Conquest of German East Africa
British-Boer-Belgian Forces, 350,000
General van Dcventer
German Forces, 5000
The conquest of German East Africa proved to be the most difficult task of all. Not only did the German-native forces outnumber the British in the beginning, but they also held the Uganda railroad, which afforded them a strategical point of attack. The British campaign opened with an attack on the capital of the colony, Dar-es-Salem, which was taken on August 13, 1914. The scene of warfare then shifted to the south, when the Germans attempted unsuccessfully to drive the British from Karonga on Lake Nyassa, and from Abercorn on Lake Tanganyika. Turning their attention to the north, the Germans delivered a total of seven attacks on British positions along the Uganda railroad and in the vicinity of the lakes, with varying success.
In late September, the Germans started a joint naval and militaiy attack upon Mombasa, the capital of British East Africa, the cruiser Koenigsburg bombarding the city, while the land forces assaulted from the rear. The opportune arrival of British warships ended the bombardment and the German land attack was quickly checked.
Six thousand British troops carried the War into the enemy's country in November, attacking the towns of Tanga and Gassin. Tanga capitulated, but Gassin held out until January, 1915. A British garrison of 300, holding Gassin, was later besieged by 3000 Germans, who captured the town after a stubborn resistance. German East Africa was not conquered until November, 1917.
Samoan and Bismarck Archipelago
On August 30, 1914, a squadron of six Allied war vessels, including three British cruisers, two Australian battleships, and a French cruiser, arrived at the German Samoan Islands in the South Pacific, and took possession without opposition, the German residents being transferred to New Zealand.
The German colonies in the Bismarck Archipelago were surprised by the Australians on September 11, 1914, and surrendered. The powerful wireless stations in those islands were destroyed.