29/6/1915 Britain takes Ngaundere in central Kamerun

British forces are stalemated in the trenches of Gallipoli and the Western Front, but in Africa they still have freedom of movement. In Germany’s West African colony of Kamerun, the British follow up on their victory at Garua by advancing south towards the town of Ngaundere. The weather turns nasty and the British find themselves marching through a severe storm. However, this turns to their advantage: the Germans and their Askari troops are not expecting anyone to try attacking them in this heavy weather. The British catch their enemies by surprise, quickly overrunning Ngaundere’s outposts and then driving the Germans from the town itself. British casualties are minimal.

The British do not realise the extent of the victory. The Germans in Kamerun had planned to use Ngaundere and the productive agricultural land around it as the base for their mobile columns. Now that base has been denied to them. The fall of the town further separates German forces in the south of the colony from those besieged in Mora in the north. However the onset of the rainy season makes it more or less impossible for the British to continue their advance.

In Mora itself the situation remains grim. The rains at least mean that the defenders are no longer short of water, but they are very low in food, so much so that they have to supplement their rations by raiding the British besiegers to steal theirs. On hearing how badly things are going for his compatriots further south, Major Ernst von Raben gives his African troops the freedom to leave Mora and return to their homes. They all opt to stay and see out the siege.

image source (Wikipedia)

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