Mimi and Toutou's Big Adventure by Giles Foden
The Bizarre Battle of Lake Tanganyika

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When the First World War breaks out, the British navy is committed to engaging the enemy wherever there is water to float a ship—even if the body of water in question is a remote African lake and the enemy an intimidating fleet of German steamers. The leader of this improbable mission is Geoffrey Spicer-Simson whose navy career thus far had been distinguished by two sinkings. His seemingly impossible charge: to trek overland through the African bush hauling Mimi and Toutou—two forty-foot mahogany gunboats–with a band of cantankerous, insubordinate Scotsmen, Irishmen and Englishmen to defeat the Germans on Lake Tanganyika. With its powerfully evoked landscape, cast of hilariously colorful characters and remarkable story of hubris, ingenuity and perseverance, this incredibly bizarre story–inspiration for the classic film The African Queen–is history at its most entertaining and absorbing.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Giles Foden

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Giles Foden lives in London.
Published March 9, 2010 by Vintage. 274 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

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The battle for Lake Tanganyika may not be as thoroughly covered by historians as the battle of Verdun, but seizing control of the lake was strategically important to Great Britain, as Foden (the Whitbread Award–winning The Last King of Scotland, 1998, etc.) shows in this meticulous, engaging and ...

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The New York Times

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AKE TANGANYIKA was not exactly at the top of the military agenda during World War I, but in 1915 the British admiralty decided something must be done about this obscure theater of war, wedged between what was then German East Africa, British East Africa and the Belgian Congo.

Apr 10 2005 | Read Full Review of Mimi and Toutou's Big Adventu...

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