The Maji Maji Rebellion Pt. III: Famine and Warfare

0 Posted by - July 20, 2023 - Black History

A little over a week following the death of Bokero, the Maji Maji Rebellion continued. Ngindo rebels cornered Catholic missionaries out on safari. All five would end up speared to death before but they weren’t done. The Ngindo rebels raged throughout Tanzania, attacking garrisons and other fortifications.

The Battle at Mahenge

In late August, the Ngindo cut through the Ifakara garrison and were within striking distance of Mahenge, a slightly larger garrison with over 1,000 native and German troops. They outnumbered the force at Mahenge but didn’t have the weaponry advantage.

The rebels advance on the garrison only for communication broke down among them. A consensus on whether to advance the attack or back down couldn’t be reached. This allowed for the German forces to take advantage of the situation and mow down a number of Maji Maji rebels led by a commanding medium. The remaining rebels retreated the battle, their confidence in victory shaken.

Late Maji Maji Rebellion

In October 1905, the newly arrived Ngoni joined the Maji Maji forces committing 5,000. As a result, the German forces rolled into the Ngoni’s establishment and slaughtered many of them with machine gun fire. The power of maji was broken and the rebels lost a numerous ally.

By the end of October, Kaiser Wilhelm sent in a supplementary force to assist with quashing the Maji Maji. In addition, backup arrived from other territories. This new bolstered force swept through Tanzania leveling villages. The Maji Maji continued their attacks now in the form of ambushes but as April 1906 rolled around, German had brought southwestern Tanzania underfoot.

In the southeast, fighting had gotten ugly becomes ugly as the Maji Maji took the fight to the Germans. When the southwestern troops joined in the fighting got even uglier. Things eventually went Germany’s way after General Von Gotzen offered pardons for soldiers who turned over on leaders. As a means of bolstering this to really put an end to things, he chose to starve the rebels out.


Famine As A Weapon

The Maji Maji Rebellion proved to be such a concern that General Von Gotzen decided that killing hundreds of thousands to kill a couple thousand was a good strategy. It proved effective as in the end the Maji Maji had been wiped out by August 1907. Over 250,000 Africans in Tanzania were killed–most weren’t involved as active combatants and most were a result of famine.


1 Comment

  • Cardis Berry October 8, 2017 - 4:04 pm

    At Black Civics 101 : What you may want to call Germans?
    We as Africans who have been dominated by these slave traders call them white DEVILS because of there behavior.
    We further know that SILENCE is consent to the predator.