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In an attempt to record the assistance rendered by the Navy in this Campaign we are faced by the same difficulties that present themselves in considering the Unions Military Operations before 1915. The Navy had in 1914 to perform operations like the bombardment and destruction of the Swakop Harbour works, which in no way directly assisted in the conquest of South West Africa but were imperatively conditioned by events far removed from the South West Coast. As with the Union military enterprise it will thus be best to recount only those operations that were performed after the situation was so far cleared up that attention could exclusively be directed to South West.
When the Union Government had its hands free to deal with the South West Campaign, the first work of the Navy was to examine and sweep the waters of Luderitz, Swakop and Walvis Bays for mines and remove these. Such craft as was anchored in these harbours was secured for use of the Union forces but the enemy had grounded some of the larger vessels and the smaller craft (one launch and about a dozen lighters) had been placed on railway trucks and removed inland to Otavi where they were captured by the 5th and 6th Mounted Brigades on the 1st of July 1915.
The work of escorting, conveying and disembarking the Union Forces from Cape Town to Luderitz, Swakop and Walvis was conducted by the Navy without the loss of a single life or vessel, and in January 1915 before the railway from Walvis to Swakop was completed the troops in Swakop were entirely dependent for their supply on the daily sea transport service between these two places.
In addition to the dull but indispensable work of maintaining the ocean line of communication and overcoming the daily vagaries of tide and weather in disembarking the thousands of troops and animals, and the heavy railway and other stores ( an operation that was accomplished with only the loss of one locomotive tender which was subsequently salved) the Navy also assisted in the land military operations by operating inland with a squadron of armoured motor cars. These cars did very excellent work at the Trekkopjes action (see Tactical Operations) and they accompanied the final advance of the Northern Force without however getting a further opportunity of action. From subsequent conversations with members of the German General Staff it appears that the presence of these cars (the tactical value of which may even have been overrated by the enemy) acted discouragingly on proposed minor enterprises like small raids or sniping expeditions and kept the hostile reconnaissance patrols at a respectful distance.

 
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