German colonial empire

The German colonial empire (German: Deutsches Kolonialreich) constituted the overseas colonies, dependencies and territories of the German Empire. Unified in the early 1870s, the chancellor of this time period was Otto von Bismarck. Short-lived attempts at colonization by individual German states had occurred in preceding centuries, but Bismarck resisted pressure to construct a colonial empire until the Scramble for Africa in 1884. Claiming much of the left-over uncolonized areas of Africa, Germany built the third-largest colonial empire at the time, after the British and French.[1] The German Colonial Empire encompassed parts of several African countries, including parts of present-day Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Namibia, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, as well as northeastern New Guinea, Samoa and numerous Micronesian islands. Including mainland Germany, the empire had a total land area of 3,503,352 square kilometers and population of 80,125,993 people.

German Colonial Empire
Deutsches Kolonialreich
Coat of arms
German colonies and protectorates in 1914
StatusColonial empire
Common languagesGerman

Swahili, Rwanda-Rundi (Burundi, Rwanda, Buha kingdom in Tanzania), Arabic (East African colonies)
Oshiwambo, Afrikaans (South West Africa)

Tsingtao Chinese and Mandarin Chinese (Tianjin and Kiautschou Bay)
Papuan languages (German New Guinea)
Samoan (German Samoa)
19122,962,495 km2 (1,143,826 sq mi)
An East African Askari soldier holding Germany's colonial flag

Germany lost control of most of its colonial empire at the beginning of the First World War in 1914, but some German forces held out in German East Africa until the end of the war. After the German defeat in World War I, Germany's colonial empire was officially dissolved with the Treaty of Versailles. Each colony became a League of Nations mandate under the supervision (but not ownership) of one of the victorious powers.[2] Talk of regaining their lost colonial possessions persisted in Germany until 1943, but never became an official goal of the German government.

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