Chambeshi Monument – Kasama, Zambia - Atlas Obscura

Chambeshi Monument

A stone memorial marks the spot where the fighting of World War I finally ceased—three days after the armistice was signed in Europe. 


The armistice of World War I was supposed to end all fighting on November 11, 1918, at 11 o’clock. Unfortunately, German forces in East Africa, led by General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, did not get the news until three days later. Thus, a monument in Zambia marks the spot where the hostilities of the First World War finally ended, on November 14th.

The German general had led a largely successful campaign in East Africa, using guerrilla attacks and keep British forces occupied and away from the fronts in Europe. At the end of the war, he had entered northern Rhodesia (modern-day Zambia) and was marching near the city of Kasama to avoid British forces concentrated near Abercorn (modern-day Mbala). German forces captured the city on November 13, two days after the armistice that formally ended the war.

A day later, on the 14th, General von Lettow-Vorbeckwas handed a telegram by a citizen of Kasama, Hector Croad, informing the general of the end of the war.

The spot is marked by the Chambeshi Monument, located just north of the Chambeshi River in Kasama. The memorial consists of a large concrete platform, on top of which sit a German cannon and a stone pillar with two plaques: one in English commemorating the event, and one in Bemba honoring the soldiers that fought in the war.

After being notified of the armistice, General von Lettow-Vorbeck was ordered by British forces to march north to Abercorn to surrender his forces. A pillar there marks the formal surrender.

Know Before You Go

The monument is located off the Great North Road, just north of the Chambeshi river approximately 100km south of Kasama. When heading north on the Great North Road, there is a sign on the left hand side of the road just after the Chambeshi River bridge. A path leads to the monument, and the caretaker of the monument will come to meet you to show you the way.

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