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"Books on Lettow and East Africa 1914-18?" Topic

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World War One

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Basha Felika08 Jul 2018 12:25 p.m. PST

Trying (and failing) to resist temptation…

Please recommend some good starting points for studying Lettow's campaign in Eat Africa.

What about suitable figure ranges (ideally 15mm or 20mm so I can use existing buildings and terrain!)


Dave Jackson08 Jul 2018 12:45 p.m. PST

Battle for the Bundu: Charles miller
Memoirs of Paul Lettow Vorbeck
The first world War in Africa: Hew Strachan
The great War in Africa: Byron Farwell

And Google WWI East Africa for the wikipedia page. It has some good suggestions.

Wrt figs. Hat has a range for east Africa, and consult the Plastic Soldier Review page.

Dave Jackson08 Jul 2018 12:46 p.m. PST

Hat, 1/72, plastic

Dave056408 Jul 2018 1:15 p.m. PST

For a good story about this campaign, you could try William Boyd's An Ice Cream War. Not great for the techy side, but it's a good story well told.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2018 1:35 p.m. PST

Tanganyikan guerrilla: East African campaign 1914-18 (Ballantine's illustrated history of the violent century. Campaign book) Paperback 1971 by J. R Sibley

freerangeegg08 Jul 2018 1:57 p.m. PST

I also recommend Battle for the Bundu, which is a very readable overview of the whole campaign,, and Von Lettov Vorbecks memoirs. Sadly no one currently does a range of figures for this in 15mm, I am still hoping someone will.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2018 4:40 p.m. PST

Above are all good serious scholarship. You might want to start with a lighter approach, with the Osprey Armies in East africa. Plenty of info to get you started.


Enough uniform plates and illustrations to start a war-games army. My collection is in 28mm so I cannot give specific advice for 15mm. I have no doubt that frewerangeegg is correct that there is no unique range for this episode. However, it should be possible to put together enough faux figures to make up a playable collection. There must be a company that makes African askari with fez. You can paint these to represent both German schutztruppe (askari) and British Kings African Rifles. There was one British unit on the scene for the entire war, standard British colonial dress with Sunhelmet and shorts, and a few Indian units. Turbans, long tunic, trousers, and puttees. Some South African troops arrived in late 1915 and 1916 dressed in shorts and slouch hats and some with sun helmet. There were German nationals organized into Schu(umlaut)tztruppe. These were typically with slouch hat. A German naval contingent in sailor dress joined when their ship was sunk by British.

Once you get further into the episode, you can add Belgian and Portuguese troops, and other British types, armored cars, artillery. Both sides had Maxim machine guns. Indeed, toward the end of the war, it seems it was difficult to tell the two sides apart as the Germans had Allied weapons, equipment, and even clothes.

This is nice youtube overview.
YouTube link

There is a fairly recent game of the Battle of Tanga
PDF link

Also nice miniatures skirmish scenarios

game scenario
PDF link

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2018 5:05 p.m. PST

Check out the "German Colonial Uniform" by Chris Dale.. tons of info.Heia Safari..and Young Indiana Jones episodes on you tube..the Phantom one of them

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2018 8:07 p.m. PST

I recently found and purchased this one, but I've not had a chance to read it yet:


tinned fruit Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2018 1:37 a.m. PST

In 20mm both IT Miniatures:-

and Raventhorpe Miiniatures do good ranges.

B&B Miniatures also do some but I don't know whether they're still going:-

Don Manser09 Jul 2018 2:39 a.m. PST

African Kaiser by Gaudi

Andrew Preziosi09 Jul 2018 3:12 a.m. PST

More Tanga stuff from my CSW TANGA page link…


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