Battle of Sandfontein
The Battle of Sandfontein took place in South-West Africa at the outset of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...


General Sir Henry Lukin
Henry Lukin
Major General Sir Henry Timson Lukin KCB, CMG, DSO was a South African military commander. He fought in the Anglo-Zulu War and the Basutoland Gun War , the Bechuanaland Campaign , and the Anglo-Boer War when he was in command of the artillery during the defence of Wepener for which action he was...

commanded the South African forces. Commanding the German was General Heydebreck.

The battle opened on September 26, 1914, after the British had detected but entirely ignored the Germans.

One hundred and thirty-five British and South African officers, 2,463 soldiers, and 522 native troops with four thirteen-pounder guns and 4,347 animals marched to the water. The men had long been without water, their animals were dying from thirst, and all were exposed to the surrounding heights, which the Germans held.

The Germans attacked with four machine-gun units, ten artillery units, and 1,700 riflemen, all German. After collecting water, a British patrol was sent out but returned with heavy losses. The German Schutztruppe (colonial forces) fired their machine guns and advanced.

As the surrounded South Africans' telephone line to Ramans Drift had been cut, they could not call for reinforcements. The South African artillery fired but were outnumbered by the German artillery with its greater firepower PUBLIUS.
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