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Otto von Bismarck The Iron Chancellor of Germany (1815-1898).
Under Otto Von Bismark the Iron Chancellor Germany grew from a loose confederation of weak states to a unified powerful empire.
Bismark laid out German intentions to model itself after France and Britain via obtaining colonies in Africa. Bismarck seized the opportunity to Scramble for Africa by presiding over the Berlin Conference of 1885, where all claimants received some shares, and Germany itself claimed it's first colonies, Togo (1884), Cameroons (1884) and German SouthWest Africa (1884) where the basis for German acquisition had been laid by men such as Carl Peters, Luederitz, Woerman.
In 1885 Germany claimed German East Africa and in 1886 Germany and Britain signed a treaty recognizing mutual spheres of interest there. In 1884/5 Germany also acquired German New Guinea, bought from the New Guinea Co. (est. 1880) and the Marshall Islands.
The story of German East Africa in the First World War is made famous as a result of the colony's military commander, General Paul Erich von Lettow-Vorbeck who spent the war harrying the forces of the British Empire, tying down with his band of 3,000 Europeans & 11,000 native Askari levies, a British/Imperial army 300,000 strong, which was at times commanded by the former Second Boer War commander Jan Smuts. One of his greatest victories was at the Battle of Tanga, where he beat a British force more than eight times the size of his own.
At the outbreak of war in 1914, Germany had four colonies: Togo, Kamerun (Cameroon), German South West Africa, (Namibia), and German East Africa comprised of Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania. Historians agree that pushing Germany out of the "scramble for Africa" contributed to the humiliation that set the scene for World War II. The end of German colonisation in Africa saw France take over Togo while a French-British coalition ruled Cameroon. Belgium won Rwanda and Burundi, leaving Tanzania to the British and South West Africa went to South Africa.
East Africa Askari Colonial Soldier Collection
Wooden Soldier Regimental Histories