The Scramble for Africa

by Paul Southern

The story opens with 'Blazer' Colquhoun landing at the Cape in 1889 en route to a meeting with Cecil Rhodes. It is to take ‘Blazer’ and the swashbuckling Pioneers across Lobengula’s lands to bloody confrontation with England’s oldest ally at Massi-Kessi in the depths of Manicaland. One man’s derring-do thwarts Portugal’s long-cherished plans to establish a vast empire spanning the African continent and its repercussions are to herald the downfall of the Portuguese monarchy. The author vividly narrates the explorations, military operations and disasters of the Portuguese through the adventures of larger-than-life military officers, speculators and freebooters, and traces the dogged resistance and fate of kingdoms like those of Gazaland in Mozambique and Bié in Angola. In the first decade of the 20th century a Portuguese officer and a battle-hardened, former Senegalese colonial soldier, lead indigenous troops through hitherto impenetrable swamps and hostile jungles to establish control throughout turbulent Portuguese Guinea. The author graphically describes how German military intervention in Angola prior to the Great War, leads to a crushing Portuguese defeat, emboldening the clans of Kwanyamaland and provoking South African military involvement, while painting in graphic detail the Portuguese army’s epic battle for mastery of southern Angola, and of the Kwanyamaland chief’s final surrender to British Imperial forces in 1917. The author concludes this colourful, absorbing and wide-ranging narrative with a detailed account of the trials and tribulations of an ill-prepared Portuguese colonial army as it attempts, with British help, to stem the inexorable advance of German forces into Mozambique in the final stage of the Great War.
Dec 2010. Softback, 256 pages. 17 illustrations, 8 maps.

Taken from Bushveld.net