21/3/1916 East Africa: Lettow-Vorbeck retreats from Kahe

British Empire and South African forces commanded by General Smuts of South Africa have invaded German East Africa, the Kaiser’s last overseas possession. Lettow-Vorbeck commands the men defending the colony, locally recruited Askaris led by German officers. He has concentrated them at Kahe in the Kilimanjaro region. Smuts ordered his men to attack, hoping to defeat the Germans before the arrival of the rainy season. A tough battle has ensued, with the outnumbered Germans making great use of the terrain to frustrate their enemies’ efforts.

But now Lettow-Vorbeck orders his men to withdraw. They have given the enemy a bloody nose, but if they stay to fight any longer the Germans will be overwhelmed. Smuts’ men have control of the battlefield, but Lettow-Vorbeck escapes to fight another day.

image source (The Western Front Association)

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