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Half-Block Model of the 'Good News'

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A good, small, ship-builder's half-block model of the London Missionary Society's steamship 'Good News' (Habari Njema), perhaps made and distributed to doners to the fund to build this ship. 

At the beginning of WWI Germany's most valuable African colony was surrounded by British, Belgian and Portuguese possessions with most of the western border with the Belgian Congo defined entirely by Lake Tanganyika. The Germans needed to neutralize any of the lake’s vessels that could be armed. The British had two such ships on the lake at this time; the Good News, the first steamship on Lake Tanganyika, launched in 1885 and the Cecil Rhodes, owned by the British African Lakes Corporation and launched in 1900.

The Germans armed two vessels on the lake and following an attack on the Belgian steamer Alexandre Delcommune, and the sinking of both Good News and the Cecil Rhodes in November 1915, were left with the only two steamers on the lake; both armed.

This model entirely original, displayed in a fine mahognay presentation case, measuring w:20.25 in x  d:4 3/8 in x h:5 1/8 in 

The Battle for Lake Tanganyika was in fact a series of battles that took place from the turn of 1915 and followed a Boy’s Own Daredevil plan proposed by John Lee, a professional hunter and ivory poacher; an expert on Africa having previously been a scout in the Boer War. Realizing that the German’s two armed vessels was still only two more than the Royal Navy, he put forward a plan that successfully employed two Thorneycroft speed boats fitted with 3 pounder Hotchkiss guns on their fordecks and a Maxim at the stern. With assistance from the Belgians, who attacked and occupied the town of Kigoma, by July of 1916 the battle for the Lake was over.  A contemporary writer wrote, “No single achievement during WW1 was distinguished by more bizarre features than the successfully executed undertaking of twenty eight daring men who transported a ‘ready-made’ navy overland through the wilds of Africa to destroy an enemy flotilla on Lake Tanganyika.”


Item Code: 4673

£ 850

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