For the campaign in East Africa from 1914 to 1918, the British used over 50,000 African troops, and over one million African followers. In 1914 no carrier organization existed, so this had to be rapidly improvised. There were three main carrier forces, based on the East Africa Protectorate, on Uganda and on Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia. German East Africa was overrun in 1916 and 1917, but the German forces were not defeated. These offensives necessitated huge numbers of followers. Despite much improved rations and medical services, deaths among followers averaged 10 per cent; over 100,000 must have died. Over 10,000 troops died of disease or were killed, a death rate of 20 per cent. Deaths were most numerous amongst those followers who served for long periods far from home; this applied particularly to those from the East African Protectorate. About half of the million followers were, however, on short contracts or were casual labour. Since they worked nearer home and for shorter periods, their death rate was much lower. During 1916 the carrier force from the East African Protectorate was reinforced from conquered parts of German East Africa, but diminished by 100,000 men through releases, desertions and deaths. Numbers reached a climax in 1917, with the mass levy. The possibility that men enlisted more than once is hard to prove, but long-service carriers on release were unlikely to be fit again for a long time. Many recruits were medically unfit for the mass levy of 1917. During the war very many of the able-bodied male populations of these territories must have served, probably over 80 per cent, but not all at any one time. As it was the main theatre of war, German East Africa probably suffered most, conscriptions being carried out by both Germans and British.