Why didn't the Germans spend more effort defending Namibia in 1914-1915?

Oct 2014
49
Toronto
It seems like they just let the South Africans and British walk into their colony and spent very little effort defending it (only 2000-3000 actual troops, rest were settlers and militiamen).
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,669
well here's 3 reasons

(1) Well their pre war planning was the war would be decided in France in a relatively short period.

(2) Nambia was pretty insignificnat it did not contribute anything to the German war effort if the retained it nor anythng to the Entente war effor if they captured it.

(3) Reinforcing a far flung colony when the Royal Navy had pretty complete control of the sea is fairly hard,
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,945
The question is rather why they did defend it at all...... Its basically a desert.... even today it has barely 2.5 million people for a territory that is almost 3 times the size of Italy (population 60 million)
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,040
Portugal
It seems like they just let the South Africans and British walk into their colony and spent very little effort defending it (only 2000-3000 actual troops, rest were settlers and militiamen).
Besides what pugsville said, what could have the Germans do better to the defend German South West Africa (Namibia is a later designation and as such an anachronism)?

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand caught all by surprise, and it wouldn’t be economically reasonable to have huge garrisons in the colonies. When the crisis started there was not time to send huge reinforcements and the war was expected to be quick. Reinforcements couldn’t be sent due to the superiority of the Royal Navy.

The case of German East Africa and of Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck is a particular an exceptional one, but even so German South West Africa fought until 9 July 1915, for about a year, even facing South Africans, British and Portuguese (even if not officially at war), and fomented rebellions both in south Angola and in South Africa, in Kamerun there were Germans fighting until 1916, only Togo surrendered quite quickly, by the end of August 1914, German New Guinea by the end of September, and Tsingtao resisted well until the middle of November 1914. So, in general, it doesn’t seem that the Germans could do much better defending their colonies, with the available odds. Maybe only in Togo they could last a bit more, but I am not well informed of the situation there.
 
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