9/2/1916 Lake Tanganyika: another British victory

The British have secretly transported two motorboats, the Mimi & Toutou overland to Lake Tanganyika, in an effort to wrest control of this central African waterway from the Germans. In a battle on Boxing Day they defeated German gunboat the Kingani, which has been pressed into British service and renamed the Fifi by Spicer-Simpson, the somewhat eccentric commander of British naval efforts on the lake

The Germans still have no idea that the British have brought their own warships to Lake Tanganyika and still think that they have naval dominance there. Nevertheless, they are curious as to what has happened to the Kingani. Now at last they decide to investigate, sending the armed steamboat the Hedwig von Wissmann on a reconnaissance mission.

The crew of the Hedwig are surprised to encounter Spicer-Simpson’s force. They turn tail and run, leading to a thirty mile long chase on the lake’s waters. But the Hedwig is unable to escape, eventually being sunk with seven of her crew.

Spicer-Simpson has won another battle. The Germans have one major vessel left on the lake, the Götzen, which has been re-equipped with one of the heavy naval guns from the Königsberg, scuttled last July. Bu the Germans still have no idea that the Royal Navy is operating in force on Lake Tanganyika.

image source (Wikipedia)

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