Friday, 10 July 2015

Military History Photo Friday: WWI German Trench in Cameroon

While the iconic image of World War One is the trench, the trenches we usually see were on the Western Front, that jagged line from the North Sea to the Swiss border. The bulk of the fighting and dying for Britain, France, and Germany was done there, and those years have been seared into the national memory. My own Trench Raiders series takes place on the Western Front. There were other fronts, however, including those in the Alps, Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Near East, and Africa.

This shot shows a German trench in Cameroon sometime between 1914 and 1916. The Germans had a number of colonies in Africa and their colonial forces fought the colonial forces of Belgium, France, and Britain. The majority of soldiers were local recruits fighting in colonial regiments. Civilians, too paid the price.

In a fascinating article on the BBC about the East Africa Campaign, the author tells how more than one million died just in that one region of the continent. No one is clear just how many died in Africa as a whole since the colonial rulers didn't bother counting.


Photo courtesy Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (DKG) - Koloniales Bildarchiv, Universit├Ątsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main.

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A million in Africa alone - scary.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.