ON TO KILIMANJARO by Brian ardner


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All wars suggest endemic madness, but the war described in On to Kilimanjaro the most surreal and idiotic of the century: its loser wins by retreating constantly. During 1914-18, in the jungles of Tanganyika (then German East Africa), Colonel Paul Lettow-Vorbeck's 6000 German troops kept 130,000 British troops occupied, harried and utterly demoralized for four years. Colonel von Lettow's strategy was simply to eep the British troops so harassed that none of them could be spared for the war in Europe. His guerrilla technique, familiar today, stunned the British. They thought should be a stable, solid fight. But whenever they came near to engaging with von little army, the British lost men and officers like toothpicks in a windstorm and then could find little to engage with except blank, malarial jungle. This campaign against the ghostly Colonel cost Britain 72,000,000 pounds and was one of the most otable and least publicized failures in British military history. A prime example of not to go about an invasion by sea was the British landing at Tanga. They went in with 8000 men against 1000 German troops and were thoroughly routed and forced to rebark. Eventually, the armistice in Europe curtailed von Lettow's activity. Author Gardner's respect for the Colonel carries over forcefully to the reader. Sterling, but mainly of masculine interest.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1963
Publisher: Macrae Smith