East Asian Expeditionary Corps 1900-01
Ostasiatisches Expeditionskorps
Winter Uniforms

Figure 1
Württemberg Infantry

Figure 2
Prussian Artillery NCO

Figure 3
Prussian Cavalry

Figure 4
Bavarian Infantry NCO

Figure 5
Prussian Jäger

Figure 1 is based on a photograph of an Infantryman from the 2nd (Württemberg) Battalion of the 5th East Asian Infantry Regiment in blue winter service uniform. This blue uniform was also worn on home service. It consisted of a dark blue (for most units) M1893 Litewka tunic with a stand and fall collar, no visible pockets, a concealed front and gathered cuffs. The collar patches were in arm-of service colour (red for infantry and cavalry, black for artillery and pioneers). The shoulder straps were the same as for the early khaki uniforms (white with regimental number in red for infantry, red for cavalry, red with an embroidered yellow grenade for artillery). The matching trousers were usually worn tucked into the boots, but on this occasion are worn over them.
With the blue uniform a matching field cap could be worn as shown here. As with field caps for the regular army it was peakless for other ranks, peaked for NCOs and officers and had two cockades- a imperial one in black/white/red above a state one (in this case black/red/black for the Kingdom of Wurttemberg). The hatband and piping also depended on arm of service- red for infantry and cavalry, black with red piping for artillery and pioneers).
The only equipment worn by this figure is an other ranks black leather belt.
Figure 2 is based on a photograph of an NCO of the East Asian Artillery Regiment. He also wears the blue M1893 Litewka tunic but with black collar patches for the artillery and NCOs rank lace along the front and upper edge of the collar. The privately made tunics for officers and senior NCOs often had higher collars and pockets. In this case the tunic has a single left breast pocket and two hip pockets all with concealed buttons. The shoulder straps are red with a yellow flaming grenade for the artillery. His trousers are dark blue/black riding breeches reinforced with leather on the inside leg.
This NCO also wears the traditional German army spiked helmet or Pickelhaube. As well as the field cap and straw hat, Pickelhaubes were worn on service in China, sometimes with a grey/green cover. As with the regular German army, artillery had a ball instead of a spike as shown here (and was therefore known as a Kugelhelm rather than a Pickelhaube). The Bavarian artillery were the exception to this rule, they still wore a spiked helmet. The helmet plates worn by the infantry of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps were those of their home units and states- Prussian eagle (with or without guard star depending on their home unit's status), Bavarian coat of arms, Saxon star, Württemberg coat of arms or Baden griffin. The cavalry, artillery and other arms of service all wore Prussian eagle helmet plates with the guard star emblazoned across the front as worn here. The cockades on either side of the chin strap bosses would have been in imperial colours on the right hand side (black/white/red) and state colours on the left (in this case black/white/black for Prussia).
This NCO was photographed on his return to Germany and thus is wearing his newly awarded China medal (see right) on his left breast. 

China Medal
(See Colonial Medals Details Page)
Damien Doppler Collection


Figure 3 is based on a photograph of a Cavalryman from the East Asian Cavalry (Reiter) Regiment. He wears the straw hat with imperial and state cockades, an M1893 cavalry Litewka tunic (the cavalry Litwekas were grey rather than blue) with black riding breeches. His collar patches and shoulder straps are in red for cavalry.
He wears a marksmanship award (see Specialist Insignia Page) in twisted imperial coloured (black/white/red) braid across his right breast (unusually it seems to be attached to the upper rather then lower end of the shoulder strap). He carries one of several varieties of bandolier issued to mounted troops of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps.
The spiked helmets for the Reiter Regiment were dragoon style with squared peaks and a Prussian Eagle with the Guard Star.
Figure 4 is based on a photograph of an NCO from the 2nd (Bavarian) Battalion of the 4th East Asian Infantry Regiment. Several points mark him out as Bavarian. Firstly the Bavarian state cockade (white/blue/white) below the imperial one on the straw hat. Secondly he wears a pale blue (as opposed to dark blue) M1893 Litewka unique to Bavarian units (corresponding to their uniforms in the regular German army of the time). Thirdly his marksman's award is in blue and white Bavarian colours. Marksman's awards were issued in state colours for the different German states. As the East Asian Expeditionary Corps was an elite unit formed from the best volunteers from the whole German army, the incidence of marksman's awards was disproportionately high.
Aside from these differences he is dressed as any other Infantryman of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps in the winter of 1900 with red infantry collar patches and NCO (Unteroffizier) lace on the top and front edges of the collar.
Figure 5 is based on a photograph of a Prussian Jäger from the East Asian Jäger Company on guard duty in Peking. He wears a Jäger shako in place of the infantry's pickelhaube, with a Prussian eagle as the helmet plate below an oval Prussian (white/black) cockade. He wears a locally made animal skin coat over his army issue greatcoat and uniform to ward off the fierce Chinese Winter in a chilling foretaste of what the German army was to experience on the Eastern front in two world wars to come. The collar of his single breasted other ranks M1894 grey greatcoat with red patches can be seen overlapping the locally made coat. Similarly he wears locally made boots over his issue ones and dark blue/black trousers. Litewkas for the Jäger were in grey like the cavalry ones but with dark green collar patches.
In addition to this already confusing array of uniforms worn by the Expeditionary Corps many senior officers still wore the uniforms of their old regiments. Field Marshall von Waldersee, the Expedition's commander often wore his 13th Hanoverian Ulan Regiment uniform, while other high ranking officers were photographed in China in the uniforms of Infantry, Dragoon and Hussar Regiments.

Arm of Service Distinctions for the East Asian Expeditionary Corps

Figure A
Prussian Guards Infantry
Figure B
Prussian Line Infantry
Figure C
Bavarian Infantry
Figure D
Saxon Infantry
Figure E
Württemberg Infantry
Figure F
Baden Infantry
Figure G
Jäger Company
Figure H
Cavalry Regiment
Figure I
Figure J

Figure K
Train Troops

Figure L
Transport Troops
Figure M
Telegraph Troops
Figure N
Medical Personnel
Figure O
Postal Staff

Main Sources-
"Uniformierung und Austrüstung der Ostasiatischen Truppen des Deutschen Reiches 1900-1909" by Jürgen Kraus in Zeitschrift für Heereskunde Issue 375
"Unsere Truppen in Ostasien" - illustrated plates by Moritz Ruhl
"Deutsches Ostasiatisches Expeditionskorps 1900-01"- illustrated plates by Eberhard Hettler
"Deutsche Expeditionstruppen und Schutztruppen"- illustrated plates by Edgar Graf von Matuschka


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