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Togo

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pangapilot
1155087.  Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:37 am Reply with quote

I believe the statement that the first shot of WWI was fired in Togo is likely to be an error. In 1914 there were two Togolands: German and French. After WWI, German Togoland was confiscated and absorbed into the Gold Coast, now Ghana. French Togoland eventually became Togo. I imagine an Englishman firing at a German would have been in German Togoland (now in Ghana) not in French Togoland (now Togo)
Incidentally, when I was a GVSO in Ghana (1965-6) many chiefs in the Eastern Region (ex German Togoland) spoke better German than English, having been educated in that language during the German colonial period. The local mother tongue is Ewe (pronounced Efe) as it is across the border in Togo. The Volta river (a natural boundary, you'd think) was the original dividing line between British and German colonial territories in that area.

 
Chris Neal
1155236.  Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:51 am Reply with quote

I agree with pangapilot the first shot was not fired in Togoland.
However,
the first shot was fired by an australian battery at a german ship off Port Phillip
The question was "...one of the countries where the first or last shots of WW1 was fired"
On 5 August 1914, the German ship SS Pfalz had a shot fired across its bows from the land battery at Fort Nepean. The ship stopped ( the next was likely to sink it) and returned to port where the crew were interned.
First shot 5th August - Australia

 
suze
1155257.  Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:22 am Reply with quote

It didn't stand up to serious scrutiny; from memory, it relied on a half truth. But someone hereabouts once came up with the claim that the first shots of both the First and Second World Wars were fired with the same gun.

Does anyone remember how that worked, and whether it had enough substance to it to be interesting even if not strictly true?

 

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