Military Wiki
Battle of Trekkopjes
Part of South-West Africa Campaign
Date26 April 1915
LocationTrekkopjes, German Southwest Africa
Result South African victory

 German Empire

  • German Southwest Africa
 Union of South Africa
Commanders and leaders
German Empire Major Hermann Ritter Union of South Africa Colonel P. C. B. Skinner
700-1500 Troops
2 artillery pieces
9 armoured cars
Casualties and losses
14 dead
14 wounded
13 captured.[1]
8 dead
34 wounded.[1]

The Battle of Trekkopjes on 26 April 1915[2] was a German assault on the South African held town of Trekkopjes during the South-West Africa Campaign of World War I. The South African Major Skinner had been ordered to defend Trekkopjes, and came into contact with a German column advancing on that town. Skinner withdrew back into Trekkopjes and dug in his forces. The German attack was repulsed with the help of armoured cars, leaving the South Africans victorious. The Battle of Trekkopjes saw the last German offensive in German South-West Africa leaving them on the defensive for the remainder of the campaign.


After losing significant ground to the South Africans under Botha, the German army under Franke in German Southwest Africa began preparations to go on the offensive again. By mid April it was decided to attack the South African held town of Trekkopjes, and a German scout plane had gathered intelligence of the South African forces holding the town.


At 5:45 A.M. the Germans appeared close to Trekkopjes and blew the rail line to the east of the camp in an attempt to prevent Allied reinforcements from arriving. By 7:40 the Germans began their attack on the Allied positions by shelling the encampment's tents with artillery. Since Colonel Skinner's men lacked artillery they were unable to respond to the German shelling, and waited until the Germans assaulted their position.

After five hours of fighting the South Africans forced the Germans to retreat by attacking their flanks with machine guns mounted in armoured cars.[3][4]


Though neither side suffered heavy casualties, the German defeat greatly demoralized Franke's men. For the rest of the campaign the Germans would stay on the defensive and were pushed further and further back until the main body finally surrendered a few months later after the Battle of Otavi.



Coordinates: 22°17′35″S 15°06′11″E / 22.293°S 15.103°E / -22.293; 15.103

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