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Battle of Kakamas
Part of South-West Africa Campaign
Date4 February 1915
LocationKakamas, South Africa
Result South African victory, German invasion repelled
Belligerents

 German Empire

 Union of South Africa
Commanders and leaders
German Empire Major Hermann Ritter Union of South Africa Colonel J. van Deventer
Strength
~6,000 men
Casualties and losses
7 dead
16 wounded
16 captured

The battle of Kakamas took place in Kakamas, Northern Cape Province of South Africa on 4 February 1915. It was a skirmish for control of two river fords over the Orange River between contingents of a German invasion force and South African armed forces. The South Africans succeed in preventing the Germans gaining control of the fords and crossing the river.

Prelude[edit | edit source]

South Africa had assembled a force of 6,000 men in Upington and Kakamas, under the command of Colonel J. van Deventer. Deventer's men were to from one of the columns in a planned invasion of German South West Africa. In a pre-emptive move German Schutztruppe under the command of Major Ritter invaded South Africa.[1]

Battle[edit | edit source]

Ritter attacked Kakamas on 4 February 1915, hoping to capture two Orange River fords and head south further into South Africa. A fierce skirmish developed with the Germans being beaten back, with the loss of seven dead, sixteen wounded and sixteen taken prisoner.[1][2][3][4]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Following the battle van Deventer called up the rest of his column from Upington, 80 kilometres away, crossed the Orange River and proceeded to advance slowly into South-West Africa.

Memorial[edit | edit source]

Just outside the town, in the town's cemetery, there is a memorial dedicated to the German soldiers killed in the battle.[5]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Willcox, A. R. (1986). Great river: the story of the Orange River, Drakensberg Publications, ISBN 0-620-09845-7, ISBN 978-0-620-09845-8 p. 84
  2. Olivier, Sandra (2005) Touring in South Africa, 2nd Edition, Struik, ISBN 1-77007-142-3. p. 164
  3. Exploring our Provinces: Northern Cape, Volume 8, Jacana Media, ISBN 1-77009-267-6. p. 62
  4. Reader's Digest illustrated guide to Southern Africa, Reader's Digest Association South Africa (Pty.), ltd. in association with T. V. Bulpin, 1978, p. 183
  5. Reader's Digest illustrated guide to southern Africa, 2nd Edition, Reader's Digest Association South Africa, 1980, ISBN 0-620-04650-3, ISBN 978-0-620-04650-3

Further reading[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 28°48′S 20°39′E / 28.8°S 20.65°E / -28.8; 20.65

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