At Arusha the first inspection of a company of Askari was held, The spirit and discipline of the black unit revealed the admirable education they had received at the hands of my predecessor, Colonel Freiherr von Schleuntz; but, m accordance with the hitherto accepted principles of thieir employment, their training for lighting against an enemy with modern armament had been developed to a lesser degree. Like the majority of the Askari companies, this company was still armed with the old 1871 pattern rifle, using smoky powder. The opinion was widely held that for black troops this was more suitable than a modern rifle with smokeless powder, for they had hitherto never been employed against an opponent with modern armament, but only in native warfare, where the larger caliber is an advantage, while the disadvantage of smoke is of no consequence. After the outbreak of war, indeed, the enthusiastic supporters of the 1871 rifle changed their minds. Against an enemy provided with modern smokeless equipment the smoky rifle was, not only at the long ranges obtaining in the open plain, but also in bush-fighting, where the combatants are often but. a few paces apart, decidedly inferior. The man using smokeless powder remains invisible, while the cloud of smoke betrays the enemy with rapidity and certainty, not only to the sharp eye of the native Askari, but even to the European accustomed to office work. Thus, at the beginnig of the war, the greatest reward which could be earned by an Askari was to give him a modern captured rifle in place of his old smoky one.
The German troops however, were quickly tiring from the prolonged effort, as well as giving in to periods of looting. The economic blockade of Germany had cut off many vital supplies and back home, many people were literally starving. Many German troops were chronically undernourished, and whenever they encountered Allied food stocks, much time was lost as these desperately famished troops gorged themselves. So the last German offensive, an attempted pincer operation around Rheims ( marked 4 ), was finally stopped with concentrated artillery and aircraft attacks. By late June, German strength on the Western Front fell below that of the Allies, and the final Allied assault was not long in coming.