Victor Franke
Erich Victor Carl August Franke (July 21, 1865 – August 7, 1936) was a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 military officer and last commander of the Schutztruppe
Schutztruppe was the African colonial armed force of Imperial Germany from the late 19th century to 1918, when Germany lost its colonies. Similar to other colonial forces, the Schutztruppe consisted of volunteer European commissioned and non-commissioned officers, medical and veterinary officers. ...

in German Southwest Africa.

Franke was born in Zuckmantel
Zlaté Hory
Zlaté Hory is a town in the Jeseník District, Olomouc Region, Czech Republic, on the border with Poland. It has a population of 4,447 . The town was founded in 1224.Administrative parts: Rejvíz, Horní a Dolní Údolí and Ondřejovice...

, Austrian Silesia
Austrian Silesia
Austrian Silesia , officially the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia was an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Austrian Empire, from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

. He was Bezirksamtmann (district officer) in several locations in German Southwest Africa, especially Ovamboland
Ovamboland was the name given by English-speaking visitors to the land occupied by the Ovambo people in what is now northern Namibia and southern Angola...

 and Kaokoveld
The Kaokoveld Desert is a coastal desert of northern Namibia and southern Angola.-Setting:The Kaokoveld Desert occupies a coastal strip covering , and is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Namibian savanna woodlands to the east, and the Namib Desert to the south. It includes the...

. He was stationed at Outjo
Outjo is a city of 6,000 inhabitants in the Kunene Region of Namibia. It is the district capital of Outjo Constituency...

 from 1899 until 1910, and was involved in several campaigns against native tribes who resisted German colonial rule. In the early phases of the Herero Uprising of 1904, he was dubbed "Hero of Omaruru
Omaruru may refer to:* Omaruru, Namibia* Omaruru Constituency* Omaruru River...

", because of his victory over numerically superior Herero forces at Omaruru. He also had successful campaigns against the Herero at Okahandja
Okahandja is a town of 14,000 inhabitants in Otjozondjupa Region, central Namibia, and the district capital of the Okahandja electoral constituency. It is known as the Garden Town of Namibia. It is located 70km north of Windhoek on the B1 road...

 and Windhoek
Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around above sea level. The 2001 census determined Windhoek's population was 233,529...


At the beginning 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...

, he led a successful counter-attack against Portuguese forces
Portuguese Army
The Portuguese Army is the ground branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in co-operation with other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the defence of Portugal...

 at Naulila
Naulila is a town in Cunene Province in southern Angola, located on the Cunene River which separates Angola and Namibia.Naulila was the scene of fighting between Portuguese Angola and German South West Africa during the early stages of World War I. On October 19, 1914, a German military column...

, Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

. On November 12, 1914, he became commander of the Schutztruppe after the death of Joachim von Heydebreck
Joachim von Heydebreck
Joachim von Heydebreck was a German military officer who was born in Schwedt.He was a member of the Grenadier-Regiment Prinz Karl, and in 1893 was sent to serve in colonial German Southwest Africa. Heydebreck was in charge of an artillery division during the Herero and Namaqua Wars, and in 1911...

. He and 2,166 men surrendered to South African forces near Khorab on July 9, 1915. Five weeks later, South African troops controlled the entire German colony.

In 1919 Franke left Southwest Africa, and in 1920 retired as a Major-General from the German army. Today at Omaruru stands the "Franke Tower", a monument in testimony to his 1904 military exploits. Three kilometers outside of the town of Otavi
Otavi is a town of 4,000 inhabitants in the Otjozondjupa Region of central Namibia. It is the district capital of the Otavi electoral constituency. Most of the area is dolomitic and the district was in the past renowned for its mineral wealth...

 on the Tsumeb
Tsumeb is a city of 15,000 inhabitants and the largest town in Oshikoto region in northern Namibia. Tsumeb is the home of the world-famous Tsumeb mine, and the "gateway to the north" of Namibia. It is the closest town to the Etosha National Park...

 Road is a memorial marking the German surrender at Khorab. Also, in the town of Outjo
Outjo is a city of 6,000 inhabitants in the Kunene Region of Namibia. It is the district capital of Outjo Constituency...

 is the "Franke House Museum".

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