Page:EB1922 - Volume 31.djvu/263

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GERMAN SOUTH-WEST AFRICA

settlement of non-German whites, was bureaucratic, expensive and unpopular. It spent, however, considerable sums on public works, and made efforts to promote stock-raising (for which large areas of the country are specially suited), agriculture, market-gardening and forestry. Between 1908 and 1912 a north-to-south railway, 315 m. long, was built across the central plateau and connected the lines running from Swakopmund to Windhuk and from Ludcritz Bay to Kectmanshoop. A railway (62 m.) was also built along the coast south from Liideritz Bay to serve the diamond-fields. This was not a state line. Fully half the capital invested in mining, land and exploration companies was, in 1913, British. In that year the mineral production was valued at 3,406,000, the whole of this trade having sprung up since 1906, when the copper mines were first worked. Diamonds were the chief export, being valued at 2,890,000. The output of diamonds increased from 483,266 carats in 1909 to 1,470,000 in 1913 ; up to Aug. 1914 the total value of the diamonds exported was 9,250,000. The yield of copper in 1913 was 50,000 tons, valued at 390,000. Apart from minerals, exports mainly animal products were practically stationary in the period 1903-13. The total exports increased from 1,103,000 in 1909 (the first year of diamond exports) to 3,515,000 in 1913; in the same period imports averaged about 2,000,000 yearly. Revenue and expenditure were divided into ordinary and ex- traordinary, the latter category including military and certain public works charges. Ordinary revenue for the period 1910-4 was about 850,000 a year and was in excess of ordinary expenditure. The extraordinary expenditure was met by grants from the Im- perial Government, which in 1903-14 averaged 1,490,000 per annum. History. The protectorate had a special value for Germany as being her only overseas possession where colonization by whites on a large scale was possible, and also as being a base in South Africa, both for political and economic purposes. Ger- many had cultivated close relations with the Transvaal Republic, and since the annexation of the Boer republics by Britain German agents had not ceased to maintain relations of a dubious character with certain sections of the Boers. Dr. T. Seitz, who was appointed governor of S.W. Africa in 1910, records that in 1911 he was in touch with " politicians of Dutch descent." In 1912 the German Government believed that the assurances given it by certain Dutch South Africans would ensure, at the least, the neutrality of South Africa in the event of an Anglo- German conflict. Dr. Seitz says that he was not so sure; he had evidence of " the mistrust by the Boers of the German race and the German character," and thought that the S.W. protectorate was threatened with as much danger from the Union of South Africa as from England herself. Seitz however continued negotiations with the Boer opponents of the British connexion. He proposed common action with them, and when the World War broke out he issued a proclamation that the Germans made war " not on the Boer people as such, but on the English and their adherents." (See SOUTH AFRICA: History.) The opposition of a section of the South African Dutch to the operations against the Germans did not prevent the in- vasion and conquest of the protectorate by Gen. Botha (see infra), the long narrow strip of the protectorate extending E. to the Zambezi (the " Caprivi Finger ") being cleared of the Germans by Rhodesian forces. Dr. Seitz states that the negotiations opened with Gen. Botha in May 1915 were merely to gain time, as he believed then that the German successes in Russia would bring a speedy peace. But the surrender two months later was a military necessity. From July 1915 onwards the protectorate was governed by the Union of South Africa, martial law, in a mild form, being maintained until Jan. 1921. On May 7 1919 the Supreme Council had decided that the country should be assigned to the Union of South Africa under the mandatory system " C," set forth in the Covenant of the League of Nations; that is, it might be administered as an integral part of the territory of the mandatory. The terms of the mandate were approved by the Council of the League at Geneva on Dec. 17 1920. The territory was renamed the South- West Protectorate; its progress is described under SOUTH AFRICA, South-West Protectorate. See Dr. Seitz, Siidafrika im Weltkriege (Berlin 1920); T. Tonnesen, " The South-West Africa Protectorate," Geog. Journ., vol. xlix. (1917). (F. R. C.)

MILITARY OPERATIONS 1914-5

For some time before the year 1914 the close proximity of the German Protectorate of South-West Africa, sharing a common frontier on its southern and eastern borders with the Union of South Africa, had been recognized by the Union Government of South Africa as an important factor in its military arrangements. The sudden outbreak of war in Aug. 1914 at once converted a hypothetical situation for which tentative measures had been devised into a problem calling for immediate action.

On Aug. 6 1914 the Union Government undertook to assume all military obligations resting upon the British regular garrison in South Africa and to replace that force by Union troops. This offer was accepted by the Imperial Government, and the imperial military forces in South Africa became available else- where. On Aug. 10 the Union Government further undertook to send a military expedition of its own against German South-West Africa, and the seaports of that territory and the wireless installation at Windhuk were indicated by the British Government as the original objectives of the enterprise.

The position of South Africa on the ocean line of communication between Europe and Asia, and the necessity for denying friendly harbours and long-range communication to the enemy naval squadron under Adml. von Spee in the South Atlantic were obvious and imperative reasons for early action on the lines suggested. This decision of the Union Government, however, produced strong opposition on the part of a portion of the Dutch population of South Africa, and the antagonism to the proposed expedition culminated in open rebellion in Oct. 1914. Though the opposition to the Government was numerically insignificant—only some 11,500 rebels took up arms—the sporadic nature of the outbreak and the extent of the territory in which it occurred necessitated the employment of 30,000 troops (of which two-thirds were of Dutch descent) for its suppression, and delayed all offensive action across the border for four months.

Before the rebellion started the following preliminary movements had been carried out by Union troops for the prosecution of the campaign in South-West Africa. On Sept. 18 1914 a force, under Col. P. S. Beves, had been landed without opposition at Lüderitzbucht. On Aug. 31 a mixed force, under Brig.-Gen. H. T. Lukin, some 2,500 strong and including the regular mounted troops of the Union (the South African Mounted Riflemen), had begun to disembark at Port Nolloth, and, extending inland, was eventually disposed along the western portion of Union territory immediately adjoining the southern enemy border, with headquarters at Steinkopf. Farther eastward this line of observation was continued by another mixed force of approximately 1,000 rifles under Lt.-Col. Maritz with headquarters at Upington, and upon Maritz's desertion with the greater portion of his command to the enemy on Sept. 9 Col. Brits with another force took over the task which had been so shamefully abandoned. Col. Brits, called away to the Union, was soon replaced by Col. van Deventer, who, on the recall of Lukin's force on Oct. 23 to the Union, assumed sole command in the locality. Until the end of the rebellion, which was closed by the surrender of Kemp with his own and Maritz's rebel forces at Upington on Feb. 3 1915, the activities of all the forces first employed, with one exception, did not involve anything beyond outpost and reconnaissance work. A more ambitious undertaking ended in the capture of a strong advanced detachment of the South African Mounted Riflemen with two guns at Sandfontein, in enemy territory, on Sept. 26.

The beginning of Feb. 1915 then may be taken as the time of the actual commencement of offensive action by the Union forces in and against German South-West Africa. The circumstances attending the problem which confronted the South African military commanders may be briefly summarized as follows: The greater portion of what was formerly German South-West Africa of which the area is 322,350 sq. m., or rather more than half as great again as that of the German Empire in Europe is a high plateau 3,500 ft. above sea level. From the coast and the border adjoining Union territory, until