German South-West Africa


German South-West Africa, or present-day Namibia, was a colony of the German Empire from 1884 until 1915, when it was occupied by South African forces fighting on the side of Great Britain in World War I. The brief history of the colony was marked by a series of insurrections by the Khoekhoe and Hereros against German rule, insurrections that the authorities suppressed with extraordinary harshness. The German ambition was to populate the colony with large numbers of settlers from Germany, much as the British had done in other parts of Africa. By 1914 more than 9,000 German settlers were living in the colony, but the dry climate and lack of water was a limiting factor on further settlement and expansion. Theodor Rehbock was a noted German hydraulic engineer who was asked by a local syndicate to study the colony’s water resources and their potential use in irrigation projects. Rehbock visited German South-West Africa in 1896-97 and produced this analysis of its economics, geology, climatology, and hydrology. His work contains detailed maps, tables, and plans for water projects. It remains a valuable resource for the study of the history of Namibia.

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D. Reimer, Berlin


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xxii, 237 pages; illustrations, plates, map, charts; 28 centimeters

Last updated: November 14, 2017