Togo is a very long, thin country lying to the east of Ghana. It was a major area for the slave trade during the eighteenth century and when we became an anti-slaving instead of a slaving nation, British naval anti-slaving patrols operated off the coast of present-day Togo.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the Germans, late entrants into the European competition to build empires in Africa and keen to grab territories not already controlled by their rivals, established the colony of Togoland, slightly wider than present-day Togo.
German control was not to last for long. Hostilities between Britain and Germany began on 4 August 1914. The prospects for the German authorities in Togoland didn’t look great. And frankly they weren’t that great. They had a British colony to the west and a French colony to the east. There were no German military forces in Togoland, only a police force, and the radio station at Kamina in present-day Togo, designed to be a key part of the German worldwide wireless system, was a major target for the Allies.
British forces quickly advanced and took Lome, the current capital of Togo, while German defenders keen to protect Kamina retreated inland towards it, destroying railway bridges behind them. Despite some fierce clashes, British and French forces were soon advancing on Kamina from a number of directions. On 24 August, the Allies heard loud explosions from Kamina, and on 27 August British and French troops entered Kamina to find the radio station destroyed. Two hundred Germans surrendered in what was one of the first Allied victories of the war.
German Togoland was separated into two League of Nations Mandates: British Togoland and French Togoland. The residents of British Togoland voted to join independent Ghana in 1957, which is why Togo is now slightly slimmer than German Togoland. French Togoland became independent in 1960.