02 February, 2018

Book Review - The German Colonial Empire

I was able to take advantage of a deal on a gaming site for a copy of The German Colonial Empire by Woodruff D. Smith (274 pages.  Published by The University of North Carolina Press, 1978).  Hardcover copies are currently being offered at $100.00 or more, so dropping $17.50 (including shipping) on a copy that is in excellent condition was a no brainer.

The book is divided into four parts that cover the following subjects:
The Origins of Germany's Colonial Empire
The Colonies: 1885-1907
Colonial Politics in Germany, 1890-1906
The Dernburg Era and Its Aftermath

Each part has three or four chapters.  The subject matter is from a social-political-economical point of view, there is very little military coverage.  For example the Herero and Nama Wars are covered in a short two pages at a broad brush level.

Overall, if you come across this title for under $20.00 it may be worth your while to understand Germany's path into colonialism as the book does provide a decent amount of coverage for each colony and protectorate.  However, it is extremely lacking in what most wargamers seek, substantial military history and/or scenario generation.

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