The First World War was a global conflict, with control of German’s colonial empire contested as fiercely as any European campaign. The most protracted colonial conflict was in German East Africa, a territory three times the size of Germany itself. There, forces from a number of countries fought for control using both the most modern weapons and the most primitive of methods, all the while coping with the difficulties of terrain, disease, supplies, and wildlife. Meanwhile, the local population played key roles yet suffered the greatest losses of all.
Dr. David H. Olivier has been at Laurier Brantford since 2003, teaching history, international relations, and on war in the contemporary world. He has published on the creation of the Imperial German Navy (German Naval Strategy 1856-1888: Forerunners of Tirpitz, 2004) and on the interaction between new naval technologies and international law in the second half of the 19th century.