Primary Source
Imperialism | Colonial Policy

[P|S|M]

Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by the German Colonial Society, 1918, The War in Kiautschou

The War in Kiautschou.

(p.31) In Kiautschou, by Imperial order, already on August 1st 1914 was declared as in state of war. The next day reserve soldiers were called in, on August 8th the land and sea militia. Simultaneously German consulates in all of China suggested Germans to report in Tsingtau.
As in addition to those who were obliged to report, a large number of volunteers from entire East and South Asia reported in Tsingtau, no exact figures can be given regarding the number of the defenders of Kiautschou. The garrison, in peacetime, numbered c. 2300.
Soon after the war broke out, the cruiser squadron left Kiautschou, leaving behind only smaller vessels. Among the warships which stayed behind for defensive purposes was the old Austrian cruiser "Kaiserin Elisabeth", the crew of which, in true brotherhood-in-arms fought side by side with the German defence force until the end.
England alone undertook nothing against Kiautschou. On August 15th it signed an agreement with Japan on the matter of steps to be undertaken against Kiautschou. On August 9th the Japanese ambassador in Berlin demanded in an ultimatum that Kiautschou was to be handed over without compensation to Japan by September 15th.
On August 23rd the German government refused to respond to this ultimatum and recalled her ambassador from Tokyo. Already on August 20th the governor of Kiautschou ordered Japanese citizens to leave the protectorate by the 22nd.
In Japan preparations were made before the ultimatum expired, and on August 27th the second Japanese squadron lay off Tsingtau. On land the Japanese attacked with 60,000 men and the British with 2,000. The enemy suffered from strong rain and soaked-up paths. At the end of September, the enemy, disregarding Chinese neutrality, succeeded in completely surrounding Tsingtau. But Japanese newspapers who earlier had printed "after the first Japanese cannon salvo, Tsingtau is finished", this boastful statement proved a miscalculation. Not only because the small force of defenders, using all kinds of means, was able to defend itself for weeks, it even afflicted so much damage to the besiegers in sorties (p.32) and counterattacks, that the entire Anglo-Japanese project seemed to come to a standstill. The first attack on the Tsingtau plant costed the attackers 2,500 men, so that the Japanese had to bring in reinforcements.
At sea, too, the German side was not content with mere defense. Here the successful attack of the old torpedo boat "S 90" on the Japanese cruiser Takotschiha, and its sinking, has to be mentioned. The small garrison could hold out for 10 weeks, until it was forced to surrender to the superior force on November 7th.
Since, Tsingtau completely has become a Japanese city, Japan also has taken possession of the private German railways and mines in Schantung. 


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel, Surveys and retrospects by Dr. Karstedt. Berlin 1918, p.31f

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
posted on the web for psm-data; many thanks to

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz 

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Kartenabteilung

Dokument in deutscher Sprache