Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The Great War in West Africa

One of the books I was given as a birthday present this year is a facsimile of Brigadier General E Howard Gorges's book THE GREAT WAR IN WEST AFRICA (The Naval & Military Press Ltd [2004] ISBN 1 845741 15 3).

The book contains chapters that cover the following topics:
  • Chapter I: Soldiering on the “Coast” in the pre-war days – Sierra Leone – Freetown – The West African Regiment (W.A.R.) – The G.O.C. – the elements at play – Order to mobilise
  • Chapter II: The Governor and the C.-in-. – The garrison – The railway – Armament – The West India Regiment – The West African Regiment and its officers – “Digging In” – Pidgin or Trade English – Togoland – German proposals for neutrality in Africa – Invasion of Togoland – Franco-British co-operation – Conquest and surrender of Togoland
  • Chapter III: The Cameroons – Brief history – Boundaries – The country – The climate – Towns and communications – Products and industry – Fauna – Inhabitants
  • Chapter IV: The inception of the Cameroon Expeditionary Force – the situation in Nigeria – First step towards an offensive – A cruiser ordered to Duala – Allied conference of 15th August 1914 – Movements of H.M.S. “Cumberland” – More German neutrality intrigues – Military forces in West Africa in 1914
  • Chapter V: Naval operations off the Cameroon coast – The “Cumberland’s” reconnaissance – The Nigerian flotilla – Description of Duala neighbourhood – Proposed base in Ambas Bay – operations in Ambas Bay – base established off Suellaba
  • Chapter VI: German preparations at Duala – Native disaffection – Terrorism – Naval activity 10th to 12th September – The “Nachtigal” episode – Torpedo attack on the “Dwarf” – Sinking of the “Nachtigal” – Further boat reconnaissance – Clearance and buoyage of the main channel 0- Military operations on the Nigerian frontier
  • Chapter VII: Formation of the Expeditionary Force – Its concentration at Suellaba – Operation in the Lungasi River – Surrender of Duala – Situation following the surrender – Clearing the neighbourhood
  • Chapter VIII: Continuance of amphibious operations – Capture of Jabassi, Edea, Victoria and Buea
  • Chapter IX: Operations along the Northern Railway – Advance from railhead to Dschang – Capture of Dschang Fort – Withdrawal from Dschang – Germans attack the French at Edea – Revival of enemy activity in the Bare District
  • Chapter X: Situation in march 1915 – naval activity – Brigadier General Cunliffe’s operations in Northern Cameroons ending with the capture of Ngaundere – General Dobell’s first advance against Yaunde – Jottings from the Northern Railway: heavy rains impede operations in the south – Attempt to reduce Mora – Conference at Duala
  • Chapter XI: Situation in October 1915 – Converging columns move towards Yaunde – General Dobell’s operations – Through the Sanaganyong Forest – General Cunliffe’s drive from the north – Capture of Banyo Mountain – Occupation of Fumban
  • Chapter XII: Fall of Yaunde – Situation mid-January 1916 – Germans escape into neutral territory – Capitulation of Mora – A medical memoir – Some acknowledgements and observations – “Thy kingdom is divided” – Valedictory
  • Appendix I: Naval forces – Cameroons, 1914-1916
  • Appendix II: Officers serving with the West African Regiment, July 1914
  • Appendix III: Officers serving with the West African Regiment, 1915
  • Appendix IV: First order of battle – General Dobell’s force and detail of the British Contingent, September 1914

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