Artillery of the Schutztruppe and Overseas Forces


7.7cm Feldkanone C96aA Guns of the Halbbatterie Westerfeld, South West African Schutztruppe 1914
Photo from Tsumeb Museum / WikiCommons

From the mid nineteenth century to the First World War the technology of artillery advanced greatly. In just over 60 years, muzzle loading cannon were replaced by rapid firing, rifled, breech loading guns capable of firing many more, much larger shells over great distances with ever increasing accuracy. The biggest change during the period of the German colonies was the addition of recoil systems to guns. This made the gun more stable in its position after firing and meant crews no longer had to haul the gun back into position and re-adjust the aim before the next shot. The overall effect was to vastly increase the number of accurate rounds a gun could fire in a given time.

The Schutztruppe and overseas German forces used artillery from both ends of the technological scale. On the one hand the Schutztruppe in Africa often used obsolete weapons without recoil systems, while on the other hand new experimental weapons such as the Erhardt 1908 Mountain Gun with its revolutionary recoil system were only used in Africa. The German naval base at Tsingtao had massive modern gun emplacements while the Germans in East Africa sometimes made do with improvised or captured guns. The modern naval guns of the SMS Königsberg were mounted on gun carriages for use as the largest land artillery in East Africa for a time in the First World War. 

By 1914, the Schutztruppe in South West Africa, East Africa and to a lesser extent, Cameroon all had regular artillery batteries or field guns attached to infantry companies. The smaller colonies of Togo, New Guinea and Samoa did not have effective artillery. Marine Infantry and Imperial Army units posted overseas (such as those in China for the Boxer Rebellion and Palestine in the First World War) had their own artillery batteries. Some actions in the colonies and overseas were also supported by guns from naval ships (see Naval History Page).

Special Thanks on this page to the researches of Mark E Horan, Charles Rollins Ware, Holger Kotthaus, Oliver Eicke and MC Henuis, mostly made public on the Axis History Forum and  Panzer Forum.

 
         

Types of Artillery commonly in use Overseas and in the Colonies
 I. Field Artillery

         
  Feldkanone C73      
 


Leichte Feldkanone C73
formerly of the South West African Schutztruppe now on display at the Alte Fest in Windhoek, Namibia
Photo © Phil Buhler

  The Krupp Feldkanone C73 (Construktionsjahr 1873), was a breech loading field gun without a recoil system. It was introduced to Prussian army in 1873 in response to the lessons learned in the Franco-Prussian War, where the French artillery had proven supiurior to that of the Prussians.

The C73 came in two calibres, 7.85cm L/20 C73 Leichte Feldkanone and the 8.8cm L/22.6 C73 Schwere Feldkanone (L stands for Lange, length of the barrel measured in multiples of its calibre).

These guns were issued to the Schutztruppe of South West Africa, East Africa and Cameroon in the 1890s when they were still reasonably current. Two were later sent to New Guinea. Many of the guns in Africa were still in active service in 1914 although by European standards they were quite obsolete.

 
         
  Feldkanone C96      
 


Feldkanone C96nA
of the Marine Feld Batterie of the III. Seebataillon, Tsingtao. Note the recoil system under the barrel
Photo from Bundesarchiv / WikiCommons

  The Krupp 7.7cm Feldkanone C96 was introduced to the Prussian army in 1896 but was soon outclassed by the French Canon de 75 Modèle 1897 which was the first artillery gun to feature a hydro-pneumatic recoil system. Stocks of the C96 in Germany were upgraded as the C96nA with a similar system fitted under the barrel from 1904 onwards but not those in the colonies.

In 1914 the Schutztruppe of South West Africa still had 22 of the old C96aA guns in active service. By  then they also had eight of the new C96nA guns in active service.

The field artillery batteries of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps were also most likely equipped with the C96aA. Marine Feld Batterie of the III. Seebataillon, Tsingtao. may initially have been equipped with the old C96aA but by 1914 they had the recoiling C96nA.

 

 
         

II. Specialist Artillery

  Mountain Guns      
 


7.5cm Gebirgskanone M08
formerly of the South West African Schutztruppe now on display at the Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa

Photo © MC Heunis

  Mountain guns were useful in the colonies and over rough terrain as they could be broken down into parts and carried by pack animals. They also usually featured higher angles of elevation than field artillery.

Several types of mountain gun were used in the colonies. The fixed recoil 7,2 cm Gebirgskanone L/14 M98 was used in South West Africa and judging from period photographs also by the Mountain batteries of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps. In East Africa there were two 6 cm Krupp Kolonial und Bergkanone M70 and a further three 6cm Gebirgshaubitze in Cameroon.

In 1904 Ehrhardt designed a new 75mm mountain gun using the world's first variable recoil system. Variable recoil is still a feature of modern artillery pieces. Only fifteen of the 7,5cm Gebirgskanone L/17 M08 were ever made and the gun was never used by the German army in Europe. Twelve of them were issued to the Schutztruppe of South West Africa in 1908.

Two 7.5cm guns were brought to the Schutztruppe in German East Africa in 1916 on board the blockade runner SS Marie. These were 7,5cm Krupp Gebirgskanone L/14 M12.

 
         
  Howitzers      
 


15 cm schweres Feldhaubitze M93
of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps, 1900
Photo © Peter Klein

  The Krupp 15cm schweres Feldhaubitze M93 was the first mobile heavy howitzer used by the Prussian army and saw action in the Boxer Rebellion used by the Heavy Field Howitzer Batteries of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps.

The 10,5cm Feldhaubitze M98 field howitzer was a later a fixed recoil weapon made by Rheinmetall and introduced to the Prussian army in 1898. Four of these howitzers were sent to South West Africa to serve with the expanded Schutztruppe during the Herero Rebellion and remained there since. The Light Field Howitzer Batteries of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps sent to China in 1900 were also equipped with the 10.5 cm Feldhaubitze M98. The last of these returned to Germany in 1902.

In 1904 a new recoil system was designed by Krupp and from 1909 was fitted to most existing guns in Germany, as the 10.5cm Feldhaubitze M98/09. Four 10.5cm Field Howitzers FH98/09 were brought to East Africa by the blockade running ship SS Marie in 1916.

 
         
  Light Guns      
 


3.7cm Schnell-Ladekanone M93
of the East African Schutztruppe

Photo by Walther Dobbertin Bundesarchiv /
WikiCommons

 

Heavy artillery was not what was needed in some colonies such as East Africa and Cameroon where transportation was a problem and the tribal enemy did not usually built stone fortifications.

In these colonies the Schutztruppe's needs for a light highly mobile infantry gun were met by the 3.7cm Krupp-Gruson Schnell-Ladekanone L/30 M1893. The Schutztruppe of East Africa and Cameroon had three such weapons each distributed among their Field Companies.

 

III. Naval Guns

  Land Batteries      
 


10.5cm Schnellladekanone
from the Tsingtao Naval Batteries after its destruction
Photo from Bundesarchiv / WikiCommons

  Germany built up land based naval artillery batteries to defend its home ports, likewise land based naval artillery batteries were installed at Tsingtao, the German naval base in China. By 1914 the batteries at Tsingtao consisted of dozens of guns ranging in calibre up to a massive 28cm.

There were no other land based naval artillery batteries in the colonies before the outbreak of the First World War. However during the war, after the Scuttling of the SMS Königsberg her 10.5cm guns were installed as land based batteries guarding their coasts at Dar Es Salaam, Tanga and the Great Lakes.

 

 
  Ships Guns      
 


3.7cm Gruson-Hotchkiss Revolverkanone
 on its original fixed pivot stand used by the Schutztruppe during the Herero Rebellion.
Photo © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv

  As well as Imperial Navy ships shelling rebellious locals in the colonies, they also sometimes sent their deck mounted guns for use on land in times of emergency.

In 1904 the SMS Habicht sent her 3.7cm Gruson-Hotchkiss Revolverkanonen on land to assist against the Herero Rebellion. The same type of revolver canon was deployed by the SMS Planet in New Guinea and the SMS Möwe also deployed the same gun on land in German East Africa in 1914.

During the Siege of Tsingtao the SMS Jaguar and the Austro-Hungarian SMS Kaiserin Elizabeth were scuttled and their artillery used on land. Perhaps most famously two 8.8cm and ten 10.5cm guns from the SMS Königsberg were deployed on land in East Africa during the First World War.

 
  Landing Guns      
 


6cm Bootslandungskanone
used by the Kaiserliches Marinekorps in Flanders c1916
Photo © Eddy Lambrecht Kaiserliches Marinekorps Flandern

  Some ships carried guns with wheeled carriages intended to accompany landing parties ashore. The SMS Königsberg sent its 6cm Bootslandungskanone ashore to serve with the Schutztruppe in German East Africa in August 1914. Another two similar guns arrived in East Africa on board the blockade runner, SS Rubens/Kronborg in 1916.  
         

IV. Other Guns

  Obsolete Weapons      
 


Out-dated Congreve style Rocket
used by the East African Schutztruppe c1914

Photo © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv

  Various curious guns were used in the colonies for various reasons from fake decoy guns to the old saluting gun at Apia harbour in German Samoa. But it was in East Africa during the First World War that the most variety of out-dated, improvised captured different German guns and calibres were put into use.  
 

Decoy Guns

     
 


Decoy Gun
used by the SWAfrican Schutztruppe c1914
Photo © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv

  The Germans used dummy or decoy guns in several colonies during the First World War in attempts to make various defensive points look stronger than were they were to to draw enemy fire away from genuine emplacements.

The photograph on the left was taken in South West Africa during the First World War. It shows what appears to be a very unconvincing decoy gun but it may well have been enough to fool observers from a distance or an aeroplane.

Recommended Internal Link - Decoy Guns

 

 
         
         
         
 

South West Africa

Schutztruppe 7.5cm Gebirgskanone L/17 M08 Mountain Gun and Crew 1914
Photo © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv

 
         
 


7.85cm C73 Light Field Gun
on display at the Tsumeb Museum, Namibia.
Photo © Phil Buhler


7.2 cm Gebirgskanone L/14 M98
on display at the Alte Fest, Windhoek, Namibia
Photo © Phil Buhler


Maschinenkanone M97
formerly of the Marine Expeditionskorps on display at the Tsumeb Museum, Namibia
Photo © MC Heunis


10.5cm M98 Field Howitzers
Three of the four howitzers belonging to the Schutztruppe 2. Reservebatterie (
"Ochsenbatterie"- as they were drawn by oxen) entrained for the front with their African drivers in 1914-15.
Photo © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv


7.5cm Gebirgskanone M08
on display at the South African Museum of Military History
Photo © MC Heunis


Captured South African 13 Pounder Gun
Displayed at the Gunners Memorial in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Photo © Dominic Hoole

  A field artillery battery was added to the Schutztruppe in 1896, although some artillery pieces may have operated before then. More artillery was added during the Herero Rebellion until at the height of the rebellion the Schutztruppe had eight field artillery batteries and one mountain artillery battery. Most of this artillery had remained in South West Africa after the rebellion although sources disagree as to how much of it was still serviceable when the First World War broke out ten years later. Before the Schutztruppe surrendered to South African forces in 1915 they dumped much of their artillery into Lake Otjikoto to prevent it falling into enemy hands. Many of those guns have since been recovered and restored while others are still in the lake.

 

Schutztruppe Guns before the Herero Rebellion
5x 7.85 cm Feldkanone C73
Five Krupp Light Field Guns were issued to the South West African Schutztruppe between 1894-96 and later served in the Herero Rebellion. By 1914 they were no longer in active service with the Schutztruppe. Four of these outdated guns were then pressed into service.

4x 5.7cm Schnellfeurgeschüzten
Four 5.7cm Quick Firing Guns were delivered to the Schutztruppe in 1894 and were in service throughout the rebellions in South West Africa. By 1914 they were longer in active service and only three could be put into working order.

4x 7.2 cm Gebirgskanone L/14 M98
These mountain guns wee issued to the Schutztruppe between 1897-1903. Sources quote different numbers of guns in use between three and six although four seems a popular choice (for example in Schneider). It may be that six were supplied but only four were serviceable in 1914. They supplied the Mountain artillery battery of the Schutztruppe before until being replaced by the 1908 7.5cm Mountain Gun.

 

Reinforcements during and after the Herero Rebellion
3x 3.7cm Revolverkanone
These three naval Revolver Cannons were brought to South West Africa by SMS Habicht when the Herero Rebellion broke out in 1904. They were the first new guns to arrive in the colony in response to the rebellion. Some sources disagree and claim there were only two. These guns were no longer in regular Schutztruppe use by 1914 but were pressed back into service.

8x 3.7cm Maschinenkanone M97
These eight Krupp machine cannons were brought to South West Africa in 1904 by the Marine Expeditionskorps to fight the Herero rebels and remained there ever since. These guns were no longer in regular Schutztruppe use by 1914 but were pressed back into service.

22x 7.7cm Feldkanone C96aA
Twenty-two of these guns were sent to South West Africa during the Herero Rebellion despite them being obsolete by European standards. In 1914 the Schutztruppe still had all 22 of the old C96aA guns in active service.

8x 7.7cm Feldkanone C96nA
The C96nA was an upgraded version of the C96aA with a new recoil system introduced from 1904. Eight of these guns were sent to South West Africa during the Herero Rebellion. In 1914 the Schutztruppe still had all eight in active service.

At the outbreak of the First World War there were 16,000 7.7cm rounds between the 30 C96 guns in the colony.

4x 10.5 cm Feldhaubitze M98
The 1898 Field Howitzer was a fixed recoil weapon made by Rheinmetall and introduced to the Prussian army in 1898. In 1904 a new recoil system was designed by Krupp and fitted to most existing guns in Germany. Meanwhile four of the old version howitzers were sent to South West Africa to serve with the expanded Schutztruppe during the Herero Rebellion and remained there since. In 1914 they had a stock of 2,000 shells.

2x Feldkanone 91/93
"Die Kaiserliche Schutz- und Polizeitruppe für Afrika" by Reinhard Schneider reports that two FK 91/93 guns were borrowed from the Cameroon Schutztruppe at the outbreak of the Herero Rebellion in 1904. I have not found later references to these guns in either South West African or Cameroon sources to know if they remained in service in South West Africa or were returned to Cameroon after the rebellion.

12x 7.5cm Gebirgskanone L/17 M08
In 1904 Ehrhardt designed a new mountain gun using the world's first variable recoil system. Twelve of them were issued to the Schutztruppe of South West Africa in 1908. In 1914 they had a stock of 6,000 shells. All twelve guns were surrendered at Khorab in 1915 and still survive in different locations, mostly in South Africa.
Recommended Internal Links - Schutztruppe Mountain Guns

 

Guns in Active Schutztruppe Service in 1914
Of the guns mentioned above, the following were still in active Schutztruppe service at the out break of the First World War (other older guns were also pressed back into use as described above).
22x 7.7cm Feldkanone C96aA
8x 7.7cm Feldkanone C96nA
12x 7.5cm Gebirgskanone L/17 M08

 

Captured Guns in the First World War
2x South African 13 Pounder Guns
Two British made 13 Pounder (7.64 cm) Light Field Guns (numbers 288 and 289) were captured from South African forces by the Schutztruppe at the Battle of Sandfontein on 23rd September 1914. Neither of the guns were later used in action against their former owners. They were dumped in Lake Otjikoto in 1915, along with other Schutztruppe guns but both have since been recovered. Gun number 288 is now on display at the Tsumeb Museum, Namibia. Gun number 289 is on display at the Gunners Memorial in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Recommended Internal Links -
Schutztruppe Mountain Guns
Guns from Lake Otjikoto Page

 
         
         
         
 

German East Africa

7.85cm Leichte Feldkanone C73 in Action during the First World War
Photo Bundesarchiv / WikiCommons

 
         
 


8.8cm Schwere Feldkanone C73
See East African Polizeitruppe Artillery for the full version of this photograph
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath


6cm Krupp Kolonial und Bergkanone M1870
Photo from Krupp catalogue courtesy of Holger Kotthaus


7.5cm Gebirgskanone M08 from SS Marie
Photo © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv


Captured British 4.7cm Hotchkiss gun
used by the Schutztruppe's Abteilung Delta.

Photo © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv


3.7 cm Revolverkanone
from the SMS Möwe, mounted on a C73 gun carriage after receiving a direct hit from the Royal Navy's HMS Vengeance, Bagamoyo 1916
Photo © William Thomas Clegg / Bob William Green


8.8cm SMS Königsberg Gun
Displayed at the Museum of Military History, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Photo © MC Heunis

  The first artillery pieces in German East Africa were eighteen C73 Field Guns issued to the Wissmanntruppe on 3 May 1889. By 1914 the Schutztruppe had a total of 35 guns (of which they were able to field 31) organised as an artillery detachment based in the capital Dar-Es-Salaam with various guns distributed among the different Feldkompagnien.

Artillery of the Wissmanntruppe 1889
Eighteen field guns were issued to the Wissmanntruppe to serve in the Abushiri Rebellion. These guns remained the backbone of the Schutztruppe artillery up until the First World War.

6x 8.8cm Schwere Feldkanone C73
Six of these heavy field guns were issued to the Wissmanntruppe in May 1889. Though outdated by European standards, they served the Schutztruppe throughout its history and three were still in service by 1914.

12x 7.85cm Leichte Feldkanone C73
Twelve of these light field guns were issued to the Wissmanntruppe in 1889. They served the Schutztruppe throughout its history and nine were left in service by 1914.

Artillery of the Schutztruppe in 1914
As well as the remaining three light and nine heavy C73 field guns still in service with the Schutztruppe at the outbreak of the First World War, they also had the following guns in service.

3x 3.7cm Krupp-Gruson Schnell-Ladekanone L/30 M1893
There was a large stock of 1,189 shells available for these guns in 1914.

2x 6 cm Krupp Kolonial und Bergkanone M1870
There were two Mountain Guns guns in Schutztruppe service in 1914 with 257 shells between them.

Artillery obtained by the Schutztruppe 1914
Out-Dated Guns

On the outbreak of the First World War the Schutztruppe pressed every available piece of artillery into service including improvised weapons, out-dated show guns and unserviceable weapons used as decoys. They included:

2x Old 4cm Guns that had been supplied years before for the lake steamers Hedwig von Wissmann and Hermann von Wissmann to use in tariff enforcement.
1x 6.5 cm Gebirgskanone Mountain Gun
1
x 7.85 cm Krupp Feldkanone C73 Light Field Gun
1x Old 15 cm Naval Gun that could only fire ancient British ammunition which was obtained from recovered duds. This gun had originally been brought to East Africa onboard the SMS Bismarck in 1886. It was left outside the Catholic church in Dar Es Salaam as a memorial to the German sailors who died establishing the colony. In 1915 it was put back into action to defend Dar Es Salaam.

Naval Guns Brought to East Africa 1914-18
Several guns were removed from German naval ships scuttled in East Africa: SMS Möwe and SMS Konigsberg. These were then used on land and on German ships on Lake Tanganyika. Other guns were brought by the blockade running ships SS Rubens and SS Marie which made the journey from Germany to East Africa during the Fist World War avoiding the British Royal Navy's blockade.

3x 3.7 cm Revolverkanone from the SMS Möwe
Three 3.7cm Revolver Cannons were removed from the SMS Möwe for service on other ships on Lake Tanganyika when SMS Möwe was scuttled at Dar Es Salaam in 1914.

1x 6-cm-Bootslandungskanone from SMS Königsberg
A single naval landing gun from the SMS Konigsberg was landed in August 1914 as the Konigsberg tried to shed weight to embark on a fast raiding career when war broke out.

2x 8.8 cm Schnellladekanone from SMS Königsberg
The SMS Königsberg was equipped with two 8.8cm Quick Firing Guns with 400 rounds between them intended to arm a raiding ship or a landing party. Both guns were fitted with gun carriages and fought with the Schutztruppe. One was captured at Mlali Pass on 24th August 1916 after being damaged beyond use, the other was destroyed at Likuyu on 24th January 1917.

10x 10.5 cm Schnellladekanone from SMS Königsberg
In 1915 the heavy guns of the destroyed German cruiser, SMS Königsberg, were salvaged and used on land in German East Africa in the First World War. In all there were ten 10.5cm guns with about 1,500 rounds between them. The guns were initially deployed on their existing fixed pivot stands (five at Dar Es Salaam, two at Tanga, two to Lake Tanganyika and one to Mwanza on Lake Victoria). Later some of the guns were fitted with gun carriages. Some gun carriages were made in Dar Es Salaam while four Krupp-made carriages arrived on the SS Marie.
Recommended Internal Link - Königsberg Guns

2 x 6cm Bootslandungskanonen from SS Rubens
Two ship's landing guns were brought to East Africa by the blockade running ship SS Rubens in 1915.

4 x 10.5cm Feldhaubitze M98/09 from SS Marie
Four 10.5cm Field Howitzers FH98/09 were brought to East Africa by the blockade running ship SS Marie in 1916.
Recommended External Link- Traditionsverband.de/Forum has a 10.5cm Howitzer from German East Africa now in South Africa.

2 x 7.5cm Gebirgskanone M08 from SS Marie
The SS Marie brought two 7.5cm Mountain Guns to reinforce the Schutztruppe in East Africa in 1916. The photograph on the left shows one such gun in action in East Africa c1916-17. From the photograph it appears that the design of wheel and gun carriage of these guns was different from that of the mountain guns that served in South West Africa.

Captured Guns
Several British, Belgian and Portuguese guns were captured by the Schutztruppe in varying degrees of repair during the First World War, the first being three Hotchkiss 4.7cm guns that the Germans had captured from a British vessel, 'Adjutant' in the Rufiji Delta in February 1915. The only artillery piece that the Schutztruppe had left at the end of the war was a was a Portuguese 7cm mountain gun that had been captured at Newala in December 1916.

 
         
         
         
 

Cameroon

The Cameroon Artillery Detachment at Duala Exercising with their 8.8cm Feldkanone C73/91
Photo by Major Langheld © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv

 
         
 


3.7cm Krupp-Gruson Schnell-Ladekanone  M93
Operated by a German officer and African soldier of the Cameroon Schutztruppe.
Photo © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv

 

By 1914 the Cameroon Schutztruppe had formed one artillery Abteilung in the capital Duala consisting of four field guns and had a few other guns distributed among the Feldkompagnien. During the First World War they were hampered by a shortage of ammunition.

4 x 8.8cm Schwere Feldkanone C73/91
These four Heavy Field Guns were formed into a single Artillery Abteilung based at Duala.

3 x 3.7cm Krupp-Gruson Schnellladekanone L/30 M1893
These Quick Firing Guns were distributed among the Schutztruppe Feldkompagnien. The 6, 10 and 11.FK had one each.

3 x 6cm Gebirgshaubitze
These three mountain howitzers were distributed among the Schutztruppe Feldkompagnien. The 7.FK had two while the 8.FK had one.

 
         
         
         
 

Togo
There was no German artillery in Togo.

 
         
         
         
 

New Guinea

New Guinea Company Polizeitruppe 1899 with an antiquated Muzzle Loading Naval Gun
Photo © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv

 
         
 


C73 Field Gun Captured At Rabaul 1914
Displayed at the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre in Sydney.
P
hoto by Nick Dowling / WikiCommons

  The Polizeitruppe of German New Guinea did not have a regular artillery contingent. One photograph of the New Guinea Company Polizeitruppe in Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen taken in 1899 shows them posing with a very old small naval muzzle loading gun. Its effectiveness in modern warfare would have negligible though it may have been useful in impressing local tribesmen. At the outbreak of war in 1914, the islands of German New Guinea had the following guns, none of which were used in combat.  

2x 3.7cm Gruson-Hotchkiss Revolverkanone L/30 M1893
In July 1914 the survey ship SMS Planet landed two revolver canons in New Guinea. One at
Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen and the other at Jap to protect the radio station.
(Source "Die Polizeitruppe Deutsch-Neuguineas 1887-1914" by Thomas Morlang at Traditionsverband)

2x 7.85cm Leichte Feldkanone C73
There were two 7.85 cm C73 Krupp light Field Guns at Rabaul for saluting purposes. They did not take part in the defence of New Guinea in 1914 presumably because of a lack of ammunition.
Recommended Internal Link- Rabaul Guns

 
         
         
         
 

Samoa
German Samoa had one out-dated artillery piece that took half an hour to load and was ceremonially fired once a day from Apia harbour. As far as is known, it was never fired in action. The source of this gun, its current whereabouts and any more details about it are not known.

 
         
         
         
         
 

China

10.5 cm Feldhaubitze M98 of the 4th or 5th East Asian Field Howitzer Battery, Peking 1900
Photo from Bundesarchiv / WikiCommons

Artillery of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps
The artillery regiment of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps was formed at Jüterborg sailed for China in 1900 to fight in the Boxer Rebellion. The size of the artillery contingent in China was gradually reduced over the following years.

In 1900 the East Asian Artillery Regiment consisted of nine batteries organised as-
1st-3rd Field Artillery Batteries
4th-5th Light Field Howitzer Batteries
6th Field Artillery Battery
7th-8th Mountain Gun Batteries
Naval Field Artillery Battery of the Marine Expeditionskorps

There was also a battalion of heavy artillery organised as-
1st-2nd Heavy Field Howitzer Batteries

By June 1901 the artillery of the East Asian Occupation Brigade was reduced to three batteries-
1st Field Artillery Battery
2nd Light Field Howitzer Battery
3rd Mountain Artillery Battery

The following year, in June 1902 they had been further reduced to-
1st Field Artillery Battery
2nd Mountain Artillery Battery

The mountain artillery battery was disbanded later that year leaving the single field artillery battery. The East Asian occupation forces were was disbanded in 1909.

I have so far found no source confirming exactly which guns were used by which units but from the few period photographs I have seen, it would appear that the field artillery batteries were equipped with the 7.7cm Feldkanone C96aA, the mountain artillery batteries had the 7.2 cm Gebirgskanone L/14 M98, light field howitzer batteries were armed with the 10.5 cm Feldhaubitze M98 and the heavy field howitzer batteries had the 15 cm schweres Feldhaubitze M93.


Marine Feldbatterie with a pair of FK96nA guns on a training exercise near Tsingtao c1914
Photo from Bundesarchiv / WikiCommons

Marine Field Battery at Tsingtao
The III. Seebataillon based at Tsingtao had a field artillery battery armed with the Feldkanone C96nA to support their actions. This battery was put into action during the Siege of Tsingtao in 1914.

The East Asian Marine Detachment also had two or three FK96nA guns in Peking and Tientsin.


21cm Gun from either the Bismarckberg or Hsia Un Iua Batteries, Captured by the Japanese at Tsingtao, November 1914
Photo from Bundesarchiv / WikiCommons

Naval Batteries at Tsingtao
The home base of Germany's East Asian Fleet had been gradually fortified over the years since its occupation in 1897. By the time the Japanese laid siege to Tsingtao in 1914 it had large numbers of land based naval guns, many of which were housed in reinforced concrete cupolas. The Japanese also had to contend with the supporting gunfire of the remainder of the East Asian Fleet, some of which was later transferred onto land and the field artillery of the III. Seebataillon and the East Asian Marine Detachment.

Land Front Batteries ("Landfrontbatterien") under the command of Kapitänleutnant Wittman
2 x 10.5cm guns Batterie "Ober Iltisberg"
6 x 12cm guns Batterie "Unter Iltisberg"
2 x 21cm guns Batterie "Bismarckberg"
2 x 12cm guns Batterie "Taitung Cheng"
6 x 9cm guns Independent batteries
3 x 3.7cm guns Independent batteries
   
Sea Front Batteries ("Seefrontbatterien") under the command of Fregattenkapitän Huss
2 x 24cm and 3 x 15cm guns Batterie "Hui Chuen Huk"
4 x 15cm guns Batterie "Tsingtao"
4 x 21cm guns Batterie "Hsia Un Iua"
4 x 28cm howitzers Batterie "Bismarckberg"
4 x 8.8cm guns Batterie "Yunnui San"
2 x 8.8cm guns Batterie "Mohlenkopf"

These guns delayed the Japanese Siege of Tsingtao and forced them to invade through neutral Chinese territory rather than face a frontal assault. The guns from the SMS Jaguar and the Austro-Hungarian SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth were also added to the land batteries during the Siege of Tsingtao in 1914. After two months of siege the batteries ran short of ammunition and this ultimately forced the German surrender.

Recommended External Links - Discussion on the Tsingtao Naval Artillery at the Feldgrau Forum and the Heroes of Tsingtao mention of landed artillery from ships at the Siege of Tsingtao at Jaduland.

 
         
         
         
  Sources and Links

Published Sources
"Die Kaiserliche Schutz- und Polizeitruppe für Afrika" by Reinhard Schneider (Published by Druffel & Vorwinkel-Verlag)
"The German Colonial Troops 1889-1918" by
Jürgen Kraus and Thomas Müller (Published by Militaria Verlag)
"Die Deutsche Schutztruppe 1889/1918" by Werner Haupt (Published by Dörfler)
"Lettow-Vorbeck's Soldiers" by Walther Dobbertin (Published by Battery Press)
"Armies in East Africa 1914-18" by Peter Abbott, illustrated by Raffaele Ruggeri (Published by Osprey Men at Arms)

Recommended External Links
Lovett Artillery
German East African Artillery discussed in Depth on the Panzer Forum
More discussions on the Panzer Forum, Panzer Forum and Panzer Forum
Discussions on the Axis History Forum, Axis History Forum and Axis History Forum
German guns of World War One in South Africa" by Major Darrell D. Hall, 1974 at South African MilitaryHistory
Wanganui Library Krupp C73 Article
"Die Polizeitruppe Deutsch-Neuguineas 1887-1914" by Thomas Morlang at Traditionsverband
Discussion on the Tsingtao Naval Artillery at the Feldgrau Forum and the Heroes of Tsingtao mention of landed artillery from ships at the Siege of Tsingtao at Jaduland.

Recommended Internal Links
SMS Königsberg Guns
Schutztruppe Mountain Guns
Schutztruppe Artillery Recovered from Lake Otjikoto
East African Polizeitruppe Artillery
East African Ersatz Field Gun
Rabaul Guns

Decoy Guns

Many people such as MC Heunis, Bob Wagner, Dominic Hoole, Bruce Swanton, Phil Buhler, Vincent Wratten, Arne Schöfert, Per Finstead, Aaron Carson and the the very helpful members of the Axis History Forum assisted and advised me with this article but the research already done and shared by Holger Kotthaus, Oliver Eicke, Mark E Horan and Charles Rollins Ware on various forums linked above was invaluable. Thanks is due to all these people men.


7.5cm Gebirgskanone M08 from the SS Marie in German East Africa
Note the recoil system below the barrel and the gunner on the left using a lever to adjust the traverse of the gun by moving the gun carriage.
Photo © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv

 
         
         
         
 

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