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Cemetery Details

MOGADISHU AFRICAN WAR CEMETERY

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MOGADISHU AFRICAN WAR CEMETERY Print this image


Country:
Somalia (including Somaliland)
Identified Casualties:
165

Location Information

Mogadishu African War Cemetery is 2 kilometres north-east of the town, 2 kilometres from the sea, beyond the Maritime Military Hospital. NOTE: Whilst the current climate of political instability persists it is not possible for the Commission to manage or maintain this cemetery.

Historical Information

At the outbreak of the Second World War, British Somaliland lay along the coast of the north-eastern horn of the African continent, on the Gulf of Aden. It stretched from Ras Jibuti to Bender Ziada, with French Somaliland and Ethiopia to the west and Somalia (formerly Italian Somaliland) to the south and east.

On the 3rd August 1940 Italian forces (some 25,000 men) invaded the British Protectorate and made swift gains against a British and Commonwealth force some 4000 strong. Two weeks later, having realised that further resistance was futile, the British Defence Force and Administration were evacuated to Aden. On the 16th March 1941, British and Commonwealth forces launched 'Operation Appearance' from Aden. Within days, this force (two Indian Army battalions and a Somali commando detachment) re-captured British Somaliland from an Italian garrison severely weakened by malaria. Meanwhile, Italian Somalia was being occupied by a British and Commonwealth force (largely, the 11th and 12th African Divisions) which attacked from Kenya. This force occupied Mogadishu, the Italians capital, on the 25th February 1941.

Mogadishu African War Cemetery contains 182 burials and commemorations of the Second World War, mostly dating from after the occupation in 1941. 20 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to four casualties whose graves are now lost. The cemetery also contains three burials of the First World War and nine non-war burials.