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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mbadamassi of Lagos: a soldier for King and Kaiser, and a deportee to German South West Africa
Author:Gewald, Jan-BartISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:African Diaspora: a Journal of Transnational Africa in a Global World
Volume:2
Issue:1
Pages:103-124
Language:English
Geographic terms:Cameroon
Namibia
Nigeria
Subjects:colonial forces
black soldiers
World War I
biographies (form)
Link:http://hdl.handle.net/10.1163/187254609x433369
Abstract:In 1915 troops of the South African Union Defence Force invaded German South West Africa, present-day Namibia. In the north of the territory the South African forces captured an African soldier serving in the German army named Mbadamassi. Upon his capture Mbadamassi demanded to be released and claimed that he was a British national from Nigeria. In addition, he stated that he had served in the West African Frontier Force, and that he had been shanghaied into German military service in Cameroon. Furthermore, whilst serving in the German army in Cameroon, Mbadamassi claimed that he had participated in a mutiny, and that, as a consequence, he had been deported to GSWA. The article covers the remarkable military career of the African soldier, Mbadamassi, who between 1903 and 1917 served both the King of the British Empire as well as the Kaiser of the German Empire. In so doing, the article sheds light on the career of an individual African soldier serving in three colonial armies: the West African Frontier Force, the Schutztruppe in Cameroon, and the Schutztruppe in GSWA. The article argues that beyond the fact that colonial armies were institutions of repression, they also provided opportunity for those willing or condemned to serve within their ranks. Furthermore the article provides some indication as to the extent of communication that existed between colonial subjects in the separate colonies of Africa at the time. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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