Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Professor Mark Walker


odysseys, germany, first world war, german east africa, emden, ayesha, seeadler, schutztruppe


This thesis examines the journeys of four separate German military units away from the European theater and forced to operate without aid or allies in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans, as well as in Africa. Each group had a clear goal to accomplish, to strengthen the German war effort from abroad, either by disrupting, evading, or diverting Allied personnel and war materiel. To accomplish this, each group required cunning, discipline, deception, and strong leadership. These odysseys, although more aptly compared to Xenophon’s Anabasis, demonstrate the global nature of the First World War, the deterioration of international good will and chivalry towards one’s adversaries between 1914 and 1919, and the success of unconventional strategies in evading overwhelming enemy forces while away from the Eastern or Western Fronts. This thesis specifically examines the journeys of the SMS Emden in the Pacific and Indian Oceans from the summer of 1914 to November 1914, her landing crew through the Indian Ocean and Middle East from November 1914 to May 1915, the SMS Seeadler from her conception in the summer of 1916 to August 1917, and the Schutztruppe in German East Africa from 1914 to 1918. The leaders of these groups were Karl von Müller, Hellmuth von Mücke, Count Felix von Luckner, and Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck respectively.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.