The First World War in Africa, which claimed an estimated 4 million victims, was not only fought to conquer the German colonies, but also to open up further areas of influence and sources of raw materials. The control of trade routes on the oceans and in the interior of the continent was just as important as influencing the countries of Africa in their political and economic development. Thus, every country and region in Africa was directly or indirectly affected by the war.
This book is an attempt to present, first and foremost, the fate of the African populations during the First World War. Following less the individual battle sequences or “heroic” deeds of the Europeans, the participation of African soldiers, porters, their families and the civilian population shall be in the foreground. This way of portraying the war, rejects the glorification of the Europeans. The real decision makers on the ground were not the generals, but their colonial troops and the local populations. Without local knowledge and supply of the most necessary things, no European could have waged war outside the colonial metropolises.
This is a book anyone interested in the human aspects of the First World War in Africa should have on their bookshelves. Whether you agree with the conclusions or not, this is a valuable resource due to its coverage of every African country, the regional and local overviews and range of secondary sources used.