Friday, December 6, 2013

The Schutztruppe Barracks at Omaruru

This postcard shows the Schutztruppe barracks at Omaruru in German Southwest Africa.  The architecture is distinctive, and helps to identify the setting for the Shutztruppe mounted infantry and artillery pulled by mule teams in the photograph, below.

I am not sure about the provenance of this picture.  I have seen it misidentified as part of the Marine Expeditionary Force, but it clearly shows Schutztruppen.  In the foreground is a small mountain gun pulled by a six mule team and attached to a tiny limber with four ammunition boxes.  The supply cart alongside has eight mules.  There is a covered wagon in front of the veranda of the barracks at right, and the troops are in the process of forming up.  Whether they are from Franke's 2nd field company (which would be appropriate for early 1904), or another unit from the Schutztruppe, or even an image from 1915 as the Germans prepared to retreat before the Union of South Africa invasion forces of General Louis Botha, will have to await further research to determine.

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