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"African Kaiser - Bio of Von Lettow" Topic

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747 hits since 16 Mar 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Liliburlero Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 9:28 a.m. PST

Has anyone read this book? Sounds very interesting given this is such an "obscure" period for many. It was released the end of January.


Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 9:51 a.m. PST

NO!, but Thanks for making me dig up funds to buy it at the end of the month…appreciated to no end. Don't worry 'bout me, I'll find something to eat that week…Sheesh!

Costanzo116 Mar 2017 10:10 a.m. PST

One of the greatest generals, a legend.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 10:44 a.m. PST

I think the most amazing think about Von Lettow was he fought for his African troops to get their pensions.

When he sent to Tangakika to oversee the payments, they were wait for him when he landed. They could still do the German Manuel of arms.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 10:50 a.m. PST

It's on my list. (now….where's that copy of S&T's "Sideshow"!!)

boy wundyr x Inactive Member16 Mar 2017 11:29 a.m. PST

William Stevenson (A Man Called Intrepid author) wrote a fictionalized novel (The Ghost of Africa) about von Lettow that was my first exposure to him, which I used as the basis for a Twilight 2000 campaign in Poland. Though this bio sounds like a good first stop for the real story.

I don't see it in von Lettow's Wikipedia biography (for what that's worth), but the Stevenson novel opened with an author's note that during WWII British intelligence parachuted in to visit von Lettow to ask his opinion as to whether they should negotiate or support any coup plotters and his answer was "no", Germany needed to be taken all the way down and built back up. Not sure now if I'm remembering that as a true story or if that was some sort of fiction to give the novel some sort of weight.

4D Jones16 Mar 2017 12:05 p.m. PST

A number of his Askaris enlisted in the King's African Rifles (British Regt)after the Great War, one still wearing his Iron Cross.

sloophmsstarling Inactive Member16 Mar 2017 12:48 p.m. PST

Thanks very much for bringing this book to our attention! I just added it to my must-buy list!!

I first learned of von Lettow-Vorbeck when I picked up a copy of Ballantine Illustrated "Tanganyikan Guerilla" when it was first published in the early 1970s, then I learned more when I read "Battle for the Bundu" some years later.

Then just this week, I received an email from Consimworld on publisher discounts from their recent donation drive, and Legion Wargames offered a donor discount on several games, including "Tanga 1914" and I immediately ordered it! It shipped today and should arrive soon, so with a new game and a new book, I'll be as all charged up again on WWI in East Africa as I was almost 50 years ago!

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 12:50 p.m. PST

Thank you for buying my game, Jan!

sloophmsstarling Inactive Member16 Mar 2017 1:23 p.m. PST

Hi Andrew,

I'm really looking forward to playing your game, and I just ordered the book from Amazon. Two of my gaming buddies are eager to play Tanga. It's going to be an interesting mind journey to East Africa in the coming days!


Festerfest16 Mar 2017 1:49 p.m. PST

I'm listening to the audiobook now. Too early to give a definitive recommendation but what I've heard so far is encouraging…and planting ideas.

Anyone know if "The Sword in East Africa" for TSATF is an actual product?

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 2:38 p.m. PST


Don't forget to visit either CSW or BGG for Errata and Player Aids too!

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 3:42 p.m. PST

On my list.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 5:56 p.m. PST

Anyone know if "The Sword in East Africa" for TSATF is an actual product?

Yes it is, at the top of page 4:

And here's an old battle report as we were developing the rules: link


P.S. You are welcome, Lori.

Festerfest16 Mar 2017 6:35 p.m. PST


Thanks. I looked before on sergeant 3 but couldn't find them.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 7:52 p.m. PST

Oh please. Can we please cease with the canonization of Von Lettow etc?

The governor is universally reviled for wishing to keep the War out of Africa Yet Vorbeck's "heroic and skillful" defense of German Afrika resulted in starvation and disease of the native population. He confiscated food to feed his army and conscripted thousands of beaters. As did the British.

Google how many millions died to preserve the pride of German East Africa. He may have been a genius but at what cost.

Having said that, cone to my basement and put on a game or two. I'll let you drink my beer.
We tend to ignore collateral damage in our games.

Personal logo vtsaogames Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2017 12:28 p.m. PST

cone to my basement

Is there a secret handshake too?

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