Political map of Sub-Saharan Africa on 14 Nov 1915 (World War I in Africa: Conquest of Kamerun), showing the following events: Battles of Jaunde; Italian entry into WWI; Senussi invasion of Egypt.

Conquest of Kamerun

World War I in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa 1915.1114

Conquest of Kamerun

Great War in Africa, East African Campaign, colonial campaigns (14 November 1915)

Historical Map of Sub-Saharan Africa

Despite the setbacks of 1914, by 1915 the Allies had managed to secure the coast of the German colony of Kamerun and overrun most of Neukamerun (the southern and eastern territories France had ceded to the Germans in 1911). In May they launched their first attacks on the colonial capital of Jaunde, eventually capturing it in January 1916. The Germans at Mora, under siege since August 1914, finally surrendered in February, bringing an end to all resistance in the colony.

Main Events

Battles of Jaunde

In the First Battle of Jaunde, British Nigerian and French Equatorial African forces converged on Jaunde, capital of the German Protectorate of Kamerun, only to be beaten back in late June in the face of adverse conditions and German resistance. A second assault was mounted in October, despite the Allied columns still not being able to maintain effective communication with each other due to the terrain. The British broke through and occupied the town on New Year’s Day, only to discover that the Germans had already fled south for the neutral Spanish territory of Rio Muni (part of Spanish Guinea).

Italian entry into WWI

Following the secret promises of territory made by the Allies in the Treaty of London, the Kingdom of Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary, entering World War I on the side of the Allies. This act occurred only 19 days after Italy's denouncement of its membership in the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Germany.

Senussi invasion of Egypt

When Italy joined World War I on the side of the Allies, Germany and the Ottoman Empire conspired to bring the Senussi—who were waging a wildly successful revolt against Italy in Libya—into the war on their side, making their headquarters at Siwa Oasis. In the face of growing Senussi hostility, the British abandoned their exposed frontier posts in Egypt’s Western Desert in November. The Senussi immediately moved in, seizing control of many of the towns and oases to the west of the Nile.

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