Political map of Sub-Saharan Africa on 02 Jul 1918 (World War I in Africa: German invasion of Mozambique), showing the following events: October Revolution; German invasion of Mozambique; British operation in Mozambique; Adubi War.

German invasion of Mozambique

World War I in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa 1918.0702

German invasion of Mozambique

Great War in Africa, East African Campaign, colonial campaigns (2 July 1918)

Historical Map of Sub-Saharan Africa

Refusing to accept the Allied conquest of German East African in 1917 and intending to tie down as many Allied troops as possible, German commander Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck led his German and African forces (the Schutztruppe) across the border into Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). Despite following him across the border, as well as landing troops at the ports of northern Mozambique, the British proved unable to stop him.

Main Events

October Revolution

On 7 November (25 October Old Style) 1917, Bolshevik Red Guards, led by Leon Trotsky, mounted an armed insurrection in Petrograd, capital of the Russian Republic, capturing several government buildings. The following day they seized the Winter Palace, the seat of Alexander Kerensky's Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks declared a new government, the Council of People's Commissars, with Vladimir Lenin as its head. Simultaneously and over the following days, other Bolshevik uprisings took place in towns and cities across Russia.

German invasion of Mozambique

With the establishment of British supremacy in German East Africa, the Schutztruppe of Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck crossed the Rovuma River into Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). The two thousand-strong Schutztruppe crushed the 900 Portuguese garrison of the border town of Ngomano on 25 November 1917, seizing large amounts of ammunition and supplies. From here Lettow-Vorbeck marched south as far as Namacurra (to the north of Quelimane), constantly evading his British pursuers.

British operation in Mozambique

In response to the German invasion of Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique), the British landed troops of the King’s African Rifles at Port Amelia (Pemba) in January 1918. This Port Amelia Force (PAMFORCE) pushed inland in an attempt to intercept Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck’s Schutztruppe, reaching Medo in April, but proved unable to catch the Germans. As Lettow-Vorbeck approached Namacurra in June, additional British forces were landed at Quelimane and Moçambique, eventually pressuring the Germans to withdraw northwards.

Adubi War

On 7 June 1918 the British authorities in Nigeria arrested 70 Egba chiefs for disobedience and refusal to pay taxes. The arrest triggered disorder and four days later the British were forced to deploy Nigerian troops freshly returned from East Africa to the region. In the following days, Egba rebels attacked the railway lines and destroyed a station, but the uprising was suppressed in a matter of weeks.

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