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Historical Investigation

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Historical investigation Topic: Why did the many successes of General-Major Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck have so little impact on the overall outcome of the Great War between 1914 to 1918? Plan of Investigation: Many historians have studied the Great War but, due to the catastrophic death tolls on both sides of the western and eastern fronts, it could be forgiven if many forgot that it was a world war at all. Historians tend to forget that the war was fought outside of the 400 miles of trenches that cut through Europe between 1914 and 1918. Very little study, in comparison to the fight in Europe, has gone into the battles fought all over Africa between the colonies of Britain, Belgium, Germany and France. The aim of my internal assessment is to discover why the German successes under General-Major Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, who never lost a battle, had so little sway to the outcome of the Great War. ...read more.


mainly due to an attribute rarely seen in European officers in Africa as he said himself that "the better man will always outwit the inferior, and the colour of his skin does not matter"4 * Von Lettow's aim was to commit disproportionate forces from the western front from the British to try and capture or destroy him and his forces * For his actions and valour he earned the Prussian Order Pour le M�rite, considered Germany's highest decoration5 * Upon Lettow surrendering one British officer said that "We had more esteem and affection for him than [for] our own leaders"6 Despite all of this still had to surrender to the British forces on the 25th of November 1918 at Abercorn, if he had had such a great success he would have surly changed the outcome of the war. Why did he inevitably fail: * Germany's world war was meant to be focused around the middle east "the gateway to India, the middle east" the focus of this was Turkey as Germany worked hard to gain a ally in Turkey as it would be the gateway to India 7. ...read more.


With the British able to supply almost limitless numbers of troops onto the battlefield while Lettow had a distinctly finite amount of men, the men he started out with and could call up, he did suffer defeat in just being forced of territories through sheer weight in numbers by the British. Evaluation of Sources The two most valuable sources were by Byron Farwell's "The Great War in Africa (1914-1918)" and Niall Ferguson's "Empire". The origin of Byron Farwell's "The Great War in Africa (1914-1918)" is that of a historian trying to educate the people around him of the Origin, Purpose, Values and Limitations Need to acquire My Reminiscences of East Africa by General von Lettow-Vorbeck = 1st person source 1 http://www.firstworldwar.com/bio/lettowvorbeck.htm 2 http://www.tokencoins.com/gea04a.htm 3 Byron Farwell, "The Great War in Africa (1914-1918)", page 106 4 Byron Farwell, "The Great War in Africa (1914-1918)", page 107 5 Byron Farwell, "The Great War in Africa (1914-1918)", page 315 6 Byron Farwell, "The Great War in Africa (1914-1918)", page 354 7 Niall Ferguson, "Empire", page 300-302 8 Niall Ferguson, "Empire", page 301 9 Niall Ferguson, "Empire", page 300 10 http://www.tokencoins.com/gea04a.htm ...read more.

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