who was staying at Kissingen, advised the German Pastor Schowalter, with whom he was on intimate terms, that he should seek an opportunity to warn the Berlin Government in confi- [91] dence that they would not be able to avoid a war with England. Botha told him that he had become convinced of this in the course of the Imperial Conference, adding that whatever Germany might do, the war would prove unavoidable. Botha told him that this warning was meant to serve as a thank-offering for the good-will and help rendered to the Boers by the German people. Pastor Schowalter endeavoured in vain, through the agency of the Bavarian ambassador, to obtain an audience with the German Imperial Chancellor, Prince Bülow, in order to impart to him this important information. At last, shortly before the outbreak of the war, he published Botha's words of warning.10

A year before the outbreak of the World War, that is, in 1913, another Boer of high standing sent a similar indirect warning to the German Government to the effect that at British instigation the South African Union would be prepared to attack South-West Africa, and was making preparations to that end. I have this information from a thoroughly reliable source.




1The establishment by European Powers of naval stations in Chinese territory late in the nineteenth century began with Germany's occupation of Kiao-chou in November, 1897, in partial redress for the murder of two German missionaries; China formally leased the port to Germany by treaty of January 5, 1898. Russia seized Port Arthur in December, 1897, and acquired it by a forced agreement in March following. Great Britain (who in April, 1885, seized Port Hamilton without notice, fearing that Russia might forestall her, but abandoned it in February, 1887), obtained a lease of Wei-Hai-Wei on July 1, 1898, to last as long as Russia retained Port Arthur. Finally, France secured the Bay of Kwang-Chow-Wau in April, 1898, and in the following year the two islands in the same. - W. H. D. ...back...

2For further evidence in disproof of these accusations against Germany, the reader is referred to Weltpolitik vor, in und nach dem Kriege, by the present author (1923), p. 144, etc. ...back...

3Cf. Deutsches Koloniallexikon, articles on "Schutztruppen" and "Polizeitruppen," the figures being taken from official sources. ...back...

4Cf. the article of General Verrau in L'Œuvre of September 22, 1923. ...back...

5Cf. African World, No. 1,013, April 8, 1923. ...back...

6See particularly the evidence given on both sides on May 2, 7, 8, and 9, 1924. ...back...

7Cf. the official Deutsches Kolonialblatt, Nos. 1 - 4, of February 28, 1920, which contain the German and Belgian official documents. ...back...

8Cf. Article on "How England prepared for the War against German South-West Africa," by Privy Councillor Dr. Hintrager, in the Deutsch-Südwestafrikanische Zeitung of November 4, 1918. ...back...

9The text was published in the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Zeitung (Dar-es-Salam) of November 25, 1914. ...back...

10This information was given to me independently by Superintendent Schowalter himself, who now lives at Wittenberge, and a certified copy of his full statement, dated September 17, 1923, has been supplied to Mr. Dawson at his request. ...back...








German Colonization Past and Future:
The Truth about the German Colonies.

Dr. Heinrich Schnee
Late Governor of German East Africa