Rain and Bad Weather During War: The Role of Climate and Environment During the Great War in Cameroon (1914–1916)
This chapter examines the First World War experience in Cameroon and underlines the extent to which environmental conditions influenced military operations as well as their role in the rivalry between opposing German, French, British and Belgian troops. Weather and environmental realities emerged as a central and determinant factor for the different protagonists in the ongoing hostilities. While German troops utilised the roughness of the natural environment to hold up the Allies’ progression, French and British troops struggled against the hostility of the natural milieu and had difficulties in overcoming the numerous ambushes laid on by the Germans. An examination of the lexicology employed by the French troops to depict that ‘treacherous forest’, those ‘immeasurably flooded’ rivers due to ‘torrential equatorial rains’, sheds some light on their weariness when faced with an environment that proved to be their first enemy to be confronted.