German Schutztruppe in Cameroon

Figure 1
Mounted NCO

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 1
is based on a photograph of a German Schutztruppe NCO from a Mounted Company taken in the late 1890's. Of the 12 companies of Schutztruppe in Cameroon two or three had mounted sections. Like the Schutztruppe in German East Africa and German South West Africa from 1896 onwards the German Schutztruppe in Cameroon received the M1896 blue piped khaki tropical uniform with other ranks wearing shoulder straps of twisted black/white/red braid (see right). Prior to 1896 German officers and NCOs wore a white or khaki uniform piped in blue with Brandenburg style cuffs. The later white uniform (in the same cut as the M1896 khaki uniform) was often worn in Cameroon when not in action. Mixtures of the white and khaki uniforms are also often seen in photographs from Cameroon with officers wearing the khaki uniform with white helmet or vice versa.

In Cameroon tropical helmets and Südwester slouch hats were seen worn side by side regardless of rank. This NCO wears the regulation Südwester slouch hat, with piping and hatband in red for Cameroon (see also Südwester Details Page). As a mounted trooper this NCO wears riding breeches with riding boots as commonly seen in German South West Africa. Riding breeches in grey/brown corduroy were also issued.

Across his right breast this NCO wears a sharpshooter's decoration in the form of a twisted black/white/red lanyard as worn in the regular German army. His NCO rank would have been displayed on his left sleeve as inverted silver chevrons on a blue backing (see NCO Rank Insignia Page).

This trooper is armed with the 1888 "Komission" Carbine and has the old 1895 ammunition pouches. Most of the Schutztruppe of Cameroon had been issued with the newer Mauser 1898 Carbine and 1909 pattern pouches by in 1914. The brown leather belt is fastened by a Schutztruppe other ranks belt buckle (see right).

Figure 2 is based on a photograph of a typical German Schutztruppe Officer taken after the outbreak of war in 1914. He wears a regulation tropical helmet with a small black/white/red cockade (see below right) which appears to be missing its officers silver cord around the hatband. The tunic is again the regulation M1896 khaki tropical uniform piped in blue but with officers black/silver/red braided shoulder straps (see Officers Rank Insignia Page). The khaki trousers are tucked into brown leather boots and gaiters as commonly worn by officers. He is armed lightly with a pistol and one row of M1909 ammunition pouches.

Schutztruppe Khaki Tunic
(See Schutztruppe Khaki Tunic Details Page)
Photo Copyright Damien Doppler
Schutztruppe Other Ranks Belt Buckle
(See Belt Buckle Details Page)
Photo Copyright Damien Doppler

Figure 3 is based on photograph of a German Schutztruppe NCO in shirt-sleeve order taken during the First World War. His tropical helmet is the regulation issue with black/white/red cockade and other ranks twisted black/white/red braid around the hatband, likewise his trousers are Schutztruppe issue, in this case without blue piping down the seams. The shirt may or may not be standard Schutztruppe issue. In the heat of Cameroon many Germans were seen wearing shirts without tunics. He is armed with a M98 carbine and carries  M1909 ammunition pouches. Later in the campaign with supplies running short the Schutztruppe were increasingly seen in casual slouch hats and non-regulation and sometimes captured tropical helmets. Likewise their uniforms tend to become less and less regulation with civilian dress in evidence.

Figure 4 is based on a photograph of a German Schutztruppe Officer taken in 1915 or early 1916 towards the end of the First World War campaign in Cameroon. He wears the regulation officer's grey peaked field cap with hatband and piping in red for Cameroon and a small Imperial cockade on the front. His uniform is the same M1896 khaki uniform as worn by other figures on this page except that he is most unusually wearing the white shoes from his peacetime white tropical uniform in the field.


Please contact me here if you have more information or photos on this topic. 

Back to Main Menu for German Colonial Uniforms