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Germany – Postcard – Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck – Autographed – The Lion of Africa

SKU: 19-328

$750.00

We recently acquired a large collection of signed postcards, private photos, letters, etc. of German Admirals, Generals, etc. Many of these items were acquired by a single collector who would write to the subject and receive in return a signed photograph, postcard, letter. Etc. The name of this collector was Paul Baer and his name appears on many of the items offered….

 

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Germany – Postcard – Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck – Autographed – The Lion of Africa

This is an autographed postcard of one of the most interesting figures of WW I, Generalmajor Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck (1870-1964) who was known as “The Lion of Africa”. Von Lettow-Vorbeck was an early member of a Garde-Infanterie-Regiment as a young Leutnant. He was then assigned in 1900 to assist in the Boxer Rebellion. He was then reassigned to Berlin in 1901 where he served o the General Staff. In 1904 he served in German Southwest Africa where he lost an eye in combat. From 1909-1913 he served in II. See-Bataillone at Wilhelmshaven. Just prior to the outbreak of WW I he was sent to German East Africa which was the most important of the German African colonies.

When hostilities commenced, he was the military commander of the German forces which consisted of German officers and NCO’s and native troops known as Askaris. Never numbering more than 14,000 men in total, during the four years of the war they managed to pin down 300,000 British troops who were trying and failing to defeat him. Except for some early war provisioning of supplies, they lived off the land and British supplies that they captured. There was even an effort to resupply them by way of Zeppelin LZ 104 which ultimately failed.

Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of his story was the assistance of the Kaiserliche Marine and the S.M.S. Königsberg. This vessel had been raiding British commerce in the Indian Ocean in 1915 when she was forced to hide in a river. For several months British efforts to sink her failed. Finally special ships sent from England were able to penetrate her defenses and she was scuttled. But that was not the end of the story for the German sailors. Several of the cannons from the ship were removed along with other supplies and they joined von Lettow-Vorbeck’s group. During the war for his efforts he was promoted to Generalmajor and was awarded Germany’s highest honor the Pour le Mérite.

When WW I ended in November 1918 von Lettow-Vorbeck was still fightng and were the last German troops to lay down their arms esentially undefeated in the field. He and his men returned to Germany and were hailed in Berlin as national heroes. They paraded through the Brandenburg Gate to the acclaim of the people still wearing the tattered uniforms that they had worn in Africa. They were the only German troops to successfully invade British territory.

During the Third Reich era von-Lettow-Vorbeck had little use for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. He was offered the ambassadorship to Great Britain and stiffly refused insulting Hitler.

This postcard shows von Lettow-Vorbeck in his pre war uniform of an Oberst. Along with his tunic he is wearing the hat (Hut) which was typically the German African headdress which looks like a cowboy hat with the right side turned up and a kokarde.

His bold signature in black ink “Lettow” appears on the reverse with no date. This is the first autograph of his that we have ever encountered.

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Germany – Postcard – Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck – Autographed – The Lion of Africa

This is an autographed postcard of one of the most interesting figures of WW I, Generalmajor Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck (1870-1964) who was known as “The Lion of Africa”. Von Lettow-Vorbeck was an early member of a Garde-Infanterie-Regiment as a young Leutnant. He was then assigned in 1900 to assist in the Boxer Rebellion. He was then reassigned to Berlin in 1901 where he served o the General Staff. In 1904 he served in German Southwest Africa where he lost an eye in combat. From 1909-1913 he served in II. See-Bataillone at Wilhelmshaven. Just prior to the outbreak of WW I he was sent to German East Africa which was the most important of the German African colonies.

When hostilities commenced, he was the military commander of the German forces which consisted of German officers and NCO’s and native troops known as Askaris. Never numbering more than 14,000 men in total, during the four years of the war they managed to pin down 300,000 British troops who were trying and failing to defeat him. Except for some early war provisioning of supplies, they lived off the land and British supplies that they captured. There was even an effort to resupply them by way of Zeppelin LZ 104 which ultimately failed.

Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of his story was the assistance of the Kaiserliche Marine and the S.M.S. Königsberg. This vessel had been raiding British commerce in the Indian Ocean in 1915 when she was forced to hide in a river. For several months British efforts to sink her failed. Finally special ships sent from England were able to penetrate her defenses and she was scuttled. But that was not the end of the story for the German sailors. Several of the cannons from the ship were removed along with other supplies and they joined von Lettow-Vorbeck’s group. During the war for his efforts he was promoted to Generalmajor and was awarded Germany’s highest honor the Pour le Mérite.

When WW I ended in November 1918 von Lettow-Vorbeck was still fightng and were the last German troops to lay down their arms esentially undefeated in the field. He and his men returned to Germany and were hailed in Berlin as national heroes. They paraded through the Brandenburg Gate to the acclaim of the people still wearing the tattered uniforms that they had worn in Africa. They were the only German troops to successfully invade British territory.

During the Third Reich era von-Lettow-Vorbeck had little use for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. He was offered the ambassadorship to Great Britain and stiffly refused insulting Hitler.

This postcard shows von Lettow-Vorbeck in his pre war uniform of an Oberst. Along with his tunic he is wearing the hat (Hut) which was typically the German African headdress which looks like a cowboy hat with the right side turned up and a kokarde.

His bold signature in black ink “Lettow” appears on the reverse with no date. This is the first autograph of his that we have ever encountered.