The End of Germany’s Colonial Empire

Historian article

Daniel Steinbach, last updated: 7th August 2017

Daniel Steinbach asks why the loss of the German colonies in Africa was perceived as a powerful symbol of Germany’s deliberate humiliation at the end of the First World War.

Famously, Germany’s first and last shots of the First World War were fired in Africa. From its beginning to its end this war was a global event which changed lives, but also borders, on all continents. One of the most significant changes was the collapse and demise of Germany as a Weltmacht: Germany entered the war as a global power, with colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, but left as the first European state to lose all its overseas possessions...

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