SEPTEMBER 25 1914 – SANDFONTEIN

In Southeastern Africa, the colonies of the European nations warred against each other. Near a place called Sandfontein were several water wells in the middle of a very arid area. The British troops marched into the area desperate for water, though knowing fully that the Germans might attack.

Indeed, the Germans had already been detected, but mostly ignored on account of the desperate need for water.

sandmap[1]

The Germans quickly busied themselves by occupying the heights which commanded the area, and cut the British telegraph wires. The Germans opened the battle with their artillery, slowly but methodically eliminating their counterparts. From that point, the German infantry began a slow, ratcheting advance with machine guns.

The British forces, seeing the hopelessness of their situation, surrendered only a half an hour later.

Notably, this battle stands as one of the examples of how un-nationalistic most of the soldiers were:

-once the cease fire had been finalized, troops from both sides raced to the wells together and congregated on friendly terms

-the British commander even had a pleasant discussion with his counterpart in which he congratulated him on his Chivalry. The German commander, in turn, commended the Englishman on his gallant defense

-the Germans accorded their slain enemies the same burial honors as to their own

The battle, though small and with few casualties, gave the Germans a glorious victory: they had begun with only about 1,700 soldiers, but because of their excellent tactics they had quickly forced the surrender of a British force numbering over 3,000.

#100yearssinceWWI

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