Bombing Theory: 1915 - 1925, During World War I, reports reference 10 000 soldiers with 6000 horses stationed at Garub where a borehole, used to replenish locomotives for the railway and supplement the town of Luderitz

 

At the time, a German base, entrenched in the hills some 25 km east of Aus, intermittently bombed the Union camp.  The last attack - to cover their retreat from the area - occurred on 27th March 1915.  A German report stated:  “In the morning of 27 March the indefatigable pilot office Fiedler flew to Garub and caused great bewilderment by successfully dropping bombs onto the enemy camp and amount about 1700 grazing cavalry horses” (Hans von Oelhafen, Der Feldzug in Sudwest 1915/15, Berlin 1923)

 

It is thought that the Union forces might not have had sufficient time to catch all the dispersed animals before advancing on the retreating Germans.  Image right of Union encampment at Garub

 

Kreplin Stud Theory:  Emil Kreplin, who was mayor of Luderitz from 1909 to 1914  had a stud farm at Kubub, south of Aus. Kreplin bred workhorses for the mines and racehorses for the flourishing town of Lüderitz that had boomed in the 1908 diamond rush. 

 

In photographic evidence of the Kubub stud horses, unearthed by hobby-historian Walter Rusch, there are remarkable similarities in conformation and characteristic markings between the Kubub horses and the present-day wild horses showing traces of Hackney, Trakehner and Shagya Arab breeds.

 

Kreplin was interred in the Union of South Africa during the war, later losing his fortune in the depression years in Europe. It is assumed that during or after the war the horses, ownerless and not contained by fences, would have begun to scatter, leaving the overgrazed Kubub area in search of better grazing and following the scattered rainfall.

Image right of Kremlin at Kubub

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