Updates to The German Colonial Uniforms Website

 
     
 

This website is occasionally being updated with corrections and new additions as more information comes to light. So if you've enjoyed your first visit add this site to your favourites list and keep checking back here from time to time to see what's new.

www.GermanColonialUniforms.co.uk

 
     

 

Most Recent Updates

19th April 2017
The page on German Army Officers Seconded to the Colonies has been extended to include army officers serving as military observers overseas.

A new page has been added on the uniforms of the Schutztruppe Officials. These non-combatants such as  doctors, veterinarians, paymasters, armourers, ordinance officers, saddlers, dentists, pharmacists and inspectors that accompanied the Schutztruppe were known in German as "Beamte". This page is only a brief look at them and this page will hopefully see updates in the future.

9th February 2017
A new page on Naval Cap Tallies has been added. It shows the cap tallies of many ships and naval units that served overseas in the colonial era and First World War, along with photographs and brief histories of the vessels involved. Among those shown are famous ships such as the SMS Königsberg and SMS Emden, the entire Iltis class of gunboat, various tallies from the Kiautschou naval artillery and both the SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau in German and Ottoman service. Thanks very much to Christian Bormann for sharing the photos of his collection with us, please respect his generosity by not reproducing them without prior permission.

I'm also happy to add Gallipoli 1915 , a great new website with information on German Forces at Gallipoli in the First World War to the Links Page.

8th February 2017
A number of updates have been added. The most important of which is a look at the German Colonial Headdress Collection of the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg. This museum has the most amazing display of rare Imperial German overseas headdress. Thanks to Mark Schellenberg for sharing these photos with us. When Mark first showed me the photos, I was so impressed that I took a flight to Hamburg to see for myself.

There is a new page showing a Schutztruppe G98S Rifle. Thanks to James D. Julia Auctioneers, Fairfield, Maine, USA www.jamesdjulia.com for sharing these photographs with us.

There is also a new page added showing a Naval Issue G98 Rifle. Thanks to Marc Thevenin for sharing these photos with us.

Another II. Seebataillon bayonet has been added to the Marine Infantry Bayonets Page.

The Headdress Cockades Page has also been updated.

9th November 2016
A new page has been added on Freikorps Schwarze Jäger. This was a short lived unit formed from former Seesoldaten of the Imperial German Marine Infantry.

10th October 2016
A new page has been added on Marine Infantry Mounted Uniforms as worn by the 5th Mounted Company and drivers of the Field Artillery Battery, both of the III. Seebataillon in Tsingtao, China.

The Links Page has also been updated not by adding more websites but by removing many old links to sites that are sadly no longer online.

7th October 2016
There have been a few updates recently.

The introductory pages on bayonets have been enlarged and split in two. One page now describes the Types of Bayonets used in the German Colonies, while the second page describes Bayonet Markings used in the Colonies. This will hopefully make it easier for the reader or collector to identify a bayonet. The East African Bayonets Page  has been updated with more information and period photos plus photos of another Hörster 1913 bayonet. Thanks as always on the subject of bayonets and small arms to Chris Wood for his guidance and expertise.

A new page had also been added on the subject of Pistols of the German Colonial and Overseas Forces..

Another new page has been added showing the collection of the Australian War Memorial Museum in Canberra and its exhibits with relation to the Conquest of German New Guinea and the Sinking of the SMS Emden in the First World War.

The page on the Marine Detachment Skutari has been updated with more information and photos including some from the Internationales Maritimes Museum in Hamburg by Mark Schellenberg. More of Mark's photos from Hamburg have been added to the pages on Tropical Uniforms of the South West African Landespolizei, Pickelhauben of the East Asian Occupation Brigade and Schutztruppe Generals

Some small updates have been made to the Imperial War Museum Collection page.

12th May 2016
I've updated the page on Tropical Helmets with a lot more information and period photographs. Thanks to Peter Klein, Joe Robinson, Karsten Herzogenrath and others for allowing us to see photographs from their collections. Please respect their generosity by not reproducing them without prior permission.

17th March 2016
I've updated the page on German Red Cross Volunteers with some information on the organisation of the German medical volunteers that served on the Boer side in the Second Anglo-Boer War. Thanks very much to
Johan Wolfaardt of the President Pretorius Museum in Potchefstroom, South Africa for this information.

6th March 2016
I've added a new page as an Introduction to Artillery in the German Colonies. I've also added a small page on the curious
Decoy Guns used by the Germans during the First World War in the colonies.

24th December 2015
There's new photos to be seen on the page on German East African Schutztruppe Officers and NCOs during the First World War. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

27th March 2015
There's new photos of a naval shortened S98 bayonet on the Naval Bayonets Page. Thanks to Josh Longmire for sharing that with us.

11th March 2015
There's a new photo and corrections made to the page on the Imperial Navy Other Ranks. Thanks for this new photo to Richard Cobb, the grandson of
Walter Kurze, a sailor in this photo. Kurze joined the Imperial Navy in 1895, served in the Boxer Rebellion, was invalided out of service due to an accident early in the First World War and emigrated to America in 1922. Richard has a website with more of his grandfather's interesting photographs at Wind Drifter.

10th March 2015
There are new photos on the East Asian Occupation Brigade Summer Uniforms page. Thanks to
Jérôme Discours at Military Photos for some of them.

9th March 2015
There are updates on the page on the German army wearing Field Grey Uniforms on Ottoman Fronts. This includes a new illustration and a new photo. Thanks to Sam Wouters for the photograph.

8th March 2015
The former single page on German Reservists in the Pacific colonies in 1914 has been split into two pages, one of Reservists in New Guinea and the other on the Samoan Citizen's Force. There are updated and new illustrations on both. There are also updates to the page on Melanesian Polizeitruppe.

7th March 2015
There's a new page on the Marine Detachment Skutari and their hybrid German-Austrian uniforms worn at the Battle of Višegrad against the Serbian army in August 1914.

28th February 2015
Now I'm back online with the website, here's another update. Photos taken in 2010 of the Battlefield and Cemetery at Bita Paka, where Australian naval forces fought German reservists and Melanesian Polizeitruppe for control of New Guinea in 1914. These photos were taken by
Sebastien Grenda. Thanks very much to him for sharing them with us, and my apologies for having taken so very long to put them online.

27th February 2015
I must apologise for the recent lack of updates on this website. There are two main reasons for this.
Firstly, I had some computer and internet problems. That's fixed now so it's service resumed with a couple of long over due updates to the website-

Rifles Page- I've re-written this page with new photos from the Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv, Joe Robinson, Sam Wouters and Vincent Koch, also with new information from Paul Scarlata and Chris Wood.
East Asian Gew98- Vincent Koch sent us some great photos of a Gew98 that is marked as being used by the 1st East Asian Infantry Regiment in China.
There have also been updates to the pages on the
SMS Königsberg Guns, Guns in Lake Otjikoto and Book Reviews. As always this website owes its updates to the readers. Thank you all. More to follow soon!

And the second reason this website hasn't been updated recently is that Osprey Publishing asked me to help work on a book for them. This is the result-

As an author I shouldn't review it myself but I do think that its fair to say that this is a very good introduction to the topic. The limitations of a small paperback meant that it was not possible to go into too much detail but I do believe that the basics (and some obscure topics such as the Chinese Polizeitruppe and Reservist uniforms in the different colonies) are covered. The illustrations by Stephen Walsh are far better than the originals on this website and that alone is worth the small cover price. As usual thanks to the many contributors to this website for help on this book particularly Arne Schöfert, Joe Robinson and Karsten Herzogenrath. Also a big thank you to Martin Windrow from Osprey who made the book possible. If you're interested, you can buy the book directly from Osprey here.

Now I've had a taste of writing a real book, I want to write more. I'm working on a couple of books right now. One is already underway and is subject to contract with another publisher. I'll tell you more about that one when the publication time is near.

The other is a longer on-going project that I need readers' help with. I am part of a small team who are trying to write the definitive history of the guns of the SMS Königsberg in German East Africa during the First World War. The basic story has been told before- the SMS  Königsberg was sunk in the Rufiji Delta but the ten 10.5cm guns were salvaged and used on land in the defence of German East Africa. They saw action on all the East African fronts: defending the ports of Tanga, Bagamoyo and Dar Es Salaam against allied warships, on Lake Tanganyika against Mimi and Toutou and at Mwanza on the coast of Lake Victoria. One by one the guns were destroyed or captured until finally the last two guns were abandoned in the south of the colony as von Lettow-Vorbeck prepared to invade Portuguese East Africa with a slimmed down and more mobile force.

We are now trying to trace the histories of the individual guns, which actions they fought at in wartime and where they ended up after the war. Two guns are on public display in Pretoria, SA and Mombasa, Kenya. The exact origins of both of these guns and their carriages is debated. Another gun was rediscovered in Jinja, Uganda. Three more were on display after the war: one in the Dar Es Salaam Governor's Residence until the 1930s, one in the Imperial War Museum, London UK until 1928- it was last seen in Hove in the 1930s and another one in Stanleyville (now known as Kinshasa) in the Congo- last seen in the early 1970s.

If you know any information on these guns, during wartime or afterwards please let us know. If you have photos of the guns in Africa or Hove, please let us know. Several photos from private collections have so far proven invaluable. We have a team who have studied a lot of photos and can gain the biggest clues from what might seem trivial to a casual observer. As with all other studies done through this website, we rely on readers' input. Much of the research on the Königsberg guns is being done in public, see the Axis History Forum. Please join in there or if you prefer you can email me here. Thank you in advance. In the meantime have a look at some photos of the guns at SMS Königsberg Guns.

25th June 2014
A new page has been added with a biography and photos of
Johann-Baptist Zehetmayr, an NCO of the East Asian Artillery and later the Cameroon Schutztruppe. Thanks to Karl Zetmeir who was doing some family history research and came across this information on his great-grandfather's nephew.

6th June 2014
A new page has been added with a new illustration and period photographs showing the rarely seen Schutztruppe Litewka. There is also another short page on the
Marine Infantry in Cameroon 1893-94.

Readers might also be curious to see a reproduction uniform of an Austrian sailor as worn in China. This was made and collected by an Italian collector.


Photo © Fronte Orientale

24th May 2014
New photos have been added to the page on East African Askaris in the First World War.

19th May 2014
There is a new page showing a series of Photographs of Chinese Officers on a Training Mission to Germany. We have very little information on this curious group. As always on this website, if you have any more information please email me here.

20th April 2014
There's a new page added on the SMS Königsberg Gun in Jinja, Uganda. Thanks on this page to JR, Bob Wagner, Oliver Eicke, and Holger Kotthaus for their photos and research.

There have been new photos added to the pages on Prussian Medals and Miniature Ribbon Bars. Thanks to Peter Klein and Anton Veltman for their photos.

Finally, on the For Sale Page we have a scale bust of a Feldwebel of the South West African Schutztruppe. The uniform and equipment details are very accurate being based on photos and information from this website and the Doppler Collection. More photos and purchase details are available at the Dolman Miniatures website


Dolman Miniatures figure of a Schutztruppe NCO

17th March 2014
There's a new page added on the SMS Königsberg Gun in Pretoria. This page concentrates on the mystery of identifying the gun and has many great quality photos, thanks to MC Heunis and Frank Du Plessis.

11th March 2014
There's some updates on the page on the Guns in Lake Otjikoto in South West Africa. These guns were dumped into the lake at the end of the campaign by the Germans to prevent them falling into enemy hands. Some of the guns have since been recovered and are mostly at the Tsumeb Museum. Others are still in the lake. Recently the lake was the focus of a UK Channel 5 documentary called Monty Hall and the Kaiser's Gold, in which a team of divers explore the lake to see more of the guns down there and hopefully find the legendary missing safe full of gold in there. The documentary can be seen on YouTube.

A new and curious photograph showing Captured Effendi and Askaris taken in German East Africa in 1916 has been added to the Photos Page. Thanks to Chris Wood for sharing this photo with us.

There are several medal certificates added to the China Medal Page , Iron Cross Page and Post 1918 Medals Page. Thanks to Peter Klein and Marcin Lewoszewski for sharing the photos with us.

There's also a new link added to the Links Page to Marcin Lewoszewski's website Imperial German Militaria. It's an interesting collection of Imperial German militaria mainly showing photographs and documents from the 1914-18 period.

22nd February 2014
The page on the SMS Königsberg Guns has been updated with more photos. This is part of an on-going study into the history of the guns. See also the Axis History Forum Discussion on the Königsberg Guns. If you have any more information on these guns please contact me here, any clues no matter how small may be of use to solve the mystery of where the ten guns ended up.

Corrections have also been made to the pages on the Afghan Mission and the History of the German Colonies. Thanks to eagle eyed readers for spotting the errors I made. If you spot any errors no matter how small on this website please contact me here. I am always looking forward to correcting mistakes to make this website as accurate as possible.

9th January 2014
The pages on Officers Rank Insignia and NCO Rank Insignia have been completely re-written with new text, illustrations and photographs.

6th January 2014- TEN YEARS OF THIS WEBSITE!
This website is now ten years old and still growing as new information and photographs come to light. I would like to extend a massive thank you to everyone who has so freely shared information with me to help the website grow. It has been a big learning experience for me and I feel blessed to have made some great new friends along the way. I'm now looking forward to the next ten years together and what information we can discover in that time!

In the meantime there's been some new photographs and updates on the page on German troops in the Shanghai Volunteer Corps. Thanks to Rolf Weidlich for sharing his photographs with us.

3rd January 2014
A new photograph of a South West African Schutztruppe Medical NCO has been added to the website. Thanks to George Wylie of the Commission Rifle website for sharing this photo with us and to Karsten Herzogenrath for identifying the medals.

3rd December 2013
The page on Effendi, African Officers in the East African Schutztruppe, has been updated with new photos.

25th November 2013
There's a new page on the uniforms of Schutztruppe General Officers with photographs, biographies and an illustration.

Apologies for the lack of updates to this website for the last two months. I have been concentrating my time on work for a new book for Osprey publishing. More details to follow.

19th September 2013
The page on the Truppe Des Reichs-Kommissars and early Schutztruppe in South West Africa 1891-96 has been updated and re-written with new illustrations and photos. 

10th September 2013
Photographs of a German bowie knife used in East Africa have been added to the East African Schutztruppe Bayonets Page. Thanks to Chris Wood
for letting us see his photos.

25th August 2013
There's another two very interesting bayonets newly added. This time they're on the pages for Marine Infantry Bayonets and Polizeitruppe Bayonets. Thanks again to
Vincent Koch and also to Fabien Bayle for letting us see their photos.

16th August 2013
There's two very interesting new bayonets added to the pages on Cameroon Schutztruppe Bayonets and Polizeitruppe Bayonets. Thanks to Vincent Koch for the photographs. Please respect his generosity by not reproducing them without prior permission.

24th July 2013
There's a small new page added on the Marine Expeditionskorps in East Africa during the Maji-Maji Rebellion.

23rd July 2013
There's a updates to the page on Specialist Insignia including new illustrations, text and photographs.

22nd July 2013
There's a few updates to the page on Naval Other Ranks Uniforms including new photographs.

10th July 2013
There's a new photo and links added to the Red Cross Volunteers Page.

9th July 2013
New reviews have been added to the Book Reviews Page. The reviews are of four recommended titles-

"Das Burenfreikorps von Deutsch-Südwestafrika 1914-1915" by Gordon McGregor
"Der Reichskolonialbund und seine kolonialrevisionistische Propagandatätigkeit zwischen, 1933 und 1943" by Arne Schöfert
"Die deutschen Marinen 1818-1918: Organisation, Uniformierung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung" by Rolf Noeske and Claus P. Stefanski
"A Clash of Empires- The South Wales Borderers at Tsingtao 1914" by John Dixon

Along with the reviews, links are provided to purchase the books either from Amazon or their publishers.

8th July 2013
A new page has been added on the mystery of the Rabaul Guns, the artillery owned by German forces in New Guinea 1914. Thanks very much to
Aaron Carson who conducted the research for this article.

25th June 2013
Two news pages have been added. One shows African Leaders and their Private Armies often wearing German (or German imitation) uniforms. The other page shows the Africans that served in the regular Imperial German Army back in Germany. Both pages are illustrated with period photographs.

18th June 2013
A new page based on the earliest German troops in South West Africa, the Francois-Truppe 1889-91 has been added to this website. Thanks to Arne Schöfert of Traditionsverband for his help on this page.

17th June 2013
A new photo of a Samoan police badge has been added to the Samoa Page. Thanks to Warren Collingwood Collection by Barry O'Sullivan for sharing this photo with us.

I've also added photos of some hand crafted and painted lead figures of German Overseas troops to the For Sale Page. They are made by James Elsey and are available from his Toy Box Army website.


Bavarian Infantry of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps c1900
Photo © Toy Box Army

24th May 2013
Sorry for the lack of recent updates here. There has actually been a lot of work done on the website in the background during this time, correcting small errors and re-formatting pages. Recently I've updated the Uniform Photos Page with new photos of the Shanghai Volunteers Corps and a previously unseen gallery of Schutztruppe Prisoners of War taken in Malta 1914-19.

There are also photos newly added to the pages on the South West African Landespolizei 1907 Uniforms, East African Schutztruppe 1891 Uniforms and the Jerusalem Cross Medal.

Another project I have been spending time on in preparation for future updates here is trying to track down the history of the individual guns from the SMS Königsberg. This has been taking place publicly on the Axis History Forum. Please join in if you have any more photos or information.

14th February 2013
I've added a new page with illustrations, photos and descriptions of the uniforms worn by the The Niedermayer-Hentig Mission to Afghanistan 1915-16.

8th February 2013
I've added a link to an excellent new website on Ottoman Uniforms

December 24th 2012
More period photos and amended text have also been added to the pages on-

South West African Landespolizei- Early Uniforms
South West African Landespolizei- 1907 Dark Khaki Uniforms
South West African Landespolizei- Tropical Uniforms
South West African Landespolizei- African Police Uniforms
South West African Schutztruppe Reservists
East African Askaris 1880s
East African Askaris 1900-14
New Guinea Melanesian Polizeitruppe
New Guinea Micronesian Polizeitruppe
and Naval Landing Parties in the Tropics

Merry Christmas everybody!

December 3rd 2012
There's been photos of two very interesting helmets added to the Tropical Helmets Page. One is a 1902 helmet that belonged to the  III. Seebataillon, the other is a 1904 East Asian Occupation Brigade helmet. They were both made by Ludwig Bortfeldt of Bremen's factory. Thanks very much to the private collector who shared these photographs with us.

There are also several very interesting medals and medal bars on the For Sale Page this month. They are all from the Der Rittmeister website.

November 21st 2012
There's been a large update in the Medals section with the previously huge page now split into more manageable chunks, with new photographs and information added. Thanks to Steve Goldby for helping to clear up some of my messy HTML code. The new pages are listed as-

 - An Introduction to Medals for Colonial and Overseas Troops
 - China Campaign Medal
 - South West Africa Campaign Medal
 - Colonial Service Medal
 - Prussian Pour-Le-Mérite
 - Prussian Iron Cross
 - Other Prussian Awards
 - Non-Prussian Awards
 - Other Awards Exclusively for Overseas Service
 - Post 1918 Veterans Awards
 - Ottoman Turkish Awards
 - Other Foreign Awards
 - Medal Bars
 - Miniature Ribbon Bars.

There's also been a Schutztruppe Veterans RKB tunic added to the For Sale Page.

November 20th 2012
There is a new photo of a curious German Medal Bar with Dutch Colonial Awards added. Thanks very much to the
Neerlandia Dutch Militaria website, for sharing that photograph with us.

More period photos have also been added to the pages on East African Askaris in the early 1890s, East African Effendi, East African Polizeitruppe and South West African Auxiliaries.

October 26th 2012
There is a new page on the Tsingtao Chinese Company and a re-written page on the Tsingtao Chinese Police. Both pages have new information, illustrations and photographs. These pages have been a long time in the making and much credit is due to
Rolf Noeske, Arne Schöfert, Chris Wood, Ken Kopp and Thomas Morlang for their help.

October 22nd 2012
There is a large update on the Medals Page with a lot of period photographs and new text. The photographs mostly come from private collections and illustrate how  combinations of medals and awards were worn. Thanks very much to
Karsten Herzogenrath, Joe Robinson, the JW Collection, Peter Klein, Christophe Deruelle and Andreas M. Schulze Ising of Medal Net for sharing these photographs with us. Please respect their generosity by not reproducing them without prior permission.

October 14th 2012
There are a few interesting updates to the Period Uniform Photograph Page.


Unteroffizier
Cameroon Schutztruppe
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath

Red Cross Leader von Heynitz
South West African Schutztruppe
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath

Train Musician
East Asian Occupation Brigade
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath

Senior NCO
II. Seebataillon
Photo © Peter Klein

Pacific Polizeitruppe
on the Island of Angaur
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath

There is also an update on the For Sale page with photos of an East African Polizeitruppe Tarbusch for sale through Militaria-Online.

September 26th 2012
There are a few updates to the pages on the African Other Ranks in the Cameroon Schutztruppe, New Guinea Reservists, Melanesian PolizeitruppeMicronesian Polizeitruppe, Togo Polizeitruppe and the Shanghai Volunteer Corps.

September 14th 2012
There is a new page intended to show Militaria and Photographs For Sale. The first sale on there is a large collection of original photographs taken in the German Colonies.

August 30th 2012
I have re-written the page on South West African Schutztruppe Home Uniforms and added a new illustration and new photos. This was one of the oldest pages on the website and since it was first written much new information has come my way, the most useful of which was the
"Bekleidungs-Vorschrift für die Kaiserlichen Schutztruppen in Afrika" (Uniform regulations for the Imperial Schutztruppe in Africa), 19/11/1896, 11/3/1897, 1898 and 29/12/1913. I got my printed copy from Deutsche Kolonien und Militaria on Ebay. 

August 28th 2012
There are a few new period photographs on the pages on the East Asian Occupation Brigade in Field Grey Uniforms, Africans in German Uniforms and the Togo Polizeitruppe. Thanks to Joe Robinson, MedalNet and the Bundesarchiv for the photographs.
A new photograph of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Military Merit Cross 1900 Boxer Rebellion Award has been added to the Medals Page along with a digitally created image of the very rare Saxe-Meiningen Military Merit Medal with clasp for "CHINA". Thanks to the Medal Hound for both images.

August 26th 2012
There's a new new page on East Asian Pickelhauben. Thanks to Joe Robinson, Khukri and
Francois Fischer for the photographs.
There's also a new photograph of an African Polizeitruppe Bayonet to be seen. Thanks to Michel H for sharing this with us.

August 17th 2012
We've finally got a photo of the Georgian Order of Tamara on the Medals Page. Thanks very much to
Matjaz Voglar for sharing this photo with us.

August 12th 2012
There's more period photographs added to the pages recently East Asian 1900 Tropical Uniforms (thanks to Peter Klein), Africans in German Uniforms (thanks to Joe Robinson) and Austro-Hungarian Navy (thanks to
Ondřej Surový). There's also a new Schutztruppe Tropical Helmet (thanks to Peter Suciu) and a Medal Bar with Bavarian and Ottoman Medals (thanks to Thomas Millow) and a Medal Bar with Ottoman and Georgian Medals (thanks to Sascha Wöschler of Woeschler-Orden.de)

July 4th 2012
Photographs of two Miniature Medal Bars have been added to the relevant page. One is from a veteran of the Herero Rebellion and another is from the SMS Emden. Thanks to the JW Collection for sharing these with us.
A great photo showing an early Schutztruppe officer with a Pickelhaube has been added to the page on East African Schutztruppe 1891 Uniforms. Thanks to Sergio Semino for sharing this with us. If you are a collector don't miss Sergio's website Militaria-Online which currently has quite a few items of colonial militaria for sale.

July 2nd 2012
An update this month is a new page on Rifles and Carbines used in the German colonies and by their overseas troops.

June 20th 2012
A few small medals updates this month, new photos of Medal Bars from Robert Pandis and Captain George Albert. Thanks very much to them both for sharing the photos. Also thanks very much to Lambert Müller for finding more information on the Iron Cross in Togo and New Guinea, now included on the Medals Page.
There's also a new page with photographs and information on a PO8 Holster formerly belonging to an officer of the 146th Masurian Infantry Regiment in Palestine during the First World War. Thanks very much to John Strott for sharing the photos and providing the accompanying text.

May 2nd 2012
There have been a few recent updates, all photos of modern collections.
Some photos of a Seebataillon Officer's Litewka have been added. Thanks very much to Robert Pandis for sharing these with us.
A photo of an East Asian 1904 field grey tunic has been added to the East Asian Occupation Brigade Winter Uniforms Page. Thanks very much to John Strott for sharing that with us.
We've also got photos of a Mauser Jägerbüchse 1871 used in South West Africa. Thanks very much to Chris Wood for these photos.
Photos of the Medal Bar of Hauptmann Friedrich von Erckert, leader of the South West African Schutztruppe camel company with a fascinating Chilean award have been added to the Medal Bars page with permission from Traditionsverband.
As usual please respect the owners generosity in sharing these photos with us by not reproducing these photos without prior permission.

April 23rd 2012
There have been a few small updates this month on the Medals and Medal Bars pages. Thanks again to Peter Klein for sharing his photos with us.
Also another colonial sword has appeared for sale at this link http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/63920219/Original_German_Colonial_Landespolitzei_Sword_by_Eickhorn.html


It has a brass "dove head" stirrup hilt sword with blackened scabbard as worn by South West African Landespolizei as seen from the markings "L.P.142" on the guard and scabbard. It was made by Carl Eickhorn of Solingen as marked on the blade and has a wirebound fishskin grip and an officer's "Portepee" sword knot with silver, black and red wire work.

March 19th 2012
There have been quite a few updates this month. Photographs of several new Medal Bars with colonial awards have been added. Thanks again to Peter Klein and Captain George Albert for sharing their collection with us. A photograph of another Polizeitruppe Bayonet has been added. Thanks to Sam Wouters for sharing this photograph with us. A new page on Colonial Postcards with a military theme has been added. Thanks to Gary Kadau for sharing his collection with us. New photographs of the Colonial Exhibits at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin have been added.

A new page on the Battle of Lugalu has been added. The battle was a major defeat for the Schutztruppe in their war against the Hehe in 1891. This is the first in what may end up as a series of articles on battles or campaigns involving German colonial and overseas troops. Other writers are always welcome to submit articles. Please contact me here if you have an article you think might fit this series.

The Book Reviews page now has links to buy books from Amazon. If you buy books from Amazon through this website, we receive a small percentage to help with the server costs of this website.

...and lastly here are some photographs of a Dragon sword that has recently come up for sale. If you are interested please email David Chessmasterdee at  chessmasterdee@hotmail.com for details.

February 15th 2012

IMPORTANT UPDATE- this website is now only available at www.germancolonialuniforms.co.uk old links to www.sacktrick.com/igu/germancolonialuniforms will not work any more. Please update your favourites list accordingly.

This change of server and upgrade has increased the costs of running this website. If you would like to help towards these costs please click the link below-

In other updates, new photos of an East Asian 1883 Reichsrevolver Pistol have been added along with more photos of Imperial Naval, South West African Schutztruppe and Togo Polizeitruppe Bayonets. Thanks to Dow Cross and Chris Wood for these photos.

January 20th 2012
More photos have been added to the Period Uniform Photographs Page. Thanks to Karsten Herzogenrath, Peter Klein and Paul Sobtzick for sharing them with us.

The page on Colonial Medals Bars has been re-written with a few new bars shown. A buttonhole miniature medal worn by a veteran of the SMS Emden has also been added to the Miniature Medal Bars page. Thanks to Turkish Militaria and Captain George Albert for sharing those photos with us.

Gilles Sigro has sent us another interesting photograph. It shows part of the display at the new 1914-18 Museum at Meaux, France, showing what appear to be German colonial uniforms. See Histoire et Defense for more photographs from this very interesting exhibition. Thanks to Frédéric Coune for the permission to show his photograph here.

I'm sure that most of the articles shown are genuine but the askari tarbush hat looks suspicious. Whereas the eagle on all genuine tarbushes seen so far in modern collections and period photographs is a metal Imperial eagle this one appears to be a painted Prussian dragoon eagle. Tarbushes like these were used by actors in the Roger Moore film, "Shout at the Devil". Could this be one from the set of the movie?

November 12th 2011
I've added some photographs to the pages on East African Auxiliaries and King Njoya of Bamum's Private Army. I've also added a new page on Other Africans in German Uniforms.

A photo of an Elephant Order has been added to the Medals Page. Thanks to Captain George Albert for sharing the photo with us.

The page of Drawings of the Siege of Tsingtao has been re-written with new captions and better views of the illustrations.

Gilles Sigro of the Armurerie Toulouse website recently showed me these pictures of paper toy soldiers. They appear to be in the 1900/01 Tropical Uniforms of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps. They were made by Verlag von JF Schreiber in Esslingen bei Stuttgart. They are paper soldiers, made to be cut out, folded and glued into a standing position. This set has the serial number 945.

October 29th 2011
I've added new photographs to the Uniform Photos Page and to the Medals Bars Page. Thanks very much to Peter Klein for sharing these photos with us.

October 25th 2011
I've updated the page on the East African Askaris 1896-1914 with new photographs. I've also added three new photographs to the Uniform Photos Page. Thanks very much to Peter Klein for sharing these photos with us.


Feldwebel
South West African Schutztruppe
Photo © Peter Klein

Officer and Servant
East African Schutztruppe
Photo © Peter Klein

Polizei-Sergeant Bursig
South West African Landespolizei
Photo © Peter Klein

October 6th 2011
I've split the Pages on German Schutztruppe officers and NCOs in East Africa into two pages and re-written both with new photos and illustrations. The two new pages are
Schutztruppe German Officers and NCOs 1896-1914 and Schutztruppe German Officers and NCOs 1914-18.

October 2nd 2011
I've added photos of a pair of Binoculars used by the Schutztruppe of German East Africa. Thanks to Gilles Sigro of the Armurerie Toulouse website for sharing these photos with us.

September 10th 2011
I've added a page of photographs showing the Remains of the Radio Station at Kamina, Togo. I've also added a photo of a Naval Machine Gun Crew in Germany 1916, thanks to Steve Bombowsky for sharing that family photo with us. Finally I've updated a new link to Linke-Kolonialmuseum a private museum of the German Colonies and added some photographs of a pilots uniform from their collection to the Aircraft in the German Colonies Page..

August 24th 2011
I've added some photos of a Corduroy Tunic worn by a German Officer on the Bagdad Railway. As well as this interesting tunic are the medal certificates awarded to this officer. Thanks to a private US Collector for sharing these photographs with us. Some of the photographs have also been added to the page on Tropical Uniforms in the Ottoman Empire.

I've also added photographs of four more Colonial Medal Bars. Thanks to Captain George Albert for sharing his photographs with us. Another set of ribbon bars has also been added to the Ribbon Bars Page. Thanks to the JW Collection for sharing these photographs with us.

I've added some new photographs to the Period Uniforms Photographs Page. These include photographs of the Schutztruppe, East Asian Expeditionary Corps and Imperial Navy. Thanks to the JW Collection, Peter Klein and Johan Jansens for sharing these photographs with us.

I've made some additions to the text on the pages on German Pilots in the Ottoman Empire and the German Navy in the Ottoman Empire. Thanks again to Chris Flaherty for his help on the subject of the Ottoman Empire.

August 20th 2011
It's been brought to my attention that there's a very curious tunic and trousers combination for sale. Have a look at these pictures.


So what is it? The uniform itself looks genuine to me, a Schutztruppe 1896 khaki uniform. The khaki drill cloth looks standard as does its cut. The blue piping and white metal crowned buttons also look standard. The problem is it might have been embellished a bit over the years. 

For example the Iron Cross breast badge, it looks very like a rare South West African Hildegard Order but is made on its own khaki patch- usually the Hildegard had no backing patch- and there's no record of a Muhle (or Muhler) being awarded one. East Africa did not award temporary Iron Crosses, though Cameroon did.

The medal ribbons are for the Iron Cross, second class and the South West Africa 1904-08. Again there is no record of an Iron Cross being awarded to anyone called Muhle or Muhler in South West Africa. This bar has certainly been added after 1918, perhaps by the original owner.

The badge on the cuff with the crossed rifles is not familiar to me. Again, it may have been added later.

The shoulder straps are a mystery. They are not standard Schutztruppe shoulder straps. The closest thing that I can think of is they may be those of a Zahlmeister Aspirant- junior paymaster. But they have khaki instead of blue backing as worn by the Zahlmeister Aspirant on their grey home uniforms. Perhaps this was a variation for their khaki uniforms. The cloth of the shoulder strap does look the same as the tunic itself.

 
Overall I'd say it is a Schutztruppe tunic, it might have belonged to a Junior Paymaster and that some or all of the other badges and medals may have been added at a later date. The original Schutztruppe khaki trousers piped in blue are still with the tunic. If you're interested in purchasing this uniform email Robert Starkey.

August 2nd 2011
This is a warning to collectors. A South West African Schutztruppe kS98 bayonet (weapon number KS2232) went missing in the post recently between South Africa and Germany. It may have been lost or stolen. If you hear of it please contact the webmaster
here who will alert the rightful owners.

July 25th 2011
I've added a new page on the tropical uniforms worn by The Kaiser and his Staff in Palestine 1898. This page also covers the same uniforms worn by Graf von Waldersee and his staff in China 1900-01 and Fritz Rosen in Ethiopia 1905.

I've also updated the text on the Uniforms of the Caucasus Expedition Page.

July 19th 2011
I've updated the Pascha I and II Tropical Uniforms Page with two new illustrations, new text and several new photographs. Thanks to Joe Robinson of the Pickelhaubes Forum for sharing these photos with us.

July 6th 2011
I've updated the Swords Page with some photos of an interesting Dragon Sword. Thanks to
George from the History by George! website for sharing the photos with us.

June 23rd 2011
PLEASE NOTE I've had to change my email address. See the Contact Page for my new address. If you've emailed me in the last few weeks and not had a reply, please try again through my new email address.

I've added a page of photographs of the collection of the Austrian Army Museum including Tropical Helmets and Uniforms of the Imperial and Royal Navy. I've also updated the pages on Austro-Hungarian Troops in Crete, Austro-Hungarian Troops in Palestine, Austro-Hungarian Tropical Helmets and The Austro-Hungarian Navy with more photos.

I've updated the pages on the German Army in Palestine, German Bayonets in Palestine, East African Askaris 1896-1914 and German Tropical Helmets too.

June 16th 2011
I've had to change my email address. See the Contact Page for my new address. If you've emailed me in the last few weeks and not had a reply, please try again through my new email address.

I've added a page of photographs of the collection of the Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt, including uniforms of the Schutztruppe, Marine Infantry and Asienkorps.

I've updated the Aircraft in the Colonies Page with several photographs from WikiCommons and additional information on the Japanese aircraft used at the Siege of Tsingtao.

I've added several photographs of bayonets to the Imperial Naval Bayonets Page. Thanks to Roy Williams, is the author of The Collectors Book of German Bayonets for sharing these photographs.

I've added photographs of another two kS98 bayonets to the South West African Schutztruppe Bayonets Page. Thanks to Francois Kruger and Keith Homer for sharing these photographs.

I've added a photograph of Matrose Wewers to the Period Photographs Page. Thanks to his grandson Jeff Wewers for sharing the photograph.

I've also corrected some errors on the Medals Page.

March 28th 2011
I have added a review of "Liebes Väterchen" by Oberleutnant Erich von Schauroth (Published by Namibiana) to the Book Reviews Page. It is the personal account of a Schutztruppe officer serving under Ludwig von Estorff in the Herero and Nama Rebellions in German South West Africa. 

March 12th 2011
I've added a couple more bayonet photos to the pages on Bayonets of the Cameroon Schutztruppe and Bayonets of the Asienkorps. Thanks on both occasions to Chris Wood for sharing with us photos of his collection.

March 8th 2011
I've done minor updates to the text and added some photographs to the pages on Schutztruppe Greatcoats, Field Grey Uniforms of the German Army in the Ottoman Empire and East African Polizeitruppe. In another small update I've added some period maps to the pages on the histories of the German Colonies, East Africa, South West Africa, West Africa and the German Colonies in the Pacific.

Most of these updates include images from Wikimedia Commons which has a large collection of German colonial photographs, illustrations and maps.

February 23rd 2011
I've added more bars from the JW Collection to the Medal Ribbon Bars Page. These new additions are particularly interesting in that they include bars from servicemen from the smaller German states, the Kingdoms of Bavaria and Saxony, the Grand Duchy of Hessen and the Duchy of Brunswick.

February 21st 2011
I've added a new page on Uniforms of the German Caucasus Expedition in Georgia 1918. 

February 5th 2011
I've added a review of the excellent "Rivals Of The Raj: Non-British Colonial Armies in Asia 1497-1941" written and illustrated by Peter Abbott (published by Foundry also available at Amazon) to the Book Reviews Page.

February 1st 2011
I've added a new illustrated page on Tropical Uniforms worn by the German Army in Macedonia during the First World War.

January 21st 2011
I've added a new illustrated page on Schutztruppe White Tropical Uniforms in South West Africa.

January 18th 2011
I've added a new illustration of Hauptmann Karl von Gravenreuth and biographical information to the page on Uniforms of German Officers in the Early Schutztruppe of East Africa and Cameroon. I've also added an illustration of the early blue uniform and some updated text to the page on African Other Ranks in the Togo Polizeitruppe.

I've also added two new photographs of medals. One is on the Medals Page and shows a South West African Hildegard Order Medal. Another is on the Medal Bars Page and shows the medals of a trooper of the South West African Schutztruppe 7th Camel Company. Thanks very to to two Private Collectors for sharing their photographs with us. Please respect their generosity by not reproducing these photos without prior permission.

January 6th 2011
More photos of Colonial bayonets have been coming in. There's updates on the
Bayonets of the East African Schutztruppe, Bayonets of the South West African Schutztruppe, Bayonets of the Polizeitruppe and Bayonets of the Marine Infantry- Seebataillone pages. Thanks to Joe Fishpaw, Roy Williams and Nate Friedlander for sharing their photos and Chris Wood as always for helping with the text.

More photos of interesting German overseas medal bars are also coming in. I've added the bar of an Asienkorps veteran to the Medal Bars Page and a bar with the China Campaign medal alongside Prussian and Finnish awards to the Miniature Ribbon Bars Page. Thanks to Glen Davis and Christophe Deruelle respectively for sharing photographs of their collections with us.

This website is now seven years old and growing steadily!

January 1st 2011
I've updated the Medals Page.
This page gives an overview of the types of medals most commonly worn by (and those exclusively awarded to) Germany's colonial and overseas troops. I've also added some more bars to the Medal Bars Page. These include the medals of a Boxer Rebellion veteran with a Russian award and the medals of a Togo doctor with Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Belgian medals. Thanks to Seeheld and a private collector for sharing photographs of their bars with us.

Happy New Year to all!

December 25th 2010
Merry Christmas to all our readers. Thank you for your support over the last year.

I've updated the Book Reviews Page with a review of Thomas Morlang's excellent new book "Rebellion in der Südsee" (Published by CH. Links also available from Amazon). This is the definitive study of the Sokehs Rebellion on Ponape in German New Guinea 1910-11,

December 13th 2010
I've updated the page on Tropical Helmets with more information and photographs.

November 24th 2010
I've added some more medals and bars to the Colonial Medal Bars Page. These include a Cameroon Schutztruppe officer's bar, an East African askari bar and a very curious bar with Ottoman and Greek medals.
Thanks to Heiko Grusdat, Peter Klein and a private collector for sharing photographs of their bars with us.

I've also separated off the Miniature Ribbon Bars onto their own page.

November 15th 2010
I've added a new page on
Bayonet and Sword Knots as worn by Germany's colonial and overseas troops.

November 13th 2010
I've added some new photographs to the Period Uniform Photographs Page. They are-


Feldwebel
East African Schutztruppe
Photo © Peter Klein

Unteroffizier Bursig
South West African Schutztruppe
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath

NCOs and Askaris
East African Schutztruppe
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath

Askari
East African Schutztruppe
Photo © Jeff Hayes

Artillery Battery
South West African Schutztruppe
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath

A Patrol of the
South West African Landespolizei
Photo © Peter Klein

Pioneer
III. Seebataillon
Photo © Peter Klein

Artilleryman
Marine Feld Batterie
Photo © Peter Klein

Naval Machine Gun Crew
East Africa
Photo © Peter Klein

Bugler
East Asian Expeditionary Corps
Photo © Peter Klein

Infantryman
East Asian Occupation Brigade
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath

Cavalryman
East Asian Occupation Brigade
Photo © Peter Klein

Thanks to Peter Klein, Jeff Hayes and Karsten Herzogenrath for sharing these photographs with us.

November 5th 2010
I've added some more medal bars to the page of photographs of Colonial Veterans Medal Bars. Thanks to Jason Williams and
Chris Handisides for sharing these photographs with us. Please respect their generosity by not reproducing them without prior permission.

November 1st 2010
I've added a new page of photographs of Colonial Veterans Medal Bars. Thanks to Jason Williams for sharing photographs of his impressive collection.
Please respect his generosity in sharing these copyrighted photos with us by not reproducing them without prior permission.

October 24th 2010
I've again updated the page on Winter Uniforms of the East Asian Occupation Brigade.

October 18th 2010
I've updated the page Book Reviews Page with write-ups on some excellent reading-

"Uniforms of the German Colonial Troops 1884-1918" by Charles Woolley
"For Valour- The History of the Iron Cross and Wound Badge in German South West Africa 1914-1918" by Gordon McGregor
"Die Mützenbänder der Deutschen Marine 1815 - 1918" by Bernd Wedeking and Marcus Bodeux
"Die Schlacht um Kiautschou" by Manfred Neugebauer

October 6th 2010
I've updated the page on the
East Asian Occupation Brigade 1901-09 - Winter Uniforms and East Asian Occupation Brigade 1901-09 - Summer Uniforms. Still need to do more work on the Winter Uniforms page, but I thought I'd put a roughly updated version up for the present.

October 5th 2010
I've updated the page on the German Officers and NCOs in the East African Schutztruppe 1891-96. This has been with reference to the official uniform regulations alongside period photographs.

I've also started updating some pages of this website with period photographs from Wikimedia Commons. In the past I've not used many period photographs on the website unless they came from private sources with the permission of the owner. I did not want to offend anyone by using an image without full permission and copyright. Recently however Wikimedia Commons members have been uploading thousands of copyright free images, including many of Imperial Germany and the Colonies. The first pages I've updated like this are the ones relating to the Austro-Hungarian overseas forces-

Austro-Hungarian Navy Officers
Austro-Hungarian Navy Other Ranks
Austro-Hungarian Army in the Ottoman Empire

September 25th 2010
I've added some large updates to the sections on the South West African Landespolizei. Whereas there was previously one page on them, there are now four-

Early Police Uniforms in South West Africa
1907 Dark Khaki Landespolizei Uniform
Tropical Uniforms of the Landespolizei
Uniforms of the Landespolizei African Auxiliaries

...and to supplement these pages there's two more pages showing-

Landespolizei Tunic
Period Photograph of Polizei-Sergeant Wilhelmi

These updates are largely thanks to S Schepp the author of "Unter dem Kreuz des Südens" the definitive study of the Landespolizei.

September 23rd 2010
I've added a link to
The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 1860-1960 - it's a great collection of hundreds of period photographs. Thanks to Per Finsted of the Chakoten website for pointing that page out to me.

Another link I've added is to the Herero Wars Website, dedicated to wargaming the Herero Rebellion.

August 30th 2010
I've added some more bayonet photographs. There are three very interesting Ersatz bayonets made in German East Africa during the First World War. There are two more Marine Infantry Bayonets, one a Füs S60 from the Prussian Seebataillon another an S98 from the II. Seebataillon. There's also a new page with photos of an 1883 Reichsrevolver used by the East Asian Expeditionary Corps. These new updates are thanks to Roy Williams and Dow Cross for letting us use photographs of their collections yet again.

August 11th 2010
I've added some more Schutztruppe bayonets photographs. There are four new Bayonets of the East African Schutztruppe, five new Bayonets of the South West African Schutztruppe and two new Bayonets of the Cameroon Schutztruppe. Thanks very much to Roy Williams, Raewyn Lock and Stefan Wenger for sending photographs of bayonets in their private collections. Roy Williams has also recently published part two of his excellent "Collectors Book of German Bayonets 1680-1945". This new volume deals with Ersatz, captured and improvised bayonets, click on the title for more information and to purchase the book directly. I also have reviewed both books on the Book Reviews Page.

I've also updated the page on Aircraft in the German Colonies with information based the highly recommended "Deutsche Flieger über den Kolonien" by Karl-Dieter Siefert (Published by VDM)

May 31st 2010
I've added a page of photos taken in Modern Qingdao showing various German buildings and forts in the former German leased Chinese territory of Tsingtao. Thanks very much to Keith Lam for sharing these photographs with us and also to Bill Hines for sharing his knowledge of Chinese army uniforms.

Once again Pascal Hulin has more Imperial German Militaria for sale. This time it's two Pickelhauben, see photos below. The one on the left is the helmet of a Baden Prinz-General c1870. The one on the right is a Schutztruppe General's helmet as authorised for home wear in 1913. If you're interested in either please contact pascalhulin@aol.de.

May 20th 2010
I've just heard news that a South West African Schutztruppe Other Ranks Kord Waffenrock has come up for sale (see below). It is fully intact with collar Litzen and shoulder straps and has issue date markings of 1899. If you're interested you can contact the seller at pascalhulin@aol.de . He still has the tropical helmet shown below for sale too, now at a reduced price.

May 15th 2010
I've added lots of new photographs and information to the bayonets pages of this website. There's a new S71/98 on the Bayonets of the East African Schutztruppe page, a new kS98 on the Bayonets of the South West African Schutztruppe page, another kS98 on the Bayonets of the Cameroon Schutztruppe page, more information on Landespolizei bayonets on the Bayonets of the Polizeitruppe page, another Pfm71/98 on the Bayonets of the East Asian Army page, another S98/05 on the Bayonets of the Marine Infantry- Seebataillone page and a pair of Hf71 bayonets on the Bayonets of the Imperial Navy page.

All these bayonets have come in as a reaction to our March update on colonial and naval bayonets. Thanks very much to Chris Wood, Christian Méry, Alain Ereth, Keith Lam, Chris Boonzaier, S Schepp, Old Smithy and Shawn Gibson for sending such great photographs and information. If you have any more bayonets from the German colonies or information on them, please contact us here.

April 30th 2010
I've added a new photograph to the Period Uniform Photographs Page. This one shows a Musician from the 3rd East Asian Infantry Regiment taken in 1900, prior to his departure for China. Thanks very much to Karsten Herzogenrath for sharing this photograph with us.

I've also just heard news that a very interesting German Tropical Helmet is up for sale. If you're interested you can contact the seller at pascalhulin@aol.de

April 13/14th 2010
There's a new photo added to the Period Uniform Photographs Page showing an Artillery NCO of the Pascha I Expedition. Thanks very much to Roy Williams for sharing this photograph with us.

There's also photographs of a Kriegsverdienstmedaille on the Medals Page. Thanks to Paul Shafiroff for sharing these photographs with us.

And finally there's a new page of photographs of a South West African Landespolizei Roth-Sauer Pistol. Thanks to Alistair Hayes for sharing these photographs with us.

Thanks also to everyone who's written in since last month's update on Colonial Bayonets. There's been an amazing response, lots of emails with information and photographs of even more interesting bayonets. I'll update them onto the site soon. As usual if you have any comments on these pages and especially any more information on, or photographs of, German colonial or overseas bayonets please email me here.

March 14th 2010
There are some large updates to the bayonets section of this website. There is now a lot more information and photographs of over 40 German bayonets as used by their colonial and overseas troops. The section is now divided into several pages-

Introduction to German Colonial Bayonets
Bayonets of the South West African Schutztruppe
Bayonets of the East African Schutztruppe
Bayonets of the Cameroon Schutztruppe
Bayonets of the Polizeitruppe
Bayonets of the Marine Infantry- Seebataillone
Bayonets of the Imperial Navy
Bayonets of the East Asian Army
Bayonets of the German Forces on Ottoman Fronts
Bayonet Frogs

These pages were made in close collaboration with Chris Wood, without access to his collection and expert knowledge they would never have been possible. Thanks very much also to the following collectors who were kind enough to share their photographs with us- Dow Cross, François Fischer, Nate Friedlander, Chandler Honeyman, Murray and Selwyn Jorgensen, Thomas Krause, Christian Méry and Roy Williams. Please respect their generosity in sharing their copyrighted photos with us by not reproducing them without prior permission.

If you have any comments on these pages, any more information on, or photographs of, German colonial or overseas bayonets please email me here.

March 7th 2010
I've added a review of the excellent new "Unter dem Kreuz des Südens: Auf Spuren der Kaiserlichen Landespolizei von Deutsch-Südwestafrika" by S Schepp (available from This Link) to the Books Page.

This recently published book is the definitive study of the Landespolizei in German South West Africa. As you would expect it covers the
history, organisation, uniforms and equipment of the Landespolizei but what it also does is bring these extensively researched facts and figures to life by winding it around the life stories of many of the policemen themselves. The author has travelled the world to find descendants of the Landespolizei to find their own personal stories. This touch, as well as the hundreds of previously unpublished facts, photographs and illustrations makes this book a must for all those interested in the German colonies.

March 4th 2010
I've added a link to the German Militaria Collectibles website, they are sellers of German Militaria with a section on Imperial Germany including colonial items. They currently have a German East African Südwester for sale.

March 2nd 2010
I've added a Page of Photographs taken at The Wehrgeschichtliches Museum, Rastatt showing German colonial items such as Schutztruppe and Seebataillon tropical helmets, an East Asian Pickelhaube and a Togo Polizeitruppe fez. The museum's collection of Imperial German uniforms and insignia is absolutely amazing and a visit is highly recommended to anyone interested in German militaria. The museum's official website is at- WGM-Rastatt.de

February 26th 2010
I've updated the page on Khaki Uniforms of the South West African Schutztruppe with revised text and new photographs.

I've also added a link to the homepage of the excellent Linke-Kolonialmuseum in Rödelsee, showing a great collection of German colonial uniforms. 

February 2nd 2010
I've just heard news that two very interesting German colonial headdresses are up for sale. They are a Seebataillon Officers Shako and an East Asian Tropical Helmet. If you're interested in either you can contact the seller at pascalhulin@aol.de

January 25th 2010
I've added a new page on Schutztruppe Greatcoats to cover all types of greatcoat, overcoat and cloak authorised in the official uniform regulations or Bekleidungs Vorschrift. This is part of a general move to update the old Schutztruppe pages of this website.

January 20th 2010
I've updated the page on South West African Schutztruppe Corduroy Uniforms 1896-1915. While I've recently been working on other areas of the website I'd noticed that the basic Schutztruppe pages were now quite out dated. I've added some new photographs and plenty of information mostly from the official uniform regulations ("Bekleidungs Vorschrift") of the Schutztruppe. Many of these regulations have been scanned on the Traditionsverband Forum.

January 17th 2010
I've added new lists of units forming the Pascha I, Pascha II (Asienkorps) and Caucasian Expedition to the German Forces in the Ottoman Empire Page.
These lists have been compiled from several sources (listed on the page). The different sources do not always agree. I have tried to follow original German sources of the period, and where not available have followed the general consensus of opinion. Please email me here if you have more accurate information

January 12th 2010
I've added a new photograph to the Period Uniform Photographs Page. This one shows a Schutztruppe Gefreiter taken in about 1904 probably at the training ground in Munster Germany. Special thanks to Guido Welk for sharing this photograph with us.

January 10th 2010
I've added two links. One to the latest issue of the
French Militaria Magazine's Website, where the January 2010 Issue, number 294 has an article on the German Pfm71/98 bayonet as used by the East Asian Expeditionary Corps.

The other link is to Peter Richardson's website AE1 Submarine, researching the mysterious loss of an Australian submarine during the invasion of German New Guinea.

This website is now six years old, and there's still plenty of new information coming to light. Thanks very much to everyone who's emailed in over the years to provide more information and photographs.

January 2nd 2010
I've added two new pages, one on German Reservists in Cameroon and Togo and the other on German Reservists on New Guinea and Samoa.

December 27th 2009
I've added a new link to
Unter dem Kreuz des Südens: Auf Spuren der Kaiserlichen Landespolizei von Deutsch-Südwestafrika which is a new book written by S Schepp, who has been very helpful on this website. His book covers the history, organisation and personalities within the Landespolizei for German South West Africa. S Schepp has been researching the book for many years and has uncovered much new material on the topic. The book can be pre-ordered from the page.

December 22nd 2009
I've added a page of photographs of a mysterious
German East African Hand Made Field Gun on display at the National Museum, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A plaque on the gun says that the gun was made at the Railway Workshop at Tabora and later captured in Dar es Salaam during the First World War. A special thanks to Dominic Hoole for sharing these very detailed photographs with us.

December 18th 2009
I've added a Photograph of Vizefeldwebel Buschan of the South West African Schutztruppe to the Period Photographs Page. Special thanks to Karsten Herzogenrath for sharing this photograph and biographical information with us.

November 11th 2009
I've updated the page on the Melanesian
Polizeitruppe of German New Guinea and also the page giving a Brief History of the German Pacific Colonies.

November 6th 2009
I've added a new page on the
Micronesian Polizeitruppe on the smaller islands of German New Guinea.

October 21st 2009
I've added two new pages. One is on the German Army Officers Seconded to the Colonies and the other is a small page on the curious subject of Uniforms of the German Red Cross in the Colonies and Tropics during the Imperial era. I've not been able to find any real source information on uniforms of the German Red Cross and have only been able to base this page on what I can glean from period photographs.
Please contact me here if you have more information or photos on this topic. 

October 19th 2009
I've just corrected a couple of mistakes I'd made on the German Army in Ottoman Uniforms Page. And also added some information on cap tallies to the German Navy in Ottoman Service Page. Thanks to Chris Flaherty for providing the information on both these updates.

October 10th 2009
I've updated the pages on Austro-Hungarian Naval Officers and Other Ranks with photos I took while on a recent visit to the highly recommended Hadtorteneti Muzeum in Budapest, Hungary. The Museum is well worth a visit if you get a chance. It has a very large collection of Hungarian and Austro-Hungarian uniforms and weapons from the 16th Century up to the modern day. The whole collection has been recently displayed with captions in Hungarian, German and English. Entrance is a very cheap 400HF and permission to take photographs only costs another 300HF. The staff were also very helpful and polite.

I've also added a link to the excellent Soldiers of the Queen website which focuses on displaying a large collection of photographs of the British army in the Victorian era, but also has some very interesting German colonial photographs.

August 27th 2009
I've added another photograph to the Period Uniform Photographs Page. This one shows East African Polizeitruppe Artillery. Thanks very much to Karsten Herzogenrath for sharing this photograph with us.
I've also added a closer photograph of François Fischer's East Asian Sword to the Swords Page. Please respect their generosity in sharing these images with us by not reproducing them without prior permission. 

And I've added a link to Christian Méry's French language bayonet website - Association Française des Collectionneurs de Baïonnettes

August 23rd 2009
I've added another new page of photographs, this time showing a collection of East Asian Items including a Pickelhaube, a sword and a pioneer bayonet.
This Collection belongs to François Fischer, thanks very much to him for sharing these photographs with us and also to Christian Méry for his help. Please respect their generosity in sharing these images with us by not reproducing them without prior permission. 

I've also added photos of a very interesting Short Sword with II. Seebataillon markings to the Swords Page. Thanks to Chris Wood for this one and for general inspiration on the edged weaponry front.

August 19th 2009
I've added a new page of photographs of an MG08 Machine Gun that served with the German landing parties from the SMS Goeben and Breslau at Gallipoli. Thanks very much to Gilles Sigro of the
Armurerie Toulouse  for sharing these photos with us. Please respect his generosity in doing so by not reproducing them without prior permission.

August 18th 2009
I've added a new East Asian bayonet photograph to the Bayonets Page. Again this bayonet is from the collection of Chris Wood, thanks to him as always for help on the topic of colonial bayonets.

August 12th 2009
I've redesigned the page of Period Uniform Photographs. It now has full descriptions of each photograph and biographical information on each where known.
It is not my aim on this page to reproduce lots of photographs that have already appeared in print on several occasions or ones copyrighted by other sources. The photographs shown are mostly from small private collections, often family collections sent to us by descendants of the soldiers and sailors themselves. As such, most are previously unpublished. Please respect the owners of the photographs' copyright and their generosity in sharing them with us by not reproducing them without prior permission.

Please contact me here if you have other photographs of the German colonies or the soldiers and sailors that served there. I am always happy to try to assist in identifying uniforms, units, places and dates for family history and other research.

August 5th 2009
I've added some information about the Samoan Civil Guard
("Bürgerwehr") to the Brief History of the Pacific Colonies Page. The Bürgerwehr were a volunteer force made up of about 50 German planters, traders and officials who formed after the outbreak of the First World War. In the event, German Samoa surrendered without a fight so the Bürgerwehr never saw action. I hope to add a small feature on their uniforms in the near future.

Thanks to Per Finsted at Chakoten for his New Zealand Occupation of Samoa article and for pointing out more information at Erste und letzte Tage Deutsch-Samoas at Traditionsverband.

August 3rd 2009
I've added some more photographs to the page on German South West African Artillery recovered from Lake Otjikoto. These new photographs show the missing South African 13 Pdr gun number 289, which was for a while in Schutztruppe service. Thanks to Dominic Hoole for finding, photographing and sharing this gun with us. Thanks also to Frank Louw for additional information on it.

Also another small update is that I've corrected the credit for the East African Polizeitruppe Photograph to Tobias Weber. I had previously accidentally credited the wrong person for the photograph.

June 21st 2009
I've split one old page into two new pages on the Imperial German Navy. The two new pages show Imperial Navy Officers and Imperial Navy Other Ranks. They are only intended to give a brief introduction to the huge topic of Imperial German Naval uniforms in general as worn in home bases in Germany and China, and while at sea. In the process of updating them, I've added some information, illustrations and photos to the pages. Thanks to Johannes Sundermann for his help on this page and as always to Damien Doppler for his photographs.

I've also made some small updates to the page on African troops in the Togo Polizeitruppe.

June 16th 2009
I've split one old page into two new pages on German troops in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The two new pages show German Field Grey Uniforms and Ottoman Army Uniforms. In the process I've added some information, illustrations and photos to the pages. Thanks to Christopher Flaherty and Cristiano Campos for their help with Ottoman army uniforms.

June 11th 2009
I've split one old page into two new pages on German East African Polizeitruppe and African Auxiliaries. In the process I've added some information, illustrations and photos (thanks to Tobias Weber for the latter). Like much of this website, the new pages are still very much a work in progress with some information still evading me. If anyone knows the rank insignia of German NCOs in the Polizeitruppe please let me know. You can contact me here.

June 1st 2009
I've added a new page on German Reservists in South West Africa.

May 19th 2009
I've added two reviews to the Books Page. One is of Peter Suciu's new study of "Military Sun Helmets of the World" and the other is on Isabel Hull's "Absolute Destruction", focussing on German military thinking around the Herero Rebellion in South West Africa. Thanks to Greg Gerardi for the latter review. If any other readers would like to write reviews of books they've read, please send them here.

April 8th 2009
I've updated the page on Medals worn by Colonial and Overseas troops. This update includes lots more information and some new photographs. Special thanks to Karsten Hezogenrath for his help and advice and also for sharing some great photographs with us.

March 25th 2009
I've added a new page giving a brief History of the German Army in China, namely the East Asian Expeditionary Corps and Occupation Brigade.
I've also updated the East Asian Expeditionary Corps Winter Uniforms Page with a chart of illustrations of arm of service variations. This is in advance of a much larger update I'm working on for that page.

I've updated the Page on German Officers in the Wissmanntruppe to include an extra uniform illustration and also a chart of illustrations of rank insignia. 

March 18th 2009
I've updated the East Asian Occupation Brigade Page with illustrations of arm of service variations. This is in advance of a much larger update I'm working on for that page.

I've also added a table of comparative ranks and some additional notes to the Officers Rank Insignia Page.

March 4th 2009
I've updated the East Asian Expeditionary Corps Summer Uniforms Page with one new illustration and completely new text based mostly on information in
"Uniformierung und Austrüstung der Ostasiatischen Truppen des Deutschen Reiches 1900-1909" by Jürgen Kraus in "Zeitschrift für Heereskunde" issue 375. I'm hoping to find time to update the other East Asian pages of this website in a similar way soon.

February 20th 2009
I've updated the Aircraft in the Colonies with information on Franz Oster, the first pilot to fly in Tsingtao. This information mostly comes from the excellent
Tsingtau Index website.

A photograph of an Askari metal figurine from the Pascal Hulin Collection has also been added to the Colonial Souvenirs Page

January 21st 2009
I've added a new page of photographs of German South West African Artillery recovered from Lake Otjikoto. The various guns shown on this page are now on display at the
Alte Fest in Windhoek and the Tsumeb Museum both in Namibia. The photographs shown on this page were taken by Phil Buhler. Please respect his generosity in sharing these photographs with us by not reproducing them without prior consent. Thanks very much also on this page to Vincent Wratten for identifying and supplying information on the guns.

There is also a new photograph of a bayonet scabbard from the East Asian Expeditionary Corps on the Bayonets Page. Thanks very much to Thomas Krause for sharing that photograph with us.

I've also re-organised the Links Page to hopefully make it a bit easier to read.

January 14th 2009
I've added a new page on the uniforms of Auxiliary Sailors in the Colonies. I've also added a very interesting eye witness account of the
Wissmanntruppe Askaris to their page. Per Finsted (of the Chakoten Danish Military History Website) supplied the eye witness account and is also largely to be thanked for information and inspiration on the naval auxiliaries.

Another small update is a note on the Imperial War Museum Collection page pointing out that the Schutztruppe tunic displayed there has buttons bearing the bear Royal Prussian crown rather than the Imperial German crown usually seen on Schutztruppe tunics. Thanks to Christopher Flaherty for pointing out that detail. I've also updated the information on the Chinese Dragon Belt Buckle there, again thanks to Christopher Flaherty for pointing out that my caption for that item had not been updated.

This website is now five years old and is growing all the time mostly thanks to all the emails with information and help that you send in. As always on this website, please let me know if you have anything to add or correct on these pages. I am also especially looking out for first hand eyewitness descriptions of German colonial uniforms in period publications. You can contact me here.

December 30th 2008
I've added a new page of Photographs of the Siebentritt Collection of German Colonial Uniforms and Memorabilia.
These photographs appear by kind permission of Traditionsverband.de and originally appeared on the Traditionsverband Forum. They show Reinhold Siebentritt's private collection as it was originally displayed in the style of a museum. Please respect the copyright owner's generosity in sharing the photos with us by not reproducing them without prior permission.

I've also added new information to the pages of Wissmanntruppe Askaris, East African Effendis and Schutztruppe Askaris 1890-96 pertaining to their wearing of uniforms and medals from the Anglo-Egyptian army of the 1880s. This information was mostly supplied by M Reid and other kind members of the Gentlemen's Military Interest Club.

December 23rd 2008
I've added a new page as a general guide to Headdress Cockades of the German Colonial and Overseas Forces. It mostly consists of photographs previously seen as part of the Doppler Collection on this website and some kindly lent to us by Tony and Kaiser at the Kaiser's Bunker website. Hopefully this page will serve as a reference point when other pages briefly refer to an imperial or state cockade being worn. Thanks very much to Tony and Kaiser for the use of their photographs and for additional guidance in this field.

December 9th 2008
I've added a new page on the
German Troops in the Shanghai Volunteer Corps. The SVC was not a German colonial unit but rather an international militia organised under the Shanghai Municipal Council to protect foreign interests in the city. The volunteers were recruited from foreigners from all over the World living in Shanghai including many Germans. These German volunteers wore a curious mixture of German, British and locally made uniforms.

Special Thanks on this page is due to Karsten Herzogenrath ("Leutwein") for sharing photographs of this unusual unit at the Pickelhaubes Forum and to "Reservist 1", "Peter H", "Tony and Kaiser", "Wyliecoyote", "Liongules" and "Robert" for their thoughts and advice on the subject. Thanks also to Tony for making it so easy to look up Imperial Army Regimental uniform distinctions at the Kaiser's Bunker website.

December 7th 2008
I've added updates to the Bayonets Page including photos of more bayonets and frogs from the Schutztruppe, Polizeitruppe, Navy, Asienkorps and East Asian Expeditionary Corps. There's also now a new page of photos of Colonial Swords. Thanks very much to the owners of these weapons for sharing their photographs and knowledge with us- The British Collector, Leonid Lantsman,
and Roy Williams, the author of The Collectors Book of German Bayonets.

November 19th 2008
I've added a link to
Los Rayadillos, an excellent website on Spanish Colonial Uniforms.

November 2nd 2008
I've updated the pages on East African Askaris- Wissmanntruppe Askaris, Schutztruppe Askaris 1891-96, Schutztruppe Askaris 1896-1914, Schutztruppe Askaris 1914-18 and added a small page on Schutztruppe Askari Officers- The Effendi. These updates are mostly minor text corrections and bits of additional information with one new illustration and some old illustrations altered.

October 21st 2008
I've again updated the page on the German South West African Police with corrections to the text about their uniforms from 1905-07. Thanks again to Sven Schepp for this information.

I also revised the text on the pages on German Reservists in East Africa and Specialist Insignia of the Schutztruppe and Overseas Forces.

October 16th 2008
I've updated the page on a Brief History of Austro-Hungarian Overseas Involvement with two new links to Austro-Hungarian Naval websites and a mention of the failed colony on the Nicobar Islands. Thanks to Greg Gerardi for pointing this one out to me.

I also revised the text on the page on African Soldiers in the Cameroon Schutztruppe.

October 15th 2008
I've updated the page on the German South West African Police with a new illustration and revised text.

October 12th 2008
I've updated the page on African Auxiliaries in South West Africa with a new illustration and revised text.

October 8th 2008
I've split one page into two. The pictures on the previous page called "Pictures from China" have now been put onto pages entitled Eyewitness Illustrations of the Siege of Tsingtao (from the Doppler Collection) and Period Uniform Photographs. The latter page now has photographs of the Schutztruppe, Imperial Navy, Seebataillone, East Asian Expeditionary Corps and the Tsingtao Chinese Police. Some of these photographs are from private militaria collectors and others are from family collections. Thanks for these photographs go to Joe Mikolajczak, Axel Scharr, Dixie Krauss and the Doppler Collection.

Also two photographs showing a surviving Seebataillon khaki tunic have been added to the page on Seebataillon Tropical Uniforms. These photographs are from the German Militaria website where this tunic is currently for sale. Thanks for these photographs go to Peter Whamond.

October 6th 2008
I've updated the page on Seebataillon Tropical Uniforms. Previously this page only gave a brief description of Seebataillon khaki uniforms worn in China c1914. This updated version of the page describes the uniform and its variations as worn between 1898 and 1914 in China, Africa and Skutari with new illustrations.

September 29th 2008
I've updated several sections on the topic of Austro-Hungarian Overseas Forces. Austro-Hungarian units are of course not strictly within the title limits of this website, but I was drawn to them for a two reasons. Firstly because they fought alongside Imperial German overseas troops on several occasions (the Boxer Rebellion, the Siege of Tsingtao and in Palestine and Gallipoli during the First World War), and I could not really cover the defenders of Tsingtao without having reference to the crew of the SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth. And secondly because it seemed this was another topic very rarely covered elsewhere. Austria-Hungary was not a colonial power and the forces it did commit overseas were relatively small (in terms of manpower they were the smallest contributing foreign Power to the Eight Nation alliance that fought the Boxer Rebellion), as such they have often been over-looked. As regular readers of this website may have noticed by now, the smaller and more obscure the unit, the more interesting I find it.

The new and re-designed pages are-
A Brief History of Austro-Hungarian Overseas Involvement
Uniforms of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in China, the Pacific and Africa - Other Ranks
Uniforms of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in China and the Pacific - Officers (this page is still under construction)
Uniforms of the Austro-Hungarian Army in Crete 1897-98  (I once saw mention of a Wargames group playing a "What If" scenario with the Austro-Hungarian Army deployed to Africa around the turn of the 19th/20th Century. The tropical uniforms worn in Crete are probably the best guess as to how these hypothetical armies would have looked)
Uniforms of the Austro-Hungarian Army in the Ottoman Empire 1915-18 (updated)
Photographs of an Austro-Hungarian Tropical Helmet (as worn in Palestine 1916-18)

These pages were greatly helped by the researches of Glenn Jewison (from the Austro-Hungarian Army Website), members of the Axis History Forum, the  Pickelhaubes Forum (most especially Peter Suciu for the photographs of the tropical helmet. Peter has also written an interesting article on the Origins of Summer Uniforms on the Armchair General Website), Greg Gerardi, Mike Blake and the late Peter Jung (author of the Osprey Books on the Austro-Hungarian Army 1914-18).

July 27th 2008
I've added a link to the Pickelhaubes Forum, a highly recommended site, mainly Picklehaubes, but also covering other aspects of the Imperial German Military including the colonies.

May 27th 2008
I've added a page about Aircraft in the German Colonies in the First World War. This was with the help of information supplied by Greg Gerardi and members of the Axis History Forum and the Aerodrome Forum. There are also lots of small updates across the site, the most significant of which is a re-writing of the page about the History of the German Pacific Colonies with help from Bruce Swanton. I have also re-captioned a photograph showing a member of the Marine Feld Batterie on the Pictures from China Page on the advice of Xavier Orthlieb.

May 3rd 2008
I've added some new information on source materials for this website. Firstly I've added some new Books Reviews. The books are "Askari und Fitafita - Farbiger Söldner in den deutschen Kolonien" by Thomas Morlang, "Tropenhelme der kaiserliche Marine, der Ostasiatischen Truppen und der Schutzruppen" by Ulrich Schiers, "Imperial German Schutztruppe 1891-1914" by Bruce Bassett Powell and "Uniforms of the German Soldier - 1870 to the End of World War One" by Alejandro M. De Quesada. Secondly I've added a few new Links, including the new Traditionsverband German Colonies Forum (which has some great posts already including photos of museum collections I'd not seen before). And thirdly I've started a new page listing some of the Contemporary Illustrations that have been useful in the making of this website.

March 25th 2008
I've added some new photographs to the Südwester Details Page. These photographs by Ian Harrion show a Südwester in his collection made from hessian cloth and edged in red for the Schutztruppe of Cameroon. Please respect his generosity in sharing these photos with us by not reproducing them without prior permission.

March 10th 2008
I've added some new photographs to the Königsberg Guns Page. These photographs were in the collection of William Thomas Clegg AB RN who served on the HMS Vengeance in East Africa during the First World War, and have kindly been shared with us by his grandson, Bob William Green. Please respect his generosity in sharing these photos with us by not reproducing them without prior permission.

February 26th 2008
I've expanded the page on the Togo Polizeitruppe into two pages. One covers the German Officers (including German army officers seconded to Togo) and the other covers the African Polizeitruppe Other Ranks (from their earliest uniforms onwards). As with many pages on this website, these pages are a work in progress and there are still gaps in my knowledge of the subject. If anyone can help with more information or photographs please contact me
here.

February 22nd 2008
I've added more illustrations and information to the various pages on German and Austro-Hungarian units serving in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The pages are now arranged as Brief Campaign and Unit HistoriesGerman Troops in German and Ottoman Uniforms, German Troops in Tropical Uniforms, German Pilots, German Navy and Austro-Hungarian Troops.

February 21st 2008
I've corrected lots of small mistakes and added some extra information to the new "Brief History" sections for each colony. This is thanks to Greg Gerardi, who has been kindly proof reading them for me. Please let me know if you spot mistakes on this website. I'm always happy to correct and update the website even for small typographical errors. You can
email me here.

I've also updated the Interesting Facts Page with a mention of Trebol, the petrol substitute invented in German East Africa. This information was brought to my attention by Mike Murrie-Jones and is referred to in "Studies in German Colonial History" by WO Henderson (Routledge 1962) and in "My Reminiscences of East Africa" by General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck (Battery Press)

January 31st 2008
I've added several new photos to the Militaria Photos Pages. There's a new page on a German East African Tunic captured in 1916 (thanks to Mike Murrie-Jones for these photos). There's some new prints of Schutztruppe Mountain Guns (thanks to Holger Kotthaus for these pictures). And finally there's also some amazing new photos of Bayonets (thanks to Nate Friedlander and Dow Cross for these photos). As usual, please respect the owners' generosity in sharing these photos with us by not reproducing them without prior permission.

January 23rd 2008
I've added a new page on the uniforms of the South African Free Corps 1914-15, a unit of volunteer Boers that served alongside the Schutztruppe of South West Africa in the First World War. This page would not have been possible without the help of Gordon McGregor, MC Heunis and Johann Wolfaardt. A very special thanks to them. The study of this short lived unit and their uniforms is still shrouded in a few mysteries however, so any help that readers of this website can provide would be gratefully received. You can
email the webmaster here.

January 8th 2008
Happy New Year to all our readers. This website is now four years old. Thank you to everyone who has emailed in to offer information that has again helped this website to grow over the last year. There are several new updates to this website to celebrate its birthday...

I've uploaded new pages covering brief histories and unit descriptions for The German Colonies, German East Africa, German South West Africa, German West Africa (Cameroon and Togo), The German Pacific Colonies, The Imperial German Navy and The German Marine Infantry - Seebataillone. Whereas previously the pages on historical background only contained information relating to the First World War, these updates include information on the German Colonies from their founding in the 1880's up to their demise in 1918, in line with the recent uniforms page updates on this website. I am hoping in future to add more  "brief history" sections to cover other German overseas actions throughout the whole of the imperial period. As the focus of this website is mainly to study the uniforms of these forces rather than go into great detail about their battles or organisation these pages will remain only a brief synopsis with relevant links where possible to external websites containing more in depth information. Please feel free to contact me if you spot any errors in these new sections (you can contact me here).

I've added new illustrations to the pages on German Reservists in East Africa and African Auxiliary Troops in South West Africa (thanks to Sven Schepp and Greg Gerardi for their help here). I've also made updates to several other pages around the website, correcting errors and expanding on information. Perhaps the most interesting of these is the rank insignia worn by German Officers of the Wissmanntruppe in East Africa for which Glenn Jewison deserves the credit.

I've added Book Reviews of two excellent books, the third volume of the series "Imperial German Uniforms and Equipment 1907-18" by John Somers, and General von Lettow-Vorbeck's "Reminiscences of East Africa. Both are highly recommended.

I've added some new photos kindly sent by Axel Scharr. They show the uniforms of his uncle, Robert Barsch, a sailor on the SMS Iltis in China. The photographs have been added to the Photos from China and Naval Uniforms Details pages. Thanks very much to Axel for sharing these great photo with us all. As usual, please respect his generosity in sharing these photos with us by not reproducing them without prior permission.

...and finally I've also updated the Interesting Facts Page.

November 20th 2007
I've added three new pages of notes and illustrations covering the early German period in East Africa. The pages are on German Officers and NCOs of the Wissmanntruppe, Askaris of the Wissmanntruppe and Askaris of the Early Schutztruppe 1890-96.

October 1st 2007
I've added reviews of three highly recommended books to the Books Reviews Page. The books in questions are "German Schutztruppe in East Africa 1889-1911" by Ernst Nigmann translated by Robert E Dohrenwend (Published by Battery Press), "Colonial Armies: Africa 1850 to 1918" written and illustrated by Peter Abbott (Published by Foundry
) and "Peking 1900- The Boxer Rebellion" by Peter Harrington, illustrated by Michael Perry (published by Published by Osprey Campaign Series).

While on the subject of books, I would like to mention that one of the helpful contributors to this website, Gordon McGregor, has a new book published entitled "German Medals, British Soldiers and the Kalahari Desert". The book tells the tale of the Imperial British troops awarded German medals in 1907 and 1908 for their assistance in tracking down the Namibian rebels, Jakobus Morenga and Simon Kopper. The book consists of 104 pages with 5 maps, 12 colour and 34 black and white photos and is available directly from the Namibia Scientific Society, PO Box 67, Windhoek, Namibia (nwg@iway.na).

August 23rd 2007
I've added expanded the old page on the German forces on New Guinea into two new pages on New Guinea Polizeitruppe Officers and Reservists and New Guinea Polizeitruppe Other Ranks. The expansion has included several new illustrations and much new information- many thanks to Bruce Swanton for his help in this area. As with several other recent updates this is part of a plan to expand this website from one covering the First World War to one covering all Imperial German overseas conflicts.

August 22nd 2007
I've added a new page on the uniforms of the Kamerun Polizeitruppe from their original formation in the 1880's onwards. As with several other recent updates this is part of a plan to expand this website from one covering the First World War to one covering all Imperial German overseas conflicts.
I've also updated the Belt Buckles Details Page.

July 24th 2007
I've added a new page on the Schutztruppe Mountain Guns. This page shows photos of several of the 7.5cm guns issued to the Schutztruppe in German South West Africa. Special thanks here goes to MC Heunis and Vincent Wratten for information and photographs. While on the subject of Artillery, there's been an update to the page on the Königsberg Guns with photos of another surviving 10.5cm gun in Uganda. Thanks to Bob Wagner for rediscovering this gun and for sharing his photographs of it with us.

There's been some updates on the German East African Askari Page, with new illustrations showing variations of the traditional tarbush headdress. I've also added a new illustration to the page on African Auxiliaries in German South West Africa.

June 12th 2007
I've re-worked the page on the German South West African Landespolizei with a new illustration, new rank insignia details and a lot more information on the uniforms worn by this police force. This update has been mainly due to the help of Sven Schepp who has been researching the Landespolizei for many years and is soon to publish a book on the subject. More details on the book will follow on this website.

May 29th 2007
I've added a new photo of a colonial official's field cap to the South African Museums Page. This photo was taken and kindly provided by MC Heunis.

May 1st 2007
I've added a new page covering the various Specialist Insignia worn by the Schutztruppe, Seebataillone and other Imperial German overseas forces. As usual this page owes a lot to help from people such as Greg Gerardi, Cristiano de Campos and Glenn on the Axis History Forum and also with significant reference to the highly recommended "Das Deutsche Heer Friedensuniformen bei Ausbruch des (1.) Welkrieges" by
Herbert Knötel d. J., Paul Pietsch and Egon Jantke. As with much of this website this new page remains a work in progress. If you have any photos of specialist insignia worn by Imperial German overseas forces please email the webmaster here.

April 21st 2007
I've made some amendments to the pages on the Imperial War Museum Collection and the East Asian Occupation Brigade concerning details of NCO rank insignia. Many thanks to Glenn and Cristiano on the Axis History Forum for the information.

April 6th 2007
I've added some more photos from the Doppler collection. This time the owner has been generous enough to share with us photos of a Greatcoat as worn by the Marinekorps Flandern and a Naval Deck Officer's Cap which is on the Naval Uniforms page. This addition has also demanded some updates to the page on the Matrosen Divisions on the Western Front.

March 24th 2007
I've added a couple of useful links to the Links Page. One is to The Kaiser's Cross, a website about the Iron Cross but also featuring maps and orders of battle for the First World War in German South West Africa. The other is to the Gentleman's Military Interest Club, a very friendly forum covering many aspects of Military History and Collecting.

February 5th 2007
I've added another photograph of a surviving SMS Königsberg gun to the page on Königsberg Guns. This one is in Mombasa, Kenya. The photo was taken by Dietrich Köster and originally appeared on the excellent Colonial Voyage website run by Marco Ramerini. Thanks to him and Dietrich for sharing this photograph with us.

February 3rd 2007
I've changed the layout of the Menu page of this website. Rather than strictly having pages under headings of the different colonies, they are now under headings of the Schutztruppe, Naval Troops and Overseas Expeditions. This is mainly because the new expansion of this website to cover pre-1914 campaigns would otherwise mean the repetition of several pages on the Imperial Navy. I am hoping this new index system will make it easier for readers to navigate the website too.

To accompany this change several new pages of illustrations and uniforms notes have been added on the topic of the Imperial Navy. They are pages on the Naval Landing Parties in the Tropics - Other Ranks and Officers, and pages on the Seebataillone in Peacetime Blue Uniforms and Overseas Service Dress. Whereas previous pages on the Imperial Navy had shown them only during the First World War these new illustrations also show them during the Abushiri, Boxer, Herero and Sokehs Rebellions. Hopefully more pages will be added shortly on the German Navy in its land based overseas role. As usual all the work has not been my own and I am very grateful to many people for help especially Johannes Sundermann for additional information on the Imperial Navy.

Another recent update is a page of photographs of two surviving Guns from the SMS Königsberg. These guns had been salvaged from the wreck of the battleship and fought on land during the First World War in German East Africa. These photos were taken by MC Heunis who has also written a full history of the famous Königsberg guns on the same page.

January 13th 2007
I've added a page of Early German Schutztruppe 1891-96 showing the uniforms worn by the first German Schutztruppe Officers and NCOs in German East Africa after the Wissmanntruppe and before the standardisation of Schutztruppe uniforms that happened in 1896. This page is part of a gradual plan for this website to cover all the periods of the German colonies rather than just the First World War as was originally the case.

January 11th 2007
This website is now three years old! Thank you once again to all the people who have provided expert opinions, encouragement and photographs which have helped this website continue to grow. There are a few updates to celebrate the website's birthday.

I've added a page of Postcards from South West Africa. These were sent by a Schutztruppe Reiter while on active service to his sister back home in Germany and have been scanned for this website by his great nephew, James Calaski who has generously allowed them to be shown on this website.

I've also added more photographs of items in South African Museums taken by the very helpful MC Heunis. These include a set of Mounted Schutztruppe ammunition pouches, a bust of Kaiser Wilhelm II and a beer Stein from the South West African Schutztruppe.

I've also updated the page of photos of German Naval Uniforms from the Doppler Collection with additional information kindly provided by Johannes Sundermann.

December 27th 2006
I've added another figure of a Samoan Policeman to the page on Samoa. This is based on a photograph kindly sent to me by Shaun Aumua, who also sent me a photo of the badge worn in the photo which is in his collection. Thank you very much Shaun, for that information on a unique badge and uniform. While I was updating that picture I also made a few other updates and alterations to the same page.

November 22nd 2006
I've added a page of Photos from two South African Museums taken by the very helpful MC Heunis. So far the photos include a German South West African Schutztruppe tunic, some native pass tokens from South West Africa and a border marker that used to stand between German South West Africa and British South Africa. More photos are soon to be added to this collection.

November 6th 2006
I've added a photo of a Schutztruppe saddle owned by the Doppler Collection to the page on Mounted Equipment.

October 28th 2006
I've made a couple of alterations to the text of the page on German Schutztruppe in Cameroon to allow for pre-First World War campaigns and also to correct an error pointed out to me by Peter Abbott (the author of Osprey's "Armies in East Africa"). Thanks to Peter for spotting the error.

September 27th 2006
I've made a couple of small corrections to the text of the pages on Early Schutztruppe Uniforms in South West Africa, Togo Police and NCO Rank Insignia and added a more full list of printed sources to the bottom of the Book Reviews page.

September 2nd 2006
I've finally added the long awaited page on Colonial Bayonets with photos from an excellent private collection. Many thanks to the owner of the collection for sharing these photos with us and also for his expertise and help with the captions.
Please respect the generosity of the owner in sharing these copyrighted photos with us by not reproducing them without prior permission.

I've also updated the Links page by removing some dead links, correcting others and adding one to Kolonial Geld, a great new website on the subject of banknotes and coins of the German Colonies.

July 17th 2006
I've updated, expanded and re-written the pages on the Schutztruppe for South West Africa. This is to show the uniforms from the formation of the Schutztruppe through the Herero and Nama Rebellions and the First World War rather than just the First World War. It is the first part of an attempt to expand this website to cover all Imperial German Colonial and Overseas troops, not just those from 1914-18. This expansion will of course take some time to complete. The new pages are Early Schutztruppe Uniforms in South West Africa, Cold Weather Uniforms in South West Africa and Tropical Uniforms in South West Africa.

July 14th 2006
In light of a new article written by Arne Schöfert (see the magazine section of his website at www.traditionsverband.de) I've re-written the captions for the Chinese Dragon Belt Buckles on several pages.
There was previously some doubt as to whether these buckles (and German-made swords with similar decorations) were issued to the German East Asian Expeditionary Corps for the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 or maybe to the Chinese Companies raised by the Germans in Peking and Tsingtao. In fact they were made in Germany for the regular Chinese army and were not worn by German forces.

I've also added some new links to the the links page. The new links are: Medal Net (a website about Imperial German medals with articles on Colonial Campaigns), Von Etzel (a website on the life of General Günther von Etzel, written by one of his descendants with pictures of the German forces in China),  Turkey's War (a website dedicated to Turkey's role in the First World War) and Kreuzergeschwader (a website on the German East Asian Naval Squadron's ships).

May 17th 2006
I've added a page of photos by Arne Schöfert of the Colonial Museum at Rödelsee in Bavaria. It's a great private collection including uniforms, photos and memorabilia mostly from German South West Africa.

May 9th 2006
I've added a lot more photos from the Doppler Collection to the Militaria page.

April 11th 2006
I've added an illustration of a transport soldier to the page on the East Asian Occupation Brigade. I've made some corrections and additions to this page and that of the Tsingtao Chinese Police largely with help from
Arne Schöfert, Greg Gerardi, Johannes Sundermann and some interesting information on the Axis History Forum.

March 31st 2006
I've added a page on the East Asian Occupation Brigade. These were the troops that took over the protection of German interests in China after the Boxer Rebellion from 1901-1909.

March 30th 2006
I've added a page of Photos from modern Bamum
taken by Arne Schöfert in Foumban, the capital of the Kingdom of Bamum in the former German colony of Cameroon, showing the royal palace, a statue to King Njoya and some old German helmets and breastplates. Thanks very much to Arne for sharing these photos with us.

March 22nd 2006
I've put another new page online, this time it's on King Njoya of Bamum's Private Army. Although not strictly on topic as they were not part of the regular German forces, I hope readers will find this section interesting. I personally find this scarcely covered private army in the depths of Cameroon, partially dressed in German uniforms fascinating. I'm sure they would make a very unique addition to any colonial wargamer's collection.
I've also added my main source book for this new page ("African Crossroads- Intersections between History and Anthropology in Cameroon") to the Book Reviews page.

March 14th 2006
I've updated the page on the Seebataillon in Tsingtao in Winter Uniforms, adding more information and four new illustrations. I also updated the page on the Seebataillon in Summer Tropical Uniforms and that on Tropical Helmets with small adjustments.

February 23rd 2006
I've split to the page on East African Askaris as they appeared at the start of the First World War into two pages, adding three illustrations and more information. The two pages are now up as Part 1 and Part 2.
Similarly I've split the page on South West African Auxiliaries into two pages, one each on the Police and Auxiliaries adding two new illustrations and more information to both.
I've also added some information and illustrations to the page of Field Cap Details and Photographs.
I've added links to two very interesting websites, Imperial Research and Die Alte Armee both of which are of great interest.
I've also added two book reviews one of Thomas Packenham's "The Scramble for Africa" and one of Reinhard Schneider's "Die Kaiserliche Schutz- und Polizeitruppe für Afrika" to the Book Reviews page. They are both highly recommended.
Lots of small corrections and additions have been added to several other pages.

February 18th 2006
I've made some corrections to the new Sailors on the Western Front page, again thanks to advice from Johannes Sundermann.

February 12th 2006
I've added a new page on Sailors on the Western Front in the First World War to accompany the page on Naval Infantry on the Western Front which has also been updated. These updates were made with the help of Johannes Sundermann.

February 4th 2006
I've added an illustration of a Togo Polizeitruppe Officer in khaki service uniform to the Togo Police page. Previously I had an illustration of a Togo Polizeitruppe Officer in their white tropical uniform, but this new illustration is probably more accurate as to how they appeared in the brief campaign for the defence of Togo in 1914.

January 27th 2006
I've added some more information and another photo to the Austrian navy in China page. This relates to the different styles of other ranks cap badges in use in the KuK navy in the early 20th Century. Thanks very much to John Middleton, Frank and Steve and Christoph Hatschek at the Austrian Army Museum in Vienna for the information.

January 23rd 2006
The latest update to this website comes in the form of some new photos from the Swakopmund Museum Collection. They show some great views of genuine German South West African Schutztruppe uniforms. Thanks very much to Phil Buhler for sharing his photos with us. There's also been numerous small updates on several other pages.

January 16th 2006
The latest updates to this website are an illustration of a Schutztruppe Chaplain to the Peacetime Home Uniforms page, another short biography to the German Navy in Tsingtao page and some additional information about Austrian naval cap badges added to the Austro Hungarian Naval Uniforms page. Thanks to John Middleton for this last bit of information.

January 11th 2006
The latest update to this website is the addition of a Russian Naval Cap to the  Militaria Collection from Port Arthur. Although not n topic I thought it was a shame not to see more of this great collection and add a bit of background. I've also re-done sections on several other pages, minor but much needed updates.

January 9th 2006
I've added two pages on the rank insignia of the Schutztruppe; one on NCOs and the other on Officers. I've also added biographical details to a few more illustrations (information on the www.Buddecke.de website being particularly helpful with some of the fliers).

January 6th 2006
This website is now two years old. Thanks to everyone who has helped out and emailed advice and encouragement over this second year.

The latest update to this website is a Militaria Collection from Port Arthur prior to the Russo-Japanese War. It includes items from the SMS Iltis, SMS Jaguar, SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth and the German East Asian Expeditionary Corps. Thanks very much to the owner of this private collection for sharing his photographs with us.

Another update is that I've started including biographical details on some of the illustrations where I have managed to identify the individual in the photograph on which the illustration is based. Hopefully this adds a flavour of background information. As with everything else on this website please email me here if you have any more biographical information on any of the figures I've illustrated.

I've also updated lots of small bits all over the website in a quest to keep this website as accurate and informative as possible.

December 31st 2005
I've added a new illustration to the Schutztruppe Peacetime Home Uniforms page and updated several small sections including the East African Auxiliaries page.

December 19th 2005
I've added some corrections to the page on Tropical Helmets and German Pacific Colonial History. Again thanks to Scarlett at the Axis History Forum and Bruce Swanton for the information on New Guinea.

December 9th 2005
I've added some corrections to the Togo, New Guinea and Samoa illustrations and text based on new information from Arne Schöfert.

December 6th 2005
I've added reviews (one by David C Clarke) of two interesting books to the Book Reviews page. And also updated the Interesting Facts page with new information from Scarlett from the Axis History Forum about the L59 Zeppelin Mission.

November 2nd 2005
I've done a few small updates to the pages on the Ottoman Fronts, Togo, Samoa, New Guinea, the III. Seebataillon in Tsingtao and East African and South West African Auxiliaries.

October 25th 2005
I've added two new sections on the German East Asian Expeditionary Corps, in Summer and Winter dress. Although they are slightly off topic in that they were not strictly colonial, I thought they deserved coverage as they've been ignored so often in the past in books on Imperial German Uniforms. They are also a useful background to many of the other units described on this website in that many of their uniform items were re-used during the First World War on various fronts.
Another new section that I've added is a collection of Photographs taken by Greg Gerardi in Namibia in 1990. They show various remains of the German period in South West Africa such as uniform displays from the Swakopmund Museum, field guns, memorials, battlefields and forts. The forts and battlefields are of course still there now, but the museum displays and field gun have since been removed by the Namibian government. Their current whereabouts is unknown. If by any chance you have (or know of) any other old photographs from the Swakopmund museum please let us know by emailing here. From what we see here the museum looks like a lost treasure trove of German Colonial Uniforms. Please respect Greg Gerardi's generosity in sharing these copyrighted photos with us all by not reproducing them without prior permission.
I've also made a few updates to the Schutztruppe Peacetime Home Uniforms page and added a piece about Schutztruppe aeroplanes in Cameroon during the First World War to the Interesting Facts page. Thanks very much to Peter H at the Axis History Forum for this last piece of information.

October 21st 2005
I've updated a few bits of text in the sections on German East African askaris and retouched the illustrations on those pages.

October 12th 2005
I've added a new page on the German Marine Infantry on the Western Front 1914-18. Although it's not strictly on-topic, it's another subject that's rarely covered in print and certainly not in English. After studying the III. Seebataillon in Tsingtao I started to wonder what happened to the I. and II. Seebataillone during the First World War.
I've added some fascinating photographs of Brussels
Musée Royale de l'Armée Collection including items from the German Naval infantry. Thanks to the staff at the museum for allowing me to take these photographs of their excellent collection.
I've also added a an illustration of an Officer of the L-59 Zeppelin in tropical uniform to the page on Tropical Uniforms on Other Fronts.

October 10th 2005
I've expanded the page on German and Austro-Hungarian Forces on Ottoman Fronts into four new pages with new illustrations and some photographs from the Brussels Army Museum. The new pages cover European Uniforms (including the Georgian Legion- thanks to Peter H at the Axis History Forum for the unit information), Turkish Uniforms, Tropical Uniforms and Pilots.

October 9th 2005
Due to the large number of emails received by us on the topic of the German Colonies we have teamed up with the Axis History Forum to provide a place for visitors to discuss the German Colonies. Simply go to the Axis History Forum and follow the link below and scroll down to "German Colonies and Overseas Expeditions" in the "Pre-Third Reich Germany and Austria" section. It's a good place to ask and answer questions for research, post curious photographs or take part in the quiz. Hopefully the information shared on the Forum will help this website to rapidly grow. Registration is easy and free.

October 4th 2005
I've added a few notes to the brief section on the History and Forces of German South West Africa, mainly thanks to more information from Gordon McGregor.
I've also had my first article published in print! It's part 1 of a two part piece on the German forces in East Africa 1914-18 in Issue 12 of
"Wargames: Soldiers and Strategy". It's available from Cavalier Books (see here for details on "Wargames: Soldiers and Strategy" back issues). Part 2 will cover askaris and African irregulars on the German side and be published next year.

September 28th 2005
I've added an illustration of an officer of the South African Free Corps to the page on German South West African Police and Auxiliaries, thanks to information from Gordon McGregor. I've also added a review of one of Gordon's books, 'The Prisoner of War Tokens of German South West Africa' to the Book Reviews Page.

September 19th 2005
I've updated the page showing Damien Doppler's Seebataillon Officer's White Tropical Uniform. A mistake was spotted by Johannes Sundermann on the uniform's buttons. Damien has since bought correct matching buttons for the uniform and the new photos are now online.

August 17th 2005
I've added some notes about the Hildegard order (a replacement version of the Iron Cross issued in German South West Africa) to the Medals Page of this website after receiving some excellent information from Gordon McGregor who is soon to publish a book on the medal. Gordon has in the past written some very interesting books on German South West African medals and we hope to be reviewing some of them on this website in the near future.

August 16th 2005
I've corrected an error pointed out by
Thomas Morlang. Up until now I had been referring to the native soldiers and police of Cameroon and Togo as askaris, whereas that term was only in common usage in East Africa.

August 9th 2005
I've pretty much redesigned the whole website. The main difference is that I've split a lot of the larger pages into more smaller pages, hopefully making the website easier to read. In doing so I've added 23 new illustrations and many photos of militaria on each relevant page. Much more information has been added and corrected all over the website.

Another major update is that we now have a proper domain name for the website. This website can now be accessed directly at www.GermanColonialUniforms.co.uk so please update your favourites list. The old links ( www.sacktrick.com/igu/germancolonialuniforms and www.germancolonialuniforms.cjb.net ) will still work in the meantime.

August 1st 2005
I've corrected a few errors on the
Militaria pages and uploaded a photo of a new correct bayonet knot for the Blue Seebataillon uniform. Sorry there's not been many other updates recently, I'm working on a complete overhaul of the website at the moment. There'll be loads more updates soon.

June 22nd 2005
I've uploaded some photos I've taken of the German Colonial section of the Imperial War Museum in London to the
Militaria section of this website. It includes many very interesting items including a Cameroon Askari Fez, a Samoan Fita Fita Sash and an East Asian Infantryman's uniform.

June 14th 2005
I've received even more photographs from Damien Doppler. This time he has added a dark blue Seebataillon uniform to his collection. See the new photos at the
Militaria Photographs Page. Thanks again to Damien.

June 1st 2005
I've received more photographs from Damien Doppler of new items in his collection. See the
 Militaria Photographs Page  under medals, photos from China, souvenirs from the colonies, identification armbands and naval uniforms and equipment. Thanks once again to Damien for letting us all see such a great collection

May 31st 2005
I've added a few illustrations of the Freikorps Lettow-Vorbeck to the Tropical Uniforms on Other Fronts page. Again they are not colonial troops as such, but many former colonial soldiers served in the unit and like the other topics on this website it has not been covered sufficiently in print. Thanks to the very helpful Peter H, Canut and Durand on the Axis Forum for information on this obscure unit. (This update has since been temporarily removed while more work and research is done on it- please email me
here if you have any information or photos of the Freikorps Lettow-Vorbeck)

May 25th 2005
I've made a few small updates all over the place. There's a couple more links, book reviews and interesting facts (thanks to Peter H at the Axis Forum for the latter). I've also made a few corrections and additions to the text on several other pages thanks in part to Greg Gerardi as usual.

May 21st 2005
I've started a new page devoted to Tropical Uniforms on Other Fronts to show the Marine Detachment Skutari, Niedermeyer's Afghan Mission and regular German army forces in Macedonia. I've also added some new illustrations to the other pages- a New Guinea Police NCO, a South West African Corduroy uniform and a Cameroon Reservist. 

I've updated a few bits of text at the new Damien Doppler Collection, see Militaria Photographs Page thanks to Damien for his comments.

May 17th 2005
At long last I've updated this website with the whole of Damien Doppler's vast and very interesting collection of colonial and naval uniforms at the Militaria Photographs Page. I'm sure you'll all agree it makes a great addition to this website and join me in thanking Damien so much for sharing it with us all. Please respect his generosity and copyright by not reproducing these photographs without permission.

March 30th 2005
I've updated loads of little bits all over the website, including adding additional notes to the text, fixing some errors on illustrations, cross referencing links to the new photos from Damien Doppler's collection and adding a new German Naval Rating to the East Africa page.

March 29th 2005
I've done some slight changes to the way the website is accessed. You can still come straight to this website through the old cumbersome URL of http://www.sacktrick.com/igu/germancolonialuniforms but you can also access it through the slightly more memorable URL of www.germancolonialuniforms.cjb.net .

March 28th 2005
I've added three more pages of Militaria Photographs from the collection of Damien Doppler. Thanks once again to him for letting us all see such a great collection. There are still plenty more to come.

March 18th 2005
I've added a page of Militaria Photographs, well three pages of them actually, one each covering the Schutztruppe khaki uniform, Südwester slouch hats and one on tropical helmets. They are photographs of items in the Damien Doppler collection which he has generously photographed for us to see. It's very interesting to be able to see the items close up and from various angles. There will be more pages from his collection coming soon. Hopefully along with photos from other collectors we can eventually build up a whole online museum.
And I've corrected errors on the illustrations of askaris in East Africa, Cameroon and Togo pointed out by Damien Doppler and Greg Gerardi. Thanks again for their information and help.

March 17th 2005
I've added a page of Book Reviews. I thought it might be useful to readers to be able to find out about some books on the subject of the German colonies before buying them. If any readers of this website want to contribute a review of a favourite book for inclusion here, just email a short write-up to me
here.

March 15th 2005
Chip Minx has kindly allowed me to use some photographs of his collection to show the Austro-Hungarian naval cap badge correctly as worn at the siege of Tsingtao, and also the helmet plate of the III. Seebataillon. They've both been added to the Tsingtao page. There's some great updates coming up along the way, with close-up photographs of real German colonial uniforms from other collectors.

March 2nd 2005
I've made a correction to the details on the Austro Hungarian Naval Uniforms worn at the siege of Tsingtao. Thanks to Chip Minx for the information.

January 23rd 2005
I've corrected a point on the equipment page about the number of rounds held by an M1909 ammunition pouch. Thanks to John McCuen for pointing out the error and to Peter H at the Axis Chat Forum for confirming it.

January 21st 2005
I've split the previous "Pacific Islands" page into the two separate colonies of New Guinea and Samoa with a page for each. In doing so I've added a few new illustrations and notes to both. Thanks again to Bruce Swanton and Greg Gerardi for help with local terminology. I've also added a few bits to the interesting facts page and links.

January 17th 2005
I've added a Naval rating from the SMS Emden to the new page on German and Austro-Hungarian forces in the Ottoman Empire.

January 12th 2005
I've added a new page on German and Austro-Hungarian forces in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. While not strictly on-topic in as much as the Ottoman Empire was in no sense a colony, I thought it relevant because of the similarity in tropical uniforms and in that the subject has been covered very little in print before, except a few small side notes here and there. And besides a few keen readers had asked for such a page.
I'm also working on a new page about tropical uniforms being worn in other theatres so if you've got any information or photos please email them in to me here.
And I've added a few more bits to the Interesting Facts page and redesigned the main page for purely aesthetic purposes.

January 6th 2005
This website is now one year old. In that time we've had 6,500 people visit the website (that's more than the whole garrison at Tsingtao!). On our first anniversary I'd like to say a big thank you to all the people who've kindly signed the guestbook or emailed in with information on the German Colonies over the last year. I've always had an interest in this topic and it's been a great year making friends with other people with similar interests. Looking forward to many more years of research and updates: this website is far from complete.
I've added more text to a couple of pages. Some clarifications on the Togo page and some new interesting facts on that page too.
Expect lots more updates in the coming year.

November 10th 2004
I've added more illustrations to several pages. Two on Togo, three on East Africa and two on Tsingtao. I've also updated several bits of text here and there and added a couple of links.

September 29th 2004
I've added a new page covering the personal equipment worn by the German Colonial forces. The page also gives a better close up look at the khaki and home service tunics.
I've added another couple of links to the links page. We've now got links to 40 other interesting websites on German colonial history.

September 26th 2004
I've redone many of the illustrations and much of the text in the German South West Africa and Cameroon sections including a new illustration of a Mounted Cameroon NCO.
I've also added a new piece of trivia about German words in use in New Guinea Pidgins to the page of interesting facts. Thanks to Bruce Swanton for the information.

September 10th 2004
I've added a few more corrections and clarifications to the text on several pages.

September 6th 2004
I've added a few more links to the links page to some other fascinating websites.

June 7th 2004
I've added a link to the Reichskolonialamt website, a great website with scans of illustrated German books of the period pointed out to me by Cristiano Campos.

May 24th 2004
I've added a South West African Trooper in greatcoat to the Peacetime Uniforms page. 

May 18th 2004
I've added an incidental note about the Marine Detachment Skutari to the Tsingtao page. Although Skutari was of course not a colony I thought this peculiar unit needed a mention.

May 16th 2004
I've added a section on the peacetimes uniforms of the German regular colonial forces. Hopefully this gives a basis for the other sections and will simplify later explanations.
A few more alterations made to the text generally after an interesting visit to the Imperial War Museum in London, which has also been added to the links page.
There's also a new German Naval Officer illustration in the East Africa section thanks to a photograph supplied by Greg Gerardi.

May 14th 2004
I've cleared up some of the mix-ups over which rifles were issued to different forces with help from Mathieu Willemsen and Paul Scarlata and also from the very useful REME Weapons website which I've also added to the links page.
Also a slight correction made to the Tsingtao Naval Batteries cap tally.

April 23rd 2004
New information on Africans serving in the regular Imperial German army added to the interesting facts page. Thanks to 'Moulded' at the Axis Chat Forum and 'Tintin1689' at the Great War Chat Forum for the information. Both of these forums have also been added to the Links page.

April 18th 2004
Some more new illustrations and notes added. There's another Austro-Hungarian Naval Rating and Mounted Seebataillon Officer on the Tsingtao page and another Schutztruppe Officer on the Cameroon page. There's also a couple of new useful links added to the links page.

April 7th 2004
Some new illustrations and notes added. There's another Naval Rating and Mounted Volunteer on the East Africa page, another New Guinea Reservist in the Pacific page and an NCO of the East Asian Marine Detachment and an Austrian Naval Cap Badge on the Tsingtao page. Thanks again go to Greg Gerardi for providing some of the source photographs for these illustrations, and to him and Cristiano Campos for helping me sort out some of my previous mistakes.
I've also made some small alterations to the text and layout of the website.

April 4th 2004
A small note added to the German South West Africa page on the subject of the corduroy uniform issued to the Schutztruppe there. Thanks this time to Manfred Schuster for sending in some very interesting photographs.

March 18th 2004
Two Marines in Winter Service dress illustrations added to the Tsingtao page. Thanks again being due to Greg Gerardi and also to Cristiano Campos for advice and source photographs for these additions.

March 14th 2004
German reservist illustration added to the German East Africa page.

January 23rd 2004
Insignia illustrations added to many pages. I still need to add rank and naval insignia at some point. Also a few minor alterations made to the text, thanks again being mostly due to Greg Gerardi for his help.

January 10th 2004
Some corrections and clarifications made to the figures and text. Thanks to Greg Gerardi for the help.
Two new links added to the links pages.

January 6th 2004
Website launched...281 hits in the first day! Thanks very much to all the people who emailed and signed the guestbook. I really appreciate the support.


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

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