British soldiers' newspaper from German East Africa
This is the last issue of the soldier newspaper published by and for the members of the 'Motor Transport Depot' in Dar es Salaam in December 1918.
During the First World War, thousands of different soldier newspapers were published across the globe, ranging from semi-official publications that tried to influence soldiers’ opinions and improve morale to more official works produced by serving soldiers and officers. Only very few soldier newspapers from Africa have survived, since the conditions of the campaigns and the lack of resources did not allow for regular publications. This particular issue was produced by the ‘Motor Transport Depot’ in Dar es Salaam, the occupied former capital of German East Africa. It contains several genre-typical stories about military adventures or conflicts between soldiers and officers, but there are also two contributions on European-African relations. The publication and the article both stress racial hierarchy, with the Africans depicted as intellectually inferior and unreliable. While these tropes were already well established in pre-war colonial publications and also became part of many military memoirs published after the war, they did not usually feature within material written during the war. This last issue of Doings, with its already sentimental perspective on the recent campaign, is an example of this reaffirmation of white supremacy which sidelined and minimised the contribution by African soldiers and civilians to the war effort in East Africa.