Novelist: Hugo Pratt

1927 – 15 June, Hugo Pratt is born in Rimini, Italy
1936 – aged 14, moves to Abyssinia when his father it transferred to the colony, where he joined the local police
1943 – father dies, returns to Italy, joins Military College
1944 – interpreter for Allied army due to proficiency in English
1949 – moves to Buenos Aires
1953 – marries
1959 – moves to London and other places
1994 – returns to Italy, Rome
1995 – 20 August, dies

Hugo only produced four cartoon stories of the war in Africa, although his chronology and historical accuracy are not to be taken seriously. His big interest seems to be Christian/Muslim interaction no doubt inspired by his time in Africa as a child in Ethiopia/Abyssinia. He moves from Egypt, to Sudan to Congo and then East Africa where the Konisgberg gets a mention. The comic strips were republished by Euro Comics in 2018

World War 1 Africa books by Hugo Pratt

The Ethiopian (1972; 2018) (book 4 in Africa)


Corto Maltese ; Corto biography

Hugo talks of his time in Africa (French and Italian); on Corto Maltese (Italian)
Youtube videos of Hugo

Art works

Novelist: Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Addison Smith was a prolific novelist focusing on Africa. Of the 49 novels published before his death, 4 concern the Great War in Africa.

1933 – born 9 January in Kabwe, Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia)
1940s – School in Natal, South Africa
1954 – graduated with degree in Commerce from Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
1963 – working for Inland Revenue in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
1963 – published first story under the name Stephen Lawrence
1964 – first novel published, When the Lion Feeds
2021 – died 13 November in Cape Town, South Africa

Books on WW1 Africa
Shout at the Devil (1968) also a film (1976) – East Africa, Konigsberg
A Sparrow Falls (1977) – SA 1914 rebellion
The Burning Shore (1987) also a film (1991) – Europe, GSWA, East Africa
Assegai (2009) – East Africa, zeppelin

Wilbur Smith
see also

Novelist: Hugh Wray McCann

Hugh Wray McCann was a science editor for The Detroit News with an interest in both world wars.

1928 – born 28 March in Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland
1946 – aged 18 spent 5 years in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a draughtsman
1951 – moved to the USA where he joined the USA Army and served in Korea
1967 – shared Pulitzer Prize for Detroit Free Press coverage of the Detroit Race Riots and awarded an Emmy for 6 Days in July
2014 – died 13 June

Books on WW1 Africa
Utmost Fish (1965) – on the Lake Tanganyika Expedition

Obituary – Pioneer Tribune
Obituary – Record Eagle

Novelist: David Bee

There is nothing online to give an insight to David Bee. However, in his book Curse of Magira, the author has provided the necessary information.

1931 – born John David Ashford Bee, Simonstown, South Africa
1959-1961 Labour Officer, Tanganyika

David’s “interest in the 1914-18 East African Campaign began as a child, for two of his uncles had served under General Smuts, and his father joined H.M.S. Hyacinth in 1917. Meetings with German settlers who remained in Tanganyika after Germany’s defeat convinced him that it was time to look at the period of the German Protectorate a little more closely; it seemed a pity that this dramatic piece of African and military history was less well-known than it deserved to be. Many of the incidents of the present-day plot are drawn from his own experience.” 

In the foreword to the book, Bee explains what is fiction and what is not, as well as supplying a list of references at the end.

Curse of Magira which was also published under the title Our Fatal Shadows was the second of three books David wrote. The other two are: Children of yesterday (1961) and The Victims (1971). The former about children of different races growing up together and the latter about a plague at the time of independence in East Africa. (listed on British Library catalogue)

WW1 Books by David Bee
Curse of Magira: A novel of East Africa (1964)

Novelist: Janusz Meissner

Janusz Meissner was a Polish author with an interest in flight. He was also a journalist and had been a pilot in the Polish Air Force. His wrote under the name Flight Lt Herbert.

1901 – born 21 January, Warsaw
1919 – finished training as a pilot
1920 – Soviet-Polish war
1921 – decorated for role in Third Silesian uprising
1922-1946 – Pilot in the Police Air Force Academy
1944 – Officer in British Royal Air Force
1946 – Returned to Poland
1978 – died 28 February, Krakow

He had 48 books published of which one, L59 – Zeppelin to East Africa concerned the Great War in Africa.

Books on WW1 Africa

L-59 (1958, in Polish)