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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'With Janie in the Jungle': European Humor in an East African Campaign, 1914-1918
Author:Page, Melvin E.ISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic term:East Africa
Subjects:military operations
World War I
biographies (form)
History and Exploration
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
About person:Jan Christiaan Smuts (1870-1950)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/217700
Abstract:The great British defeat of the East African Campaign, the total rout of an expeditionary force which landed at the German port of Tanga in November 1914, dominated British 'strategy' until Smuts's arrival in Nairobi in February 1916, leaving men sitting purposely on the German frontiers while a demoralized staff tried to develop some new plan of operations. Jan Christian Smuts, although he remained in East Africa just less than eleven months, is remembered as the great allied commander of the East African Campaign. This was due to his success in directing the invasion of German East Africa, and also based on his appeal in South Africa. Smuts's greatest appeal, however, was to the European colonial volunteers throughout his army, who trusted him and felt that he, at least, understood Africa and Africans whereas the War Office fundis (experts) were generally deficient in such knowledge. His willingness to share their suffering, in combat and in the African bush, added greatly to their respect for him. Laboring 'with Jannie in the Jungle' the troops got an improved morale. Central to this improvement was the wartime European humor which developed after Stouts assumed command and which is the subject of this paper. Ill., ref.