Congo 1914 -1918: A forgotten war in Africa
On August 4, 1914, Germany invades Belgium. 7The Belgian Congo, which borders on German colonies in Africa, gets the order to be on standby. However, when the Germans attack Lake Tanganyika only a few weeks later, this Belgian colony also becomes involved in the war. The Force Publique gets the order to defend the territory.
After several defensive missions in Rhodesia and Cameroon, it is time for a more offensive move.
In 1916, the order is given to take back Lake Tanganyika from the Germans and protect the eastern border of the colony from German attacks. After a successful operation, the focus shifts to German East Africa with the intent to attack the German troops stationed there.
On September 19, 1916, the Force Publique invades Tabora. The first part of the campaign is over, but the German troops escape towards Mahenge. A much needed second offensive is launched
Battle of Mahenge
The Battle of Mahenge on October 9, 1917 results in the capturing of this city. The German-East Africa campaign is deemed complete. The Germans, however, continue to play cat-and-mouse with the Force Publique. They surrender on November 29, 1918 only. Finally, the battle in Africa is over.
Now in the War Dead Register
More than 1,895 soldiers and thousands of Force Publique soldiers end up losing their lives in these campaigns. After months of searching, the War Heritage Institute added their names to the War Dead Register. The War Dead Register now contains about 1,500 names mainly of soldiers who died during this forgotten war. All has not been said and done, however. Additional archive searches are bound to result in a more complete list.
The Belgian Army in the First World War
This category contains all military personal who died between August 4 1914 and September 30 1919. The majority of them died on Belgian territory but the ones who passed away in hospitals in France or Great Britain, in a Prisoner of War camp in Germany or in an internment camp in the Netherlands or Switzerland are also included in this category.
First World War Auto - Cannons - Mitrailleuses (Infantry Fighting Vehicle)
Between September 22, 1915 and July 15, 1918 Belgium supported the Imperial Russian army with a corps of Autocannons (IFV) . Although only 20 members of this expedition died their story is so unique they are mentioned with a different category.