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Troops Returning from East Africa Parade through Berlin under General Lettow-Vorbeck (March 2, 1919)
A career officer in the Imperial German Army, Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck (1870-1964) was commander of the German East Africa Protectorate Forces [Schutztruppe] during World War I. With his roughly 14,000 troops, largely comprised of African soldiers (Askari), Lettow-Vorbeck engaged British colonial forces in raids and guerilla actions throughout British East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Rhodesia) and Portugese Mozambique with the aim of diverting Allied manpower and resources from the main theater of war in Europe. After Hindenburg hailed him as “the truest German soldier” [dem echtesten deutschen Soldaten] at this triumphal parade in Berlin, Lettow-Vorbeck put himself at the service of the new government and took command of a Reichswehr brigade. His relationship with both the Republic and the Reichswehr came to an abrupt end with his participation in the Kapp Putsch on October 20, 1920.