Battle of Tanga – Reading List

It often happens after Mark and I run a game that the players will ask were we obtained our information. The Battle of Tanga has been one of the best-researched battles Mark and I have ever run.  And the research I think shows.  For me it goes back to 2002 when I picked up Anderson’s Battle of Tanga on a whim.

For those not familiar with the Battle of Tanga here is a short write up from

Often referred to as ‘The Battle of the Bees’, the Battle of Tanga, an amphibious attack launched by British and Indian forces, established the burgeoning reputation of Colonel (later General) Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck by the manner in which he successfully beat off the British-led attempt to capture German East Africa.

So this is my list of books used in researching this battle and campaign. Anderson’s Battle of Tanga is the first book anyone interested in the conflict should look to. It is short and concise with photographs rarely seen. Unfortunately this book now cost over $100 in the resale book market.

The other book that I think is important is LtCol Holdern’s East Africa Vol 1. This is part of the Official History, and while not perfect, it gives a great deal of information on the Indian Army used in the campaign. The one weakness (and this is of little effect on our battle) has to be that the volume ends in 1916 and a second volume was never released. As volume 1 was released in 1941 I am assuming World War II interrupted volume two.

Here is my list. I you have any additional books of the war in Africa please share them so I can add them to my large list of books to read. Luckily many of these titles are available as eBooks.

Tanga Specific
Anderson, Ross. Battle of Tanga 1914. Tempus Publishing, Limited. 2002. ISBN13: 9780752423494.

General Histories on the East Africa Campaign
Abbott, Peter.Armies in East Africa 1914-18. Osprey Publishing. 2002. ISBN-13: 978-1841764894.

Anderson, Ross. The Forgotten Front 1914-1918: The East African Campaign. Tempus Publishing, Limited. 2004. ISBN13: 9780752423449.

Collyer , John Johnston. The South Africans with General Smuts in German East Africa, 1916. Printed by the Govt. Printer (1939). ASIN: B004J0OKB2.

Farwell, Byron. The Great War in Africa, 1914-1918. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1989. ISBN 0-393-30564-3.

Holdern, Lt Col C. EAST AFRICA VOLUME 1. August 1914-September 1916. OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR OTHER THEATRES: 2011 N & M Press reprint (original pub 1941).

Hoyt, Edwin P. Guerilla: Colonel von Lettow-Vorbeck and Germany’s East African Empire. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. 1981; and London: Collier MacMillan Publishers. 1981. ISBN 0-02-555210-4.

Miller, Charles. Battle for the Bundu: The First World War in German East Africa. London: Macdonald & Jane’s, 1974; and New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. ISBN 0-02-584930-1.

Paice, Edward. World War I: The African Front. Pegasus. 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1605980805.

von Lettow-Vorbeck, Colonel.  My Reminiscences of East Africa. Naval Military Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. ISBN 9780857064189.

Young, Francis Brett.  Marching on Tanga: (With General Smuts in East Africa) Nabu Press (August 4, 2010) (reproduction of a book published before 1923)  ISBN-13: 978-1176815124.


This entry was posted in Books and Media, German East Africa and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s