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.
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.
Battle of Rufiji Delta
On 31 October 1914 the British cruiser HMS Chatham located the German cruiser SMS Konigsberg in the Rufiji Delta, German East Africa, calling in two more cruisers to begin a blockade. Although more powerful than Konigsberg, the British cruisers were unable to navigate the delta and several attempts to sink the German ship failed. Finally the British sent two shallow-draught monitors upriver, knocking out Konigsberg's armament on 11 July 1915 and forcing the Germans to scuttle their cruiser with a torpedo.
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.