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Battle of Tanga

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Unit/ Formation: RMLI


Location: Tanga


Period/ Conflict: World War I


Year: 1914


Date/s: 3 November 1914


The Battle of Tanga, sometimes also known as the Battle of the Bees, was the unsuccessful attack by the British Indian Expeditionary Force "B" under Major GeneralA. E. Aitken to capture German East Africa (the mainland portion of present-day Tanzania) during the First World War in concert with the invasion Force "C" near Longido on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.


HMS Fox was a second class protected cruiser of the Astraea class of the Royal Navy

It was the first major event of the war in Eastern Africa and saw the British defeated by a significantly smaller force of German Askaris and colonial volunteers under Lieutenant Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck. It was the beginning of the East African Campaign of World War I, and is considered one of the greatest victories of the Schutztruppe in Africa.



The British retreat enabled the Schutztruppe to salvage modern equipment, medical supplies, tents, blankets, food and a number of Maxim machine guns which allowed them to successfully resist the allies for the rest of the war.


"Battle of Tanga, 3rd–5th November, 1914" by Martin Frost (1875–1927)

HMS Fox had Royal Marines Light Infantry as a part of its crew.


More related Royal Marines 'Dits':

References/ further reading:

  1. Wikipedia - Battle of Tanga



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