Von Lettow-Vorbeck Memorial
Overview
 
The Von Lettow-Vorbeck Memorial in the Northern Province
Northern Province, Zambia
Northern Province is one of Zambia's nine provinces. It covers approximately one fifth of Zambia in land area. The provincial capital is Kasama. The province is made up of 12 districts, namely Kasama , Chilubi, Isoka, Chinsali, Kaputa, Luwingu, Mbala, Mporokoso, Mpika, Mpulungu, Mungwi and Nakonde...

 of Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 commemorates the final cessation of hostilities 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...

, three days after the Armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

.
The Memorial
Memorial
A memorial is an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person or an event. Popular forms of memorials include landmark objects or art objects such as sculptures, statues or fountains, and even entire parks....

 bears a plaque which reads:

On this spot at 7.30 am on Thursday 14th November 1918, General von Lettow-Vorbeck, commanding the German forces in East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

, heard from Mr Hector Croad, then District Commissioner Kasama
Kasama, Zambia
Kasama is the capital of the Northern Province of Zambia, situated on the central-southern African plateau at an elevation of about 1400 m. Its population, according to the 2000 census, is approximately 200,000. It grew considerably in the 1970s and 1980s after construction of the TAZARA Railway...

 of the signing of the Armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 by the German government, which provided for the unconditional evacuation of all German forces from East Africa.

A second plaque in the Bemba language
Bemba language
The Bemba language, ChiBemba , is a major Bantu language spoken primarily in north-eastern Zambia by the Bemba people and as a lingua franca by about 18 related ethnic groups, including the Bisa people of Mpika and Lake Bangweulu, and to a lesser extent in Katanga in the Democratic Republic of the...

 ends with the words

Twapela umuchinshi kuli bonse abashipa abalwile mu nkondo iyi

which means we honour all brave soldiers in this war.
Quotations

When I read something saying I've not done anything as good as Catch-22 I'm tempted to reply, "Who has?"

As quoted in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Quotations (1997) edited by Peter Kemp, p. 303

It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.

Opening Lines

The Texan turned out to be good-natured, generous and likeable. In three days no one could stand him.

"Open your eyes, Clevinger. It doesn't make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead."

Clevinger was dead. That was the basic flaw in his philosophy.

"The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on."

He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt, and his only mission each time he went up was to come down alive.

Encyclopedia
The Von Lettow-Vorbeck Memorial in the Northern Province
Northern Province, Zambia
Northern Province is one of Zambia's nine provinces. It covers approximately one fifth of Zambia in land area. The provincial capital is Kasama. The province is made up of 12 districts, namely Kasama , Chilubi, Isoka, Chinsali, Kaputa, Luwingu, Mbala, Mporokoso, Mpika, Mpulungu, Mungwi and Nakonde...

 of Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 commemorates the final cessation of hostilities 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...

, three days after the Armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

.

The reasons for the Memorial

The Memorial
Memorial
A memorial is an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person or an event. Popular forms of memorials include landmark objects or art objects such as sculptures, statues or fountains, and even entire parks....

 bears a plaque which reads:

On this spot at 7.30 am on Thursday 14th November 1918, General von Lettow-Vorbeck, commanding the German forces in East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

, heard from Mr Hector Croad, then District Commissioner Kasama
Kasama, Zambia
Kasama is the capital of the Northern Province of Zambia, situated on the central-southern African plateau at an elevation of about 1400 m. Its population, according to the 2000 census, is approximately 200,000. It grew considerably in the 1970s and 1980s after construction of the TAZARA Railway...

 of the signing of the Armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 by the German government, which provided for the unconditional evacuation of all German forces from East Africa.

A second plaque in the Bemba language
Bemba language
The Bemba language, ChiBemba , is a major Bantu language spoken primarily in north-eastern Zambia by the Bemba people and as a lingua franca by about 18 related ethnic groups, including the Bisa people of Mpika and Lake Bangweulu, and to a lesser extent in Katanga in the Democratic Republic of the...

 ends with the words

Twapela umuchinshi kuli bonse abashipa abalwile mu nkondo iyi

which means we honour all brave soldiers in this war. (More Africans than Europeans fought and died on both sides in the East African campaign
East African Campaign (World War I)
The East African Campaign was a series of battles and guerrilla actions which started in German East Africa and ultimately affected portions of Mozambique, Northern Rhodesia, British East Africa, Uganda, and the Belgian Congo. The campaign was effectively ended in November 1917...

, thousands more Africans who served as porters (sometimes under force) also died, and the civilian population suffered tremendously).

The message given to General von Lettow-Vorbeck was a telegram sent to Croad which read:

'Please send the following to General von Lettow-Vorbeck under a white flag - The English Prime Minister sent notice that on 11th November an Armistice was signed and that the fighting on all fronts should cease on 11th November at 11 o'clock. I order my troops to end hostilities as from now and I expect you to do the same. General van Deventer'.
Hence the Memorial marks the cessation of hostilities, not the surrender itself.

Location

The location of the Memorial is near the north end of the Chambeshi Bridge (which was built later) on the Mpika
Mpika
Mpika is a town in the Northern Province of Zambia, lying at the junction of the Great North Road to Kasama and Mbala and the Tanzam Highway to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It also has a railway station on the TAZARA Railway about 5 km away. Mpika is situated between the Muchinga Escarpment to...

-Kasama
Kasama, Zambia
Kasama is the capital of the Northern Province of Zambia, situated on the central-southern African plateau at an elevation of about 1400 m. Its population, according to the 2000 census, is approximately 200,000. It grew considerably in the 1970s and 1980s after construction of the TAZARA Railway...

 road. Most accounts of the war say that Lettow-Vorbeck surrendered at Abercorn (now Mbala
Mbala
Mbala is Zambia’s most northerly large town and seat of Mbala District, occupying a strategic location close to the border with Tanzania and controlling the southern approaches to Lake Tanganyika, 40 km by road to the north-east, where the port of Mpulungu is located. It had a population of about...

), 250 km to the north, giving the impression that he penetrated just the few kilometres to Abercorn from German East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

, but that is only because he was instructed by the British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 imperial commanders in Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia was a territory in south central Africa, formed in 1911. It became independent in 1964 as Zambia.It was initially administered under charter by the British South Africa Company and formed by it in 1911 by amalgamating North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia...

 to march his undefeated troops there for the official surrender on 23 November 1918.

Historical background

The British force had been waiting in the Abercorn area to attack the German forces coming from northern Mozambique, thinking they would make for Lake Tanganyika, but General von Lettow-Vorbeck had evaded them by turning south-west towards Kasama
Kasama, Zambia
Kasama is the capital of the Northern Province of Zambia, situated on the central-southern African plateau at an elevation of about 1400 m. Its population, according to the 2000 census, is approximately 200,000. It grew considerably in the 1970s and 1980s after construction of the TAZARA Railway...

. Its tiny British population evacuated to Mpika, except for nine who set up two Maxim guns at the Chambeshi, but they did not know how to work them. One, Charlie Simpson, had with him about £10,000 which was all the cash from the government offices and buinesses in Kasama, which he buried in a goat pen near the rubber factory he ran, thinking that the goats' hoofprints would hide evidence of digging, and that the Germans would probably be more interested in the goats than looking for the money. On arrival at the Chambeshi the Germans machine-gunned the rubber factory before Croad arrived with the telegram.

If the war had gone on a few weeks longer, von Lettow-Vorbeck's rapid, light force could probably have reached the mines and railway in Katanga
Katanga Province
Katanga Province is one of the provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Between 1971 and 1997, its official name was Shaba Province. Under the new constitution, the province was to be replaced by four smaller provinces by February 2009; this did not actually take place.Katanga's regional...

 or at Broken Hill (now Kabwe
Kabwe
Kabwe is the capital of the Zambian Central Province with a population estimated at 210,000. Formerly named Broken Hill, it was founded when the Broken Hill lead and zinc deposits were discovered in 1902. Kabwe also has a claim to being the birthplace of Zambian politics...

) and all their supplies before General van Deventer could have caught up with him from the north.

Setting up the memorial

The Memorial was unveiled on 14 November 1953 as a National Monument of Northern Rhodesia (as it was then) and consists of a large stone platform with the plaques set into a stone pillar, next to a cannon of the era (but not one used by the Germans).
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