Michelle R. Moyd is Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor of history at Indiana University. Previously, she has been a resident fellow at the International Research Center “Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History” of Humboldt University, Germany, and at the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. She was also an instructor in the Department of History at the United States Air Force Academy.
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The askari, African soldiers recruited in the 1890s to fill the ranks of the German East African colonial army, occupy a unique space at the intersection of East African history, German colonial history, and military history.Lauded by Germans for their loyalty during the East Africa campaign of World War I, but reviled by Tanzanians for the violence they committed during the making of the colonial state between 1890 and 1918, the askari have been poorly understood as historical agents.