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Orders of Battle Orders-of-battle, TO&E's, and related information on who fought where and what they brought to the battle.

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  #1  
Old 07 Jun 12, 05:51
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Arrow Orders of Battle in East Africa WWI

I just noticed this part of the forum may be a good place to copy my thread in the WWI forum. I am seeking information on the units involved in the East African campaign

Quote:
Would anyone have any ideas as to the orders of battle for the protagonists of the East African campaign, especially the Schutstruppe. I have a rough idea of the numbers but these were obviously changed a bit and I don't have a clue as to sub-divisions because I'd have thought the particularly desperate and shoe-string nature of the campaign would mean different amounts of men in, say, brigades, compared to the huge numbers on the Western Front.
Thank you kindly.
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  #2  
Old 07 Jun 12, 07:51
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A bloke called George Nafziger put together a gargantuan database of OOBs, some of which go right down to company level, for hundreds of conflicts. These are all hosted on a US Army research site but on this site the guy downloaded each pdf and organised by period so you only have a few .zip files to download.

The key to finding out which pdf contains the info you need is available here. You'll need to go through the entire file there to find what you want since it's not in chronological order.
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Old 08 Jun 12, 07:34
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Sadly it seems the database, as gargantuan as it is, only lists a few German units in SWA, and nothing I could find of the South Africans in SWA, or anything on East Africa.
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Old 13 Jun 12, 22:49
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The initial German OOB is 216 officers and nco's and 2450 Askari organized into 14 companies.

The company orgainzation is 100 to 150 Askari with 6 to 8 German nco's and one or two German officers.

Each company in the field might double in size by adding local porters for hauling supplies or with local Ruga Ruga militia.

The basic weapon is the Mauser 71 .450 caliber black powder single shot rifle in 8 companies.
The other 6 had current issue Mauser magazine rifles.

The Askari were hand picked, paid well, and trained to German standards as close as possible.

There is no higher standard orgainzation and the companies operated independently in peacetime for the most part. Abteilung of several companies could be (and were) formed when necessary for an operation.
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Old 13 Jun 12, 23:26
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Selous,

The Order of Battle for the Germans in Tanganika changed a bit over time. The Germans had some Field Companies of African Askaris, not all of whom served under von Lettow-Vorbeck. As the war went on the Germans lost a few of these companies, but ultimately the British recruited the men captured into their Kings African Rifles.

The voyage of the Konigsberg ended in the Rufiji River Delta. About 180 or so of the crew survived to become a unit under von Lettow-Vorbeck. They also salvaged the ten 10.5 cm guns and used them until ammo ran out.

There were some German colonists that were called up at the beginning of the war, but I am unsure if they formed into their own units.

The Germans started off armed with single shot Mausers but ended up armed with British and Portuguese small arms and machine guns. The British and Commonwealth troops also supplied ammunition.

I have a Balantine Book on the campaign hid in my storage locker. If I could remember what box it is in I would offer to get it.

Pruitt
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Old 14 Jun 12, 13:14
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Thank you Pruitt and Gardner, very much appreciated.
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Old 15 Jul 12, 14:50
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I know it's been a month since the last post but I have a book called "Colonial Armies in Africa 1850-1918" by Peter Abbot. It does include OOB of German units and their commanding officers at various stages in 1914, 1915, 1916, and 1917.

Perhaps I can scan the pages if anyone is interested.
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Old 15 Jul 12, 15:02
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That would be appreciated Chris, if it's not trouble for you
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Old 15 Jul 12, 15:03
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From the new book I bought: "World War I, The African Front"

British TOE in April, 1916:
1st Division (Major General AR Hoskins)
1st East African Brigade- 2nd Loyal North Lancs, 2nd Rhodesia Regiment, 130th Baluchis, 3rd Kashmir Rifles/3rd KAR (Composite Batt)
2nd East Afican Brigade- 25th Royal Fusiliers, 29th Punjabis, 129th Baluchis, 40th Pathans
Divisional Troops- 17th Indian Cavalry (one squadron), East African Mounted Rifles, King's African Rifles Mounted Infantry (one company), East Africa Pioneer Corps (Mounted Section), 27th Mountain Battery, 5th Battery South African Field Artillery, # 6 Battery (four 12 pdrs manned by 2nd LNL), # 7 Battery (four 15 pdrs), 38th Howitzer Brigade (one section of two 5" Howitzers), Willoughby's Armored Car Battery, 2nd LNL Machine-gun Company.

2nd East African Division (Major General J Van Deventer)
1st South African Mounted Brigade- 1st SA Horse, 2nd SA Horse, 3rd SA Horse, 8th SA Horse (forming SA).
3rd South African Infantry Brigade- 9th SA Infantry, 10th SA Infantry, 11th SA Infantry, 12th SA Infantry.
Divisional Troops- South African Scout Corps, 28th Mounted Battery (six 10 pdrs), 2nd Battery SA Field Artillery (four 13 pdrs), 4th Battery SA Field Artillery (four 13 pdrs), # 12 Howitzer Battery (two 5" Howitzers), East African Volunteer Machine-gun Company.

3rd East African Division (Major General C Brits)
2nd South African Mounted Brigade- 5th SA Horse, 6th SA Horse, 7th SA Horse, 9th SA Horse
2nd South African Infantry Brigade- 5th SA Infantry, 6th SA Infantry, 7th SA Infantry, 8th SA Infantry
Divisional Troops- 1st Battery SA Field Artillery (four 13 pdrs), 3rd Battery SA Field Artillery (four 13 pdrs), 38th Howitzer Brigade (one section of two 5" Howitzers), # 5 Light Armoured Car Battery

Keep in mind the Infantry Battalions started around 1000 men. On Campaign they were lucky to have over 500 men present and when sent home two such battalions had 100 and 124 men present!

I will add the various Army troops later..

Pruitt
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Old 15 Jul 12, 22:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selous View Post
That would be appreciated Chris, if it's not trouble for you
Will do so tomorrow. Ill start with the Germans.
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Old 15 Jul 12, 22:39
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Chris,

I did the OoB for the Germans in 1914 in the WW I forum. If you have later OoB's you might want to do one of them.

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Old 15 Jul 12, 23:53
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In continuation of post # 9. The following are the Army troops listed. Basically these guys were doing something else!

Army Troops:
4th South African Horse, Belfield's Scouts, 2nd KAR, 61st
Pioneers (less one Company), SA Pioneer Company (less four Sections), # 9 Battery ( four 12 pdr Naval Guns), # 10 Heavy Battery (three 4" Naval Guns), # 11 Heavy Battery (three 4" Naval Guns), 134th Howitzer Battery (four 5.4" Howitzers), 38th Howitzer Brigade (four 5" Howitzers), Trench Mortar Brigade (12 Mortars), # 10 (Naval Light Armoured Car Battery

Royal Flying Corps- 1st Squadron RNAS, 26th Squadron RFC, Kite Balloon Section, South African Motorcyclist Corps, East African Intelligence Corps, North-West Railway Volunteer Maxim Gun Section

Lines of Communication- 5th Indian Light Infantry, 17th Indian Infantry, 61st Pioneers (one Company), 63rd Palamcottah Light Infantry, 101st Grenadiers, Bharatpur ISF, Jhind ISF, Kapurthala ISF, 3rd Gwalior ISF, Rampur ISF, 2nd Kashmir Rifles (four Companies), Cape Corps (Colored), Arab Rifles (one Company), East African Pioneer Company

Detached Forces and Garrisons

Lake Detachment and Uganda- 98th Infantry, 4th KAR, Baganda Rifles, Nandi Scouts, European Machine-gun Section
Nairobi Defence Corps
Mombasa Marine Defence Force
Zanzibar African rifles (one Company)
Mafia African rifles (one Company)

Plus many ancillary units

Pruitt
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Old 16 Jul 12, 05:45
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Great stuff, thanks again Pruitt - just have to ask, are those numbered batteries Royal Artillery, South African Overseas Expeditionary Force, or something else?
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Old 16 Jul 12, 16:03
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Selous,

All South African labeled units are marked so or as "SA". I really can't say where the numbered batteries came from. I would guess that units raised and sent from the UK would allow "colonials" to enlist. The diseases were horrendous, Malaria, Sleeping Sickness, Black Water Fever and a host of "lesser" ills!

I would need access to my storage unit and the right box to dig anything further on the numbered batteries. I was lucky to find that book at Barnes and Noble!

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Old 16 Jul 12, 16:15
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And it is much appreciated, Pruitt, I assure you! I just wondered which army those batteries belonged to, my guess is they're British artillery. Diseases were indeed awful and accounted for the vast bulk of casualties. Dangerous animals too inflicted a number of casualties - it was quite the different affair to the easy time on the western front, with their football playing and their French nurses In East Africa you had Black Water fever, Lions, snakes, and even Cannibal Rugga-Rugga to deal with, all before you got to grips with some big likely lad from the Askari keen on doing you a disservice with his rifle.
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