Video: The Funeral of Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck

Footage of the funeral service for the German general described as the 20th century's greatest guerilla leader for his undefeated campaign in east Africa.

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Here's a small bit of footage, along with German commentary, from the funeral service held on March 13th, 1964, for Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, perhaps Germany's last great military hero and one whose undefeated east Africa campaign during the First World War is still taught as a case study at American colleges.

In the February issue of History Today, Dan Whitaker writes about von Lettow-Vorbeck, and considers whether his legend is justified. In this extract, he sets the scene for the funeral:

Ranks of sombre middle-aged men [are] gathered in a cold Pronzdorf cemetery. Many are uniformed soldiers. Two elderly Africans walk behind the coffin, dignified in their fez caps. Kai-Uwe von Hassel, the then West German defence minister, reads a eulogy. It is the funeral of Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, a First World War general who won the respect of Allied adversaries and was perhaps Germany’s last great military hero.

Read more about von Lettow-Vorbeck in Dan Whitaker's piece, 'The Uncatchable Lizard', in our February issue, which is out next week. You can also download the issue for your iPad, Kindle Fire or Android tablet.