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Offline hardluckTopic starter
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« on: February 29, 2012, 12:20:34 am »
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Hello all

Here is an alleged treasure worth perhaps between 44-70 million dollars.

The following treasure legend is dating back from WW1 from the most unlikley of regions German East Africa. Persent day Tanznia.

Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck was a general in the Imperial German Army and the commander of the German East Africa campaign. For four years, with a force that never exceeded about 3,000 Germans and 11,000 Africans held in check a much larger force of 300,000 British, Belgian, and Portuguese troops.

Undefeated in battle, von Lettow-Vorbeck was the only German commander to successfully invade British Empire soil during the First World War. His exploits in the campaign have come down “as the greatest single guerrilla operation in history.

In 1914, during the start of the World War I, von Lettow-Vorbeck was the commander of a small garrison of just 2,600 German nationals and 2,472 African soldiers in 14 Askari field companies. Realising the need to seize the initiative, he ignored orders from Berlin and the colony's governor, Heinrich Schnee, who had insisted on neutrality for German East Africa. Von Lettow-Vorbeck simply ignored the governor and prepared to repel a major amphibious assault on the city of Tanga. The attack began on 2 November 1914, and for the next four days he fought one of his greatest battles.

 He then assembled his men and their scant supplies to attack the British railways in East Africa. He scored a second victory over the British at Jassin on 18 January 1915. These victories gave him badly needed modern rifles and other supplies, as well as critical boost to the morale of his men. However, von Lettow-Vorbeck also lost many experienced men, including Captain Tom von Prince, whom he was his right hand man.
 
Von Lettow-Vorbeck's plan for the war was quite simple: knowing that East Africa would only be a sideshow, he determined to tie down as many British troops as he could. He intended to keep them away from the Western Front, and in this way contribute to Germany's eventual victory.

The "Tabora Pound", a gold coin valued at 15 Rupees, was designed by mining industry expert Friedrich Schumacher at Tabora and weighs 6.8 gram (gold). It was minted in a temporary siege-mint by the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank in an adapted train carriage at Tabora in 1916 following the fall of Germany's major port, Dar-es-Salaam, to the Allies during World War One. Tabora (thus the letter "T" under the date) was the centre of the Arab slave trade in the 1800s. The steam from the train to which the "mint carriage" was attached drove a palm oil press that was used to mint these unique high quality gold pieces. A less sophisticated minting device was used in Tabora to produce the brass 5 and 20 Heller coins. The Tabora Pound is, without doubt, the most beautiful wartime siege currency ever minted.

The gold coins were needed to pay the native troops, for, as in South Africa they, wisely, did not trust paper bank notes. Vorbeck's goal was to give one of these gold coins to each member of this 15,000 native askari army. The minting was possible because of a small gold mine in operation not very far away from Tabora from which the gold used in the coins was mined.

The coin features the king of the beasts, a triumphant elephant, trumpeting with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background and the date “1916 T” below, a Singhalese gold worker from Zanzibar made the dies after a model prepared by R. Vogt. The reverse features the German imperial eagle with the legend “Deutsch Ost Afrika” and the denomination of 15 Rupien. There are two varieties which can best be distinguished by the arabesque extending from the right wing of the German eagle. In the slightly rarer first variety, "type A", it ends under the “A” in “Afrika” (mintage 6,395), and in the second variety "type B", it ends under the “T” in “Ost” (mintage about 9,035). Due to the primitive nature of the conditions under which the coins were struck, the gold was a reddish gold, containing copper and silver, since these metals could not be refined out of the gold.

Soon after their minting Tabora was occupied by allies' Belgian troops. Indian traders asked 200 rupies each for these coins - like the Veld Pond they were considered rare from the very beginning. Today the 15 Rupee gold coin coin fetches several thousand US dollars for a circulated one and much more for one in Unc. The price of these pieces has already risen by several hundred percent since 2000 and in late 2005 coins were being offered for sale for about between $3000 to $10,000 depending on quality

The mystery is nearly 10000 of these coins are not accounted for as they were never issued as payment to the African troops. The project of minting the coins was overseen by German officers who were unable evacuate the gold and elected to hide the gold before they were over ran by Beliguim troops. In the ensuing  fighting retreat the German officers were killed in battle. It appears Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck was years later aware the fighting men of his african was never paid with the coins. He eventually surendered in 1919 and returned to Germany as a national hero. He campained hard years later for his African comrades receive compentsation for thier war effort.

It is easy to see why this general had the respect of his men and his adversaries. Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck a man who fought for what he believed in never supported Adof Hitler during WW2. It has been claimed he was the only man told Hitler where to go in non too polite terms and lived, such was the standing of this man. However that incident ended his career in the 1930,s losing everything. He survived WW2 was and was found living in obsucirity and poverty with his wife after losing his 2 sons to the Nazis.

He was the only German General who successfully invaded British Territory and the only foreign general granted a pension from the British Government in appreciation of his refusal to support Hitler. Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck was an old school soldier where chivary and honor had its place. .

Was the treasure looted by the Belguim troops? Or does a cache of nearly 10000 gold coins still lies buried somewhere near Tabora?

Hardluck



 



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« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 12:28:50 am by hardluck »
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« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 05:51:14 am »
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Hallo,

I lived for some yaers in this region and visted some of the battlefileds with my detector. I had not much, but very nice funds.
But I never haered about this gold treasur.

Nice greatings from Germany!

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« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 07:51:44 am »
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hello Jansonde

Welcome to thunting. The story is  not very well known in Tanzania or in Germany as it was lost in the fog of war and by other events of history,The story of the missing coins was sourced via a claim of son of a Surviving German soldier. The Son passed away in 2003.

Have you spent some time near Tabora?

There is a group searching varioius locations at the moment.

Hardluck



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« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 12:09:19 pm »
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Hallo hardluck!

It is longer than 13 years that I crossed this land with my detector...
I must look in the old landmaps, then I can tell you more.


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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 07:54:56 am »
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Hello Jansonde

I would be interested in hearing about your searches there.

Or from the Tanzanians who have been searching different sites there.

Hardluck

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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 08:44:28 am »
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That's a pretty cool story mate, just the kind of thing that makes me wish I didn't live in Australia lol. Not much chance of finding anything like that here. Although, I have heard a few stories of Spanish treasure ships being blown way of course and kindly donating some of their cargo on remote northern beaches. Then of course there is the story about a Mahogany ship that appears from time to time on a beach in Victoria, which Author Gavin Menzies in his book "1421" claims is most likely part of the Chinese fleet commanded by Emperor Zhu Di, who sent them on a voyage of discovery around the globe. although it's exact position has been lost to the sand dunes. The mind boggles as to what it's cargo may have been. I would thouroughly recommend the above book, to any would be treasure hunter such as us It's a great read and chances are you could get a few leads if your in the right neck of the woods.
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 05:06:19 pm »
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Hello Gozzo

I am pleased to hear you enjoyed the story. Great

Australia has been fortunate to not have been tainted by civil war or invasion. Thus the need in times of duress the need to conceal great fortunes was not really warranted.

However Australia does have small treasure caches concealed by fear. Of war, the great depression, fear of banks and proceeds of crime. If you look in the Australia topic and back pages you will find some treasure leads.

Hardluck

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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2012, 12:03:29 am »
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Cool I will have to have a look,Thanks
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2012, 08:48:45 pm »
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The lion is the "king of beasts", not the elephant. Anyway, the story is just like most treasure stories, in that you're taking the hope that what might be a distant possibility probably is, and making it into a likelihood. It's just stretching things a bit too far. It's too much to just say that because the coins might never have been moved, issued, buried and dug up, or anything else, that they are likely still there to be found. It's just as easy to say they may never have been minted, even if it was planned. There just need to be some more facts. It is a nice story, but like most treasures in stories are never dug up, this one will probably never be dug up either. Unless we have that grizzly old coot telling the secret wherabouts of the coins on his deathbed, we'll never really have a place to start looking. Without that, it's more of a fairy tale than it is a treasure story. Sorry if I bust any bubbles, but it'll take a lot more detail to get most treasure hunters going on this one.

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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2012, 10:17:35 pm »
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There is nothing wrong with dreaming
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