This is a photograph of an
Askari of the German East African Schutztruppe, taken in East Africa
probably sometime between the late 1890s and 1914. It is an
excellent study and shows the typical uniform of an askari of this
He wears the Tarbush
headdress, consisting of a khaki cover and neckshade over a reed
or wicker frame. Note the horizontal lines of that frame can
been seen towards the front. The white metal imperial eagle can
also be seen on the front.
The tunic is plain
khaki with a stand and fall collar, plain shoulder straps and
cuffs with no pockets or piping. The trousers are matching
khaki. The puttees would usually be dark blue/grey. It is
difficult to tell their colour for sure in monochrome
photographs. It may be that he is wearing locally produced khaki
puttees. Unlike most askaris this man is barefooted. The Germans
usually took good care of their soldiers feet and knew that
local thorns and parasites could cripple a man, so usually had
them all well booted and regularly inspected. But from period
photographs such as this it seems that some askaris went
barefooted at times.
This askari carries
standard equipment, a backpack, rolled tent section (or blanket in
this photograph) and 1887 ammunition pouches in brown leather. This
photograph also shows excellent views of the askaris main weapons-
the Jägerbüchse 71 rifle and S71/84 bayonet.
East African Bayonets Page)
© Chris Wood
Please respect the
generosity of Jeff Hayes in sharing this photograph with us by not reproducing it
without prior permission.