Mimi and Toutou Go Forth: The Bizarre Battle Of Lake Tanganyika

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9780141009841: Mimi and Toutou Go Forth: The Bizarre Battle Of Lake Tanganyika

At the start of World War One, German warships controlled Lake Tanganyika in Central Africa. The British had no naval craft at all upon 'Tanganjikasee', as the Germans called it. This mattered: it was the longest lake in the world and of great strategic advantage. In June 1915, a force of 28 men was despatched from Britain on a vast journey. Their orders were to take control of the lake. To reach it, they had to haul two motorboats with the unlikely names of Mimi and Toutou through the wilds of the Congo. The 28 were a strange bunch -- one was addicted to Worcester sauce, another was a former racing driver -- but the strangest of all of them was their skirt-wearing, tattoo-covered commander, Geoffrey Spicer-Simson. Whatever it took, even if it meant becoming the god of a local tribe, he was determined to cover himself in glory. But the Germans had a surprise in store for Spicer-Simson, in the shape of their secret 'supership' the Graf von Gotzen . . . Unearthing new German and African records, the prize-winning author of The Last King of Scotland retells this most unlikely of true-life tales with his customary narrative energy and style. Fitzcarraldo meets Heart of Darkness, this is rich, vivid and flashmanesque in its appeal - military history at its most absorbing and entertaining

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About the Author:

Giles Foden was born in Warwickshire in 1967. His family moved to Malawi in 1972 where he was brought up. His first novel, the acclaimed The Last King of Scotland (1998), is set during Idi Amin's rule of Uganda in the 1970s and won the Whitbread First Novel Award; his second novel, Ladysmith (1999), is set during the Anglo-Boer War in 1899; Zanzibar (2002), is set in East Africa and explores the events surrounding the bombings of American embassies in 1998. The Battle for Lake Tanganyika was published in 2004 and in 2007 he edited H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines for Penguin.

Review:

Another delightful tale sieved from the flotsam of African military history from a writer who is fast creating a niche of his own Arena Foden has brought to life one of the strangest episodes of the first world war'... a real romp through the desert of darkness and extremely funny Sunday Times Giles Foden writes with wit ... give it a read Literary Review Foden has brought to life one of the strangest episodes of the first world war'... a real romp through the desert of darkness and extremely funny Sunday Times

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Foden, Giles (Author)
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Book Description Penguin, London, 2004. Cloth & Gilt. Book Condition: NEW. Dust Jacket Condition: NEW. 1st. Edition. 320pp, 3 maps, in text illustrations, catalogue of vessels. NEW hardback,NEW in NEW dustjacket. A court-martialled inveterate liar is dispatched with an unhinged team to drag two gunboats through the Congo and engage an enemy with a few surprises still up its sleeve. A ripping First World War yarn of the triumph of British amateurism over the Kaiser's forces on Lake Tanganyika. Great read! O14E. Bookseller Inventory # 16007

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