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The EK1

On a consideration of the facts that the enemy was operating in country well known to him, that he had an Air Service and Camel Corps when the Union had not, that he had carefully interned all enemy and suspicious subjects, and that in the union he had sympathy that went to the extent of armed rebellion, it will perhaps be readily conceded that he had a great advantage on the matter of procuring information. It is not of much interest to investigate the extent to which he had availed himself of these advantages, but it is instructive from a point of future application, to note some inconceivable oversights of the enemy that enabled the Union General Staff to obtain their information. There was no - or a very perfunctory - internal censorship over newspapers, letters, telegrams and wireless messages, these almost invariably disclosed dispositions or intended movements, especially wireless messages were a never failing source of information. When a wireless station had for days been ordering so many kilos of butter for the Fourth Battery, cut grass for the Third Company, boot laces for another company, and so on, it was in a few days possible not only to have a complete marching state of the troops to whom the wireless station was attached but also to have considerable information on the interior economy of the units and the character - or want of it - of the Officers. If then certain things were urgently ordered to be delivered by a certain date, a move by the units concerned could with probability be speculated on, generally in a direction and to a destination that could be anticipated from the indiscretions of the previous messages. When eventually the official marching orders in cypher were transmitted from Headquarters the telegram only served to enable the cypher keyword for that period to be discovered by the the Union Staff, as a very close guess of the contents of the message could be made and the enemy were obliging enough frequently to give part of a message in cypher only and the rest in clear.
Reconnaissance by aeroplane was to the Northern Force only available after the occupation of Karibib, while the Central, Southern and Eastern Forces never had the benefit of air information. The enemy however almost daily photographed and bombed the dispositions of the Central Force and also made air reconnaissances over the Northern dispositions.
Another point of interest in the intelligence work of this campaign that must be noted for future guidance was the futility on depending on persons with alleged local knowledge of the country. Of the numerous guides engaged, it was with few exceptions found that they invariably had complete knowledge of the entire country except just that particular portion on which information or column guiding was immediately required. The best of these guides went entirely wrong when leading a column in the first advance from Swakop to Goanikonas, fortunately the Brigade Major had checked the line of march by prismatic compass and when he discovered how far they were deviating from the objective he took over the guiding and marched by compass, with the result however that valuable time had been lost and the column arrived so late that the enemy could not be intercepted. The left wing of the 2nd Brigade also went wrong on the night march to Jackhalswater through trusting entirely to guides with local knowledge, and it is known that one German column in the attack on Trekkopies never reached its objective for the same reason, although they had a much better knowledge of the country. It therefore appears safe to assume that reliance should in these cases be placed more on mathematical direction.