Paul von Lettow Vorbeck

Paul von Lettow Vorbeck (* 20. March 1870 in Saarlouis, † 9. March 1964 in Hamburg) was a Prussian major general and writer. Most well-known (especially. in the anglo-saxon linguistic area) it is as a commander of the colonial force of German East Africa in the First World War.

Paul von Lettow Vorbeck

ofLettow Vorbeck participated in striking down the boxing up conditions (1900/1901) in China. In the German colony German southwest Africa it held 1904 and 1908 a command between with the bloody fight of the rebellions of the Herero and the Nama .

Table of contents

activity in German East Africa

in the 1. World war was of Lettow Vorbeck commander of the colonial force in German East Africa. It, German East Africa succeeded to it as only German colonyup to the end of the war against the British, Indian, to defend Belgian and Portuguese troops although these were far superior both in terms of figures and concerning equipment and supply. Here it would use extremely successfully bold Guerilla tactics. For the end of the war the German troops controlledonly, however it created a small part of the colonial territory of East Africa Lettow Vorbeck by sent led maneuvers and engagements its opponents the forehead to offer again and again. Despite a numerical inferiority of last 10:1 it fought with its troop, only to some hundredsof white ones existed, to 1918 further and therefore not only in Germany, but also with his opponents, highly one respected. It capitulated finally unbesiegt some days after the resignation of the emperor, after it had already marched into the English colony Nordrhodesien, even there with Kasama.The message over the German armistice reached it only by the British negotiator, since it had no more communication possibilities to Germany (a German sent from Konstantinopel Zeppelin (LZ 104/L 59) had turned around the situation of Lettow Vorbecks over the Sudan, since falsely one transmitted,is offering no prospects).

free corps/cut Putsch

after its return to Germany a triumphaler receipt was prepared for it and the survivor 155 German soldiers in Berlin. In April 1919 he transfers the guidance the guard Kavallerie contactor corps being subordinate naval division, to also the colonial force regiment1 belonged.

In Hamburg 23 began to. June of 1919 rebellions because of spoiled food (so-called Sülze unrests). Four days after completion of the fighting Lettow Vorbeck with the” corps Lettow “marched at the 1. July 1919 in Hamburg, although already again peace was in-turned. The corps held backitself as in an occupied city in enemy's country. From Lettow Vorbeck Hermann Ehrhardt joined the brigade Ehrhardt led as Divisionskommadeur with its corps by lieutenant commander. it separated 1920 because of participation in the cut Putsch from the active military service. During the Putsches Lettow Vorbeck stressed the rule over Mecklenburg.

Weimar Republic and “third realm”

after end of the war he already briefly published two books, which concerned themselves with its time in East Africa (see below), which are disputed discussed today. Therein it demanded the return of the colonies with the reason, thoseWinner powers would have incorporated, from “release” can it for the extension of own colonial existence no speech be. 1923 removal to Bremen, where he worked as a wholesale buyer in the company Konrad cellar & Cie. From 1928 to 1930 he was a delegate of the right-conservative German national people's party (DNVP) in Reichstag;in July 1930 crossing for people-conservative combination.

Requested by Lettow Vorbeck 1933 of Hitler umworben and unsuccessfully to the entrance into the NSDAP. The line it offered realm colonial Ministry rejected it. 1938 appointed Hitler the 68jährigen nevertheless the general the special use. In the same yearalso the Leeraner barracks was designated after it. 1945 removal to Hamburg.

last years

after end of war, in the meantime 75jährig, he hired himself among other things as gardners. In the year 1953 journey v. Lettows to Africa. Three years later, 1956, v. became. Lettow Vorbeck to the honour citizen of itsBirth city Saarlouis appointed. 1957 appeared its memoirs with the title “my life”. Since the Federal Government did not plan a pension, its opponent from that collected 1. World war, January Christiaan Smuts, among its officers financial support for it. When from Lettow Vorbeck 1964 in Hamburg died, traveledparticularly some still living Askaris of the former colonial force on, in order to render to “their” general the last honour. Paul von Lettow Vorbeck was buried in Pronstorf, circle Segeberg, (Schleswig-Holstein) at the cemetery of the Vicelinkirche.


  • Africa, as I saw it again, Lehmann, Munich, 1955
  • Kwa Heri Bwana! Good-bye, Mr., small, Lengerich 1954
  • my life, charcoal burner, beaver oh at the tear 1957
  • my memories from East Africa, charcoal burner, Leipzig 1920 [“Heia safari!” a version shortened of it is]


  • Thomas A. Crowson: When elephants clash. A critical analysis OF Maajor general Paul Emil von Lettow Vorbeck into the East African Theatre OF the Great was, NTIS, Springfield, Va. 2003
  • William Stephenson: The lion of Africa. The legendary general Paul von Lettow Vorbeck and its fight for East Africa,Goldmann, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-442-06719-7
  • John C. Stratis: A Case study in leadership. Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow Vorbeck, NTIS, Springfield, Va. 2002

Web on the left of

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| | * Literature of and over Paul von Lettow Vorbeck in the catalog of the DDB



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