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"German Combat Casualties during the Herero War" Topic

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©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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rjones6914 May 2015 5:46 p.m. PST

There is a misconception among some familiar with the Herero War of 1904 that German casualties were generally light during the conflict and thus the battles and engagements were one-sided in favor of the Germans.

In fact, German casualty rates were as high as 70% (at Owikokorero, a disastrous German defeat), with casualty rates well above 10% in several other battles (e.g., 47% at Okaharui and 19% at Hamakari). Thus nearly 1 in 2 Germans were killed or wounded in the fiercest fighting at Okaharui, while nearly 1 in 5 Germans fell at Hamakari.

Officer casualty rates were often especially high during Herero War battles: 25% officer casualties at Hamakari, 33% officer casualties at Otjihinamaparero, 75% officer casualties at Okaharui, 91% officer casualties at Owikokorero.

These numbers are taken from an analysis I've done of German combat casualties during the Herero War, which can be found here:

Another thing to note: these German casualties were almost all due to Herero rifle fire.

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2015 6:30 p.m. PST

You are absolutely correct,the Hereros were great shots,on par w/ the Boers. Officers learned quickly not to wear anything to give their rank away.,but it still did not matter. Also if it were not for the MG,art.,and railway it might have been a Herero victory.But the modern weaponry is hard to overcome,and germans are stubborn. sincerely juergen c. olk,love your rule additions,great job!!!!!!!!

Korvessa15 May 2015 7:29 a.m. PST

Aim for the guy doing all the pointing

Gone Fishing15 May 2015 11:21 a.m. PST

That's a fascinating site that deserves a leisurely exploration. Very well done. I had no idea the Germans suffered such high casualties!

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