Meanwhile, back in Bavaria, Levi accepts a position of military engineer on the Berlin to Baghdad Railroad. Katherina, an archeologist, also goes to Baghdad on a dig arriving in midsummer 1914. Meanwhile Levi is given a temporary assignment to travels to German East Africa to repair an important railroad bridge.
Both Markus and Levi, for different reasons, find themselves in different German colonies in Africa at the very onset of WWI. The two friends are trapped in Africa, far from the trenches of France, but no less absent from major fighting in little know battles on the Dark Continent.
During four long years of war, the women (and families), left behind at Kalvarianhof and at the ranch in South West Africa, endure hardships and unexpected challenges and grief. Their men, Markus and Levi, reunite in German East Africa in 1915, after a brutal passage Markus survives on his long trek across Africa to join Levi and the German colonial army fighting there.
Markus is assigned to take advanced wireless equipment to German East Africa, as the British overrun the wireless station in Windhoek. His expertise in flying the primitive airplanes of 1914, qualified him to make the very dangerous trip. The month’s long journey with many near death experiences, including a plane crash, a leopard attack, and other hardships, is made bearable by the help of several key characters:
Sisibeko, the beautiful oiled and bare breasted native beauty who nursed him for weeks after her tribesman found his crashed plane, Leopold, the Portuguese trader who hid him from the British and supplied him in many ways, General Albuquerque, the
anti-war Portuguese general, who saved Markus’ life while others died around him, Captain Looff, naval commander of the ill-fated German SMS Konigsberg cruiser, whose only mission was to transport Markus to safety.
The Storm That Shook the World ends with the WW I Armistice in 1918, and finds the two survivors on their way home after four and a half years away. The grandeur and harsh beauty of the vastness of Africa is a key visual and emotional factor in this second book. Although an adventure story in many ways, the over-riding theme of this story is enduring love, personal loyalty and friendship.