The Info List - Mittelafrika

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(German: [ˈmɪtl̩ˌʔaːfʁika], "Middle Africa") is the name created for a geostrategic region in central and east Africa. Much like Mitteleuropa, it articulated Germany's foreign policy aim, prior to World War I, of bringing the region under German domination. The difference being that Mittelafrika
would presumably be an agglomeration of German colonies in Africa, while Mitteleuropa
was conceptualised as a geostrategic buffer zone between Germany and Russia to be filled with puppet states. German strategic thinking was that if the region between the colonies of German East Africa
(Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanganyika
( Tanzania
minus the island of Zanzibar)), German South-West Africa
( Namibia
minus Walvis Bay), and Cameroon could be annexed, a contiguous entity could be created covering the breadth of the African continent from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. Given the richness in natural resources of the Congo Basin
Congo Basin
alone, this region would accrue considerable wealth to the colonising power through the exploitation of natural resources, as well as contributing to another German aim of economic self-sufficiency. The concept dates back to the 1890s, when then Chancellor of Germany, Leo von Caprivi, gained the Caprivi Strip
Caprivi Strip
in the Heligoland–Zanzibar Treaty. This addition to German South-West Africa
attached the colony to the Zambezi River. British and German imperialists competed over the region which now comprises Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. Cecil Rhodes, on behalf of the British, successfully colonised the latter region (named Rhodesia, after Rhodes). Germany also discussed with Britain for them to press their ally, Portugal, to cede the colonies of Angola
and Mozambique
to them. The British however, had preferential trade agreements with Portugal, who was a trusted ally, and though plans for an eventual partition of the Portuguese colonies were drawn, Britain would thus see its colonial position in Africa severely weakened in case they were applied, since the Germans could then effectivelly threaten their Cairo
to Cape lines of communication. These plans were arguably made only to be used only as a last resort to appease Germany in case she threatened to disrupt the balance of power in Europe. However, since German foreign policy interests were in subsequent years mainly directed at gaining mastery in Europe itself, and not in Africa, they were eventually shelved. Indeed, as it is likely that German concepts of a "Mittelafrika" were designed to put pressure on Britain to tolerate growing German dominance in the European continent, and not the other way around, colonial concessions would never placate the German Empire, as surely British politicians came to realise at the time. Germany's aspirations in Mittelafrika
were incorporated into Germany's aims in World War I
World War I
insofar as Germany expected to be able to gain the Belgian Congo
Belgian Congo
if it were to defeat Belgium
in Europe. The full realisation of Mittelafrika
depended on a German victory in World War I in the European theatre, where Britain would be forced to negotiate and cede its colonies in Rhodesia to Germany when faced with a German-dominated Europe across the English Channel. In the course of the actual war, German aspirations in Mittelafrika
were never matched by events in the African theatre. The German colonies were at very different levels of defence and troop strength when the war began in Europe, and were not in a position to fight a war due to a lack of material. See also[edit]

Mitteleuropa German colonial empire The African Queen Pink Map Scramble for Africa Deutsches Kolonial-Lexikon


Fischer, Fritz, Germany's Aims in the First World War, Scranton, PA, W W Norton & Co, Inc., 1968 ISBN 0-393-09798-6

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Regions of Africa

Central Africa

Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland


Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau

East Africa

African Great Lakes

Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift Valley Gregory Rift Rift Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean

Comoros Islands

North Africa


Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West Africa

Pepper Coast Gold Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa


Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands


North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta False Bay Hydra Bay


Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan (region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

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States of the German Empire
German Empire


Bavaria Prussia Saxony Württemberg

Grand Duchies

Baden Hesse-Darmstadt Mecklenburg-Schwerin Mecklenburg-Strelitz Oldenburg Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach


Anhalt Brunswick Saxe-Altenburg Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Saxe-Lauenburg
(until 1876) Saxe-Meiningen


Lippe Reuss-Gera (Junior Line) Reuss-Greiz (Elder Line) Schaumburg-Lippe Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Schwarzburg-Sondershausen Waldeck and Pyrmont


Bremen Hamburg Lübeck

Imperial Territories



German colonial empire Mittela