a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


Southwest African Revolt

Also called: Herero and Nama wars

Years: 1904-1905
Battle deaths: 12,800 [1]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]

Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2014-03-04 14:58:42
During the late 19th century, the first Europeans planning to permanently settle entered the land. Primarily in Damaraland, German settlers acquired land from the Herero in order to establish farms; in 1883, the merchant Franz Adolf Eduard Lüderitz entered into a contract with native elders which later was to become the basis of German colonial rule. The territory became a German colony under the name of German South-West Africa.

Soon after, conflicts betweeen German colonists and Herero herdsmen began; controversies frequently arose because of disputes about access to land and water, but also the legal discrimination of the native population by the white immigrants.

In 1904, those conflicts resulted in an uprising by the Herero and Nama. (Interestingly enough, the uprising was planned in an exchange of letters among tribal leaders; some of the documents have been preserved.) After a period success for the well-equipped insurgents, the German Empire sent a military expedition corps of about 15000 men under the command of Lothar von Trotha. The war and the subsequent genocide ordered by von Trotha resulted in the death of between 25000 and 100000 (possibly 65000) Hereros, about 10000 Nama and 1749 Germans. Since the insurgents had been ordered not to harm priests, clerics were falsely accused of collaboration and sometimes taken into custody.

Source: Wikipedia, published under the GNU FDL. Retrieved [dat]


Notes on fatalities

[1] Battle deaths: Correlates of War, Extra-State War Data v4.0, retrieved 2013-07-31. ~75,000 excess deaths according to Matthew White.

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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