May 22 1918, Korewa–Since crossing into Mozambique in November, the German forces under Lettow-Vorbeck had been doing their best to raid the Portuguese and capture their supplies while avoiding the British forces sent to pursue them. His area of operations was too thinly settled to maintain his whole force as one unit, so he divided it into multiple columns to fan out and secure supplies individually. On April 12, the British caught up with Captain Koehl’s column at Medo, engaging it for seven hours before the Germans were able to slip away. On May 22, they engaged them again in the rocky hills near Korewa, nearly managing to trap the whole column this time. The Germans were able to escape, but had to abandon all of their animals and porters, over 100,000 rounds of ammunition, all of their mountain gun ammunition, and large quantities of food and medical supplies. This left the Germans critically short on supplies overall, and Lettow-Vorbeck planned to push south of the Lurio River, in the direction of Quelimane, for more supplies.
The governor of German East Africa, Heinrich Schnee, had been left in an awkward situation when the Germans abandoned the colony; he was now a governor with no colony left to govern, and could no longer claim any authority over Lettow-Vorbeck. Schnee lost all of his baggage at Korewa, and had to scrounge what he could; Lettow-Vorbeck gave him a pair of blue socks which, he said, Schnee’s “wife had made for me at the beginning of the war, but which unfortunately had faded.”
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Sources include: Byron Farwell, The Great War in Africa.