South West African Schutztruppe NCO



Photo © Guido Welk




This is a posed studio photograph of a Schutztruppe NCO, probably taken in a photographic studio near Munsterlager training ground, Germany in 1904, during the training of new Schutztruppe recruits for service in the Herero Rebellion.

He wears the Schutztruppe Südwester Hat in grey felt, with blue hatband and edging for South West Africa, pinned up on the right hand side with a large imperial cockade (see right).

His tunic is the 1896 Kord Waffenrock, with blue piping, cuffs and collar, white Litzen on the collar and cuffs, white metal imperial crown buttons and shoulder straps of white twisted cord with threads in red and black. Note the button visible on his collar showing his rank to be a Gefreiter (Lance Corporal- see NCO Rank Insignia). He wears aiguillette twisted black/white/red cords across his left breast. These were usually only worn on parade.

He carries the Mounted Equipment and Ammunition Pouches exclusive to the Schutztruppe in brown leather with matching riding boots and stirrups. His company coloured bayonet knot can been seen at his left side. While most of the new Schutztruppe recruits bound for South West Africa in 1904 were being equipped with the G98 rifle and kS98 bayonet, this man carries a G88 rifle with an S98 bayonet. The S98 bayonet was not made to fit the G88 rifle, it had no muzzle ring and would not hold well on the G88's short fixing bar. It was probably only used in this combination for the photograph. Photographic studios of the time often had collections of rifles, bayonets, swords and in this case a dog to use as props in posed action shots.

Recommended External Link- More posed photographs from Munsterlager




This photograph was kindly shared with us by Guido Welk from his family collection, the name of this Schutztruppe soldier is however unknown. Please respect Guido's generosity in sharing this photograph with us by not reproducing it without prior permission. 

South West African Schutztruppe Südwester Hat
(See Südwester Details Page)
© Doppler Collection

Schutztruppe Kord Waffenrock
with Ammunition Pouches

(See Röedelsee Museum Page)
©  Arne Schöfert

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

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