Sub-Saharan Africa 1918: German invasion of Mozambique
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.
7–8 Nov 1917 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.
21–25 Nov 1917 Operation China Show▲
In Operation China Show, Zeppelin LZ 104 (designated L 59 by the German Imperial Navy) attempted a one-way flight from Yambol, Bulgaria, to Mahenge, German East Africa, in order to resupply Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck’s troops. After numerous difficulties with the weather and heat, L 59 travelled as far as 201 km west of Khartoum, Sudan, before receiving the news that Mahenge had fallen to the Allies and that landing would therefore be impossible. In response, the airship returned home, having traveled 6,800 km in 95 hours.
23 Nov 1917–1 Jul 1918 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.
7 Jan–25 Jun 1918 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.
11 Jun–4 Jul 1918 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.