100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

British Troops On The Move In Africa

In South Africa the Boers (descendants of Dutch settlers) and the British have been at odds, a conflict that erupted into the Boer Wars in the 1890’s. The Boers were defeated by a brutal policy of oppression and the British attempted to unite all colonies as the Union of South Africa. But bitter feeling remained and Boers resisted assimilation into the British Empire, calling themselves Afrikaners and keeping their own language.

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At the outbreak of the current war in Europe, South African Prime Minister Louis Botha and Minister of Defense Jan Smuts support England and also see an opportunity to extend their borders. To this end, they set their sights on invading German Southwest Africa, located west of South Africa. But the plan has angered Afrikaners because Germany had been pro-Boer in their war against the British. Several major military leaders resigned over their opposition to the invasion of the German territory and open rebellion broke out (known as the Mairitz Rebellion) in October 1914. By December the rebellion was squashed and the invasion plans of German Southwest African were ready to be implemented.

On January 14, 1915 British troops invade the seaside town of troops Swakopmund in German Southwest Africa.

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