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The military role of the Rehoboth Basters during the South African invasion of German south west Africa, 1914-1915

Stellenbosch University
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During the course of the South African invasion (1914/15) and theirforced involvement in the German war effort caused great consternationamong the Rehoboth Basters. They feared that should they activelysupport the Germans, they could lose their land and their right to selfdetermination. Accordingly, Captain Cornelius van Wyk visited GeneralLouis Botha in Swakopmund in April 1915. Botha advised them to avoidbecoming involved in the war effort as far as possible. The Basters,however, in spite of Botha's advice, rebelled against the Germans. Thetimely arrival of the South African forces in the Rehoboth Gebiet and theresultant withdrawal of the Germans to the north prevented the Germansfrom delivering the final blow to the Basters. With the Peace of Khorab (9July 1915) the German administration in South West Africa was formallyended.Gedurende die Suid-Afrikaanse inval (1914/15) het die noodgedwonge betrokkenheid van die Rehoboth-Basters by die Duitse oorlogspoging groot ontsteltenis in Bastergeledere veroorsaak. Die Basters was bevrees dat indien hulle die Duitsers aktief sou steun, hulle moontlik hulle grondgebied en reg tot selfbestuur kon verloor. Gevolglik het kaptein Cornelius van Wyk generaal Louis Botha in April 1915 te Swakopmund besoek. Laasgenoemde het hulle aangeraai om sover moontlik nie by die oorlog betrokke te raak nie. Die Basters het egter ondanks die advies van Botha teen die Duitsers in opstand gekom. Die tydige aankoms van die Suid-Afrikaanse magte in die Rehoboth-Gebiet het die gevolglike onttrekking van die Duitsers na die noorde, het verhoed dat die Duitsers die Basters die finale nekslag toedien. Met die Vrede van Khorab (9 Julie 1915) is die Duitse administrasie in Suidwes-Afrika formeel beeindig.

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