These photos show the unique mounted personal equipment worn by the
German South West African Schutztruppe.
The equipment itself consisted of a leather harness complete with 12
ammunition pouches, each with a strap holding down the pouch flap, stretching around the rear and buckled there. On the
left hip was riveted a bayonet holder and on the right, a brass loop to
attach a water bottle. Because this equipment was designed for mounted troops where the horse
could carry much of the load, no provision was made for back packs, tent
sections, blankets, canteens or bread bags.
There were three slightly
different types of the equipment issued. The first type had no
additional pouches on the shoulder straps and therefore had only ten
pouches. The second type (as seen in some photos below) added the two
pouches on the shoulder straps. The third type retained the extra
pouches but but added brass buttons to hold the pouches down (as seen
here on the left).
This style of equipment
was never issued to the regular German army in Europe. It was however
worn by mounted troops of the Schutztruppe in Cameroon. When worn in Cameroon the harness was worn in a slightly different fashion with the
straps crossing over the front as well as the back. Large stocks of this
equipment were captured by South African forces when German South
West Africa surrendered in 1915. It was thereafter used by them on
campaign in German East Africa.
African National Museum of Military History also has an example
of this style of equipment and ammunition pouches, photos of it can
be seen on the page showing items from South
This figure is wearing
a Schutztruppe other ranks khaki uniform (see
Schutztruppe Khaki Uniform Details
(Click on the pictures below to enlarge)