Marine Infantry in Cameroon 1893-4
Marine Expeditionskorps in the Dahomey Slaves Rebellion

The Marine Expeditionskorps Departure from Kiel 1893
Illustration by G
Arnould © Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv

The first deployment of the Marine Infantry to a German colony was a company sized expedition (formed from elements of the I. and II. Seebataillone) sent to Cameroon to help defeat the mutiny of the Dahomey Slaves in 1893. They arrived too late to take part in any action and returned to Germany early the following year.

I have yet to see any period photographs of the Marine Expeditionskorps in Cameroon but their uniform regulations do survive and are listed in
"Die deutschen Marinen 1818-1918" by R Noeske and C Stefanski) as consisting of  either the on-board blue shirt or a white naval working shirt. Headdress was a white naval tropical helmet with neckshade, a blue field cap (in this period the marine infantry had black hatbands with white piping for other ranks see above illustration) or a white on-board cap. Trousers for both the blue uniform and white working uniform could be worn. They were issued long marching boots and short ankle boots with gaiters. The Marine Infantry grey/black greatcoat was also issued, presumably only for use at sea. Although the unit did not see action it did experience tropical climates and showed the future need for tropical uniforms for the Marine Infantry.


Sources and Links-
Marine-Infanterie - Highly recommended (Click on Einsätze, then Kamerun)
"Unsere Marineuniformen" by J Zienert
"Die deutschen Marinen 1818-1918" by R Noeske and C Stefanski

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

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