Field Cap for South West African Schutztruppe
Field Cap for East African Schutztruppe
Field Cap for Cameroon Schutztruppe
Field caps were worn by all ranks and branches of the regular
Imperial German army and also the Schutztruppe and Seebataillone.
From their colour could be distinguished the wearers arm of service.
The hat itself was made in
the colour of the home uniform tunic (ie. grey for the Schutztruppe, dark
blue for the Seebataillone),
with the hatband and piping in colour of the arm of service. In the
regular army different colours were worn for infantry, light infantry
and artillery etc. In the Schutztruppe different colours were worn for the
different colonies: white for East Africa, blue for South West Africa
and red for
Cameroon (see left). Colours for the smaller colonies (yellow for
Togo, green for New Guinea and pink for Samoa) were authorised in
1912, but do not seem to have been issued before the First World War
broke out. The hatbands and piping of the Seebataillone were white.
Colonial officials (including chaplains, doctors, vets, paymasters
etc) also wore various coloured hatbands and piping to
denote their arm of service.
In the regular army the imperial cockade
(black/white/red) was worn above the hatband
and the state cockade (eg. black/white/black for Prussia or white/blue/white for Bavaria
etc) was worn on the hatband. In Colonial and Naval
services these distinctions were done away with and no state cockades
were worn, while the imperial cockade was worn on the hatband instead.
The state cockades were however retained by other overseas forces such
as the East Asian
Expeditionary Corps and Asienkorps.
In the regular army officers and NCOs wore
peaked caps while other ranks had peakless ones. In the glaring sun of
the colonies even other ranks usually wore peaked caps. The exception
is in the Seebataillone where other ranks did wear a peakless cap.
Officers peaked caps were issued with a
wire around the inside of the cap keeping the upper part a stiff round
shape. Against regulations many officers removed the wire on active
service, which gave the cap a more casual shape. As with other items
of uniform officers usually wore privately tailored caps made from
better quality materials, usually with a stiffer appearance.
generosity in sharing these photos with us by not reproducing them
without prior permission.
(Click on the pictures below to enlarge)