Posted on Tuesday March 29, 2016

Updated on Monday September 11, 2017

Photographs of the military campaign of the Belgian Congo (1916-1918)

The role that Belgium and its African colonies played in the First World War is well-documented in this photographic collection comprising 4 volumes, which may have been taken by Lieutenant Robert Vincent during the military campaign of the Belgian Congo against the German colonies in East Africa.

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Les champs de bataille de la Marne : récit technique et documenté - Gervais-Courtellemont; Gervais-Courtellemont. Royal Library of Belgium. In Copyright -

German presence in Africa posed no direct threat for the Belgian Congo. However, in 1914, a German gunboat sank a number of Belgian vessels on Lake Tanganyika. Congolese forces, under Belgian officers, fought German colonial forces in Cameroon and seized control of the western third of German East Africa.

Pictures in this collection, dating from 1916, show views of cities (Kasongo, Kilosa, Dar Es Salaam, Stanleyville etc.), local people (a housewife in Kilsoa, the servant Vincent Kissuma etc.), several official ceremonies (ceremony at Kilosa in 1917, a visit of the vice-governor of Meulemeester on the day of the armistice in Stanleyville), and recreational activities (hunting of antelopes, warthogs) etc.

Provided by: Royal Library of Belgium