Seesoldat of the II. Seebataillon



Photo Doppler Collection




This is a posed studio photograph taken in Wilhelmshaven, Germany sometime between the 1880's and 1914. It shows an unknown Seesoldat of the II. Seebataillon (who were based at Wilhelmshaven).

He wears the Seebataillon Dark Blue Home Uniform (see right) with collar, cuffs and piping in white with yellow Litzen on the collar and cuffs. The insignia on the shoulder straps is also yellow and shows an imperial crown above two crossed anchors above the battalion numeral II. The tunic has plain domed brass buttons on the front, cuffs and rear skirts and smaller brass buttons with the company number holding the shoulder straps. His trousers are matching dark blue with white piping.

Notice the curious way in which old orthochromatic film shows yellow (on the Litzen and shoulder strap insignia) as a very dark colour, much darker than natural. This was caused by the inferior photographic techniques of the time. See the Pickelhaubes Forum for more information on orthochromatic film.

He wears the Seebataillon peaked cap (see right) in matching dark blue with white hatband and piping and a black leather peak. It has a small imperial cockade at the front of the hatband. Other ranks usually wore peakless field caps, but were allowed to privately purchase the peaked version as usually worn by senior NCOs and officers.

He wears a polished black leather belt with an other ranks naval belt buckle (brass with a white metal centre bearing the imperial crown inside a wreathed motto "Gott mit uns" - see Belt Buckle Details Page). From the left side of the belt is hung a bayonet, although the exact model cannot be clearly seen.

He carries a pair of white gloves in his left hand. This curious addition is commonly seen in posed photographs of the period. It is believed the practice was started by the Kaiser Wilhelm II to make his noticeably smaller left arm appear longer. It then became the fashion amongst the German armed forces to carry a pair of gloves in one's left hand.


Please respect the generosity of the Doppler Collection in sharing this photograph with us by not reproducing it without prior permission. 

Seebataillon Peaked Cap
(See Field Cap Details Page)
Doppler Collection

Seebataillon Tunic
(See Seebataillon Uniform Details Page)
Doppler Collection


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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