The peace establishment of the German forces in South West at the outbreak of war was one hundred and forty officers and two thousand other ranks organised in mounted companies and batteries. These were all specially picked men for Colonial service. There were further known to be about 7000 adult European males, most of whom had military service besides several hundred South African rebels who had joined the German forces. In munitions the enemy was well supplied, large stores having remained in the country from the last Native campaign. At the beginning of 1915 the hostile forces were organised in eight regiments and nine separate companies together with reserve and depot companies details of which are given in the appendix under "list of German units" which was compiled in the field but proved substantially correct.
The food resources of the country were placed under rigorous control at the outbreak of hostilities and considerable attention was devoted to agriculture, from all information obtained it was clear that the enemy would be able to subsist for the duration of the war.
Although numerically weak and cut off from his home supplies the enemy had natural advantages which in his own estimation rendered his position secure. The want of water and roads laid down the Union lines of advance within very definite and narrow boundaries, any advance could be easily foreseen and the area mined, water "Destroyed" and such dispositions made that the head of the attacking column could always be met by superior force . The broken nature of the country was in a high degree suitable for defensive battles and the enemy could dispute the advance at places where he held the water and where the attacking force would have to deploy on very inconvenient ground after a forty mile march from the last water. Any serious check under these circumstances would have resulted in absolute disaster as the troops could not have held put long or undertaken a retirement without water. Besides this the enemy had the advantage of acting on interior lines along a well appointed railway system, which as far as it gradually fell into our hands would have to be repaired with material brought oversea.
The enemy had several aircraft and an advantage over the Union resources in having an efficient camel corps. His information would presumably thus be to effective as to minimalise any element of surprise.