My Reminiscences of East Africa: The German East Africa Campaign in World War One - A General's Memoir (Paperback)
General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck of the German East-Africa campaign shares his narrative of the war, and his effective use of guerilla warfare to keep a far larger Allied army in check.
Unlike his counterparts in Europe, whose war had quickly come to a standstill and infamous trench warfare, Lettow-Vorbeck led a highly effective campaign that impressed commanders on both sides. His campaign took place over what is today Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, with parts of Britain's colonial holdings eventually also subject to skirmishing. The cunning use of the terrain, weather, ambush, salvaged guns from the sunken ship K nigsberg, and locally hired auxiliaries meant Lettow-Vorbeck's small force kept an Allied army roughly ten times as large occupied.
While the static western front of Europe happened contrary to forward planning, Lettow-Vorbeck and other military figures in Germany had calculated how effective a guerilla campaign could be in Africa prior to the war commencing in 1914. Frustrated by his successes, the British sent reinforcements totaling over 70,000 men in 1916 - these failed to gain a decisive victory, with the fresh troops taking casualties and rendered ineffective by disease.
The sheer numbers of opposition led Lettow-Vorbeck to conclude that victory was impossible; his operation's aims were merely to divert British resources, harassing targets with guerilla warfare. The general in this memoir attests to being reasonably supplied until the very end of the war; unaware how exhausted Germany had become, he was surprised to receive a telegram in November 1918 telling of the Armistice and unconditional surrender of the German military.