Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck
(20.3.1870 - 9.3.1964)
place of birth: Saarlouis, Rheinpreußen
commanded the German East African (Tanzania) Colonial Forces during the war.
He was the son of General of Infantry Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, of noble
Pomerian ancestory, and his wife Marie Eisenhart-Rothe. He began his
military career as an 11-year old cadet in the Potsdam Corps. Later he
studied military science as an artillery officer. Following the War,
Lettow-Vorbeck married Martha Wallroth in 1919.
In German East Africa,
Lettow-Vorbeck's troops consisted of 3,000 German soldiers and 11,000 Askari natives.
By 1916, his skirmishes against the British lead him to abandon conventional warfare,
and he thus became one of
the most gifted and successful leaders of guerilla tactics. He was awarded the Pour
le Merite in 1916. He ended up being the last German commander to surrender during the
war, returning home to Germany in January 1919 as a hero and with a
promotion to major
Although he was right-wing,
he never became a Nazi and tried to organize a conservative opposition to
Hitler. Spent his impoverished retirement in Hamburg, where he died on 9 March