Thursday, August 10, 2017
Here is an image from 1904 of German medical personnel at the Marine-Feldlazarett in Okahandja, Southwest Africa. The identities of all six individuals are known.
Seated in the center is Dr. Gappel, Marine-Stabsartz and Chefartz of the Marine-Expeditionskorps. He was based at Helgoland before shipping out for Africa in late January, 1904 on board the S.S. Darmstadt. Initially based with the 2nd Marine-Kompagnie at Okahandja, he established the Marine base hospital here, which is also where this photograph was taken. He returned to Germany at the end of September, 1904.
Seated in the front row are "Sister" Lili Hartoy (at left) and "Sister" Helene Doll (at right). I wish I knew more about these nurses. In the end of march and beginning of April, reinforcements started to embark for Southwest Africa that included "62 hospital nurses and bakers". Perhaps these two women were among this group. It could also be that they were members of the German "Womens' League*" which sent an initial seven "sisters" to nurse the sick in the Colony in January and February, followed by another twenty. It is unclear whether there were any female nurses with the Marine- Expeditionskorps or whether some of these Women's League nurses may have been assigned to it. The main feldlazarett at Okahandja would have been a logical place for some of them to be posted.
Standing at left is Marine-Assistenzartz Dr. Brüggmann, who was assigned to the Schutztruppe on January 27, 1904. Next to him is Oberassistenzartz Dr. Janßen, who sailed on Darmstadt with Dr. Gappel and was assigned from the Ostsee station. He served with the Ostabteilung in March and April, 1904, returning to Germany in the Spring of 1905. Standing at right is Lazarett-Inspektor Brück, about whom I have learned nothing further.
* Possibly the German-National Women's League
Monday, July 17, 2017
|7.2 cm gebirgskanone L/14 M98|
The Schutztruppe had both C73 and C96 feldkanone. The C73 came in two calibers: 7.85 Leichte feldkanone and 8.8 cm Schwere feldkanone. The C96 fired a 7.7cm projectile. At the outset of the Herero war, the Schutztruppe in DSWA had five C73 Leichte feldkanone and was later reenforced with C/96aA and C/96nA field guns from Germany and two feldkanone 91/93 from Kameruun.
The colony also had at least four 5.7 cm quick firing guns or schnellfeurgeschürtzen. Although these saw service during the Herero War as part of Battery 1 under Hauptmann v. Oertzen, I have not been able to locate any good photographs or even details about the design of these weapons.
Four mountain guns were issued to the Schutztruppe and were in service at the outbreak of the German/Herero war. These were 7.2 cm gebirgskanone L/14 M98 and saw hard service between 1904 and 1908 when the colony received the new 7.5 cm gebirgskanone L/17 M08.
Four outdated 10.5 cm fixed recoil field howitzers (feldhaubtize M98 by Rheinmetall) were sent to Southwest Africa during the German/Herero War.
The Seebataillon and Landungskorps from S.M.S. "Habicht" contributed 2 or 3 cone-mounted 3.7 cm Gruson-Hotchkiss revolverkanone and 8 M97 Krupp 3.7cm maschinenkanone.
There were several machine gun sections, served both by marines and sailors and by Schutztruppe.
|7.7cm C96 Feldkanone, Battery 5, 1904|
|Mountain gun emplacement|
|Mountain gun battery on mules|
|Mountain guns firing|
|Sailors with M97 Krupp 3.7cm Maschinenkanone on Darmstadt transport, 1904|
|Schutztruppen with cone mounted 3.7cm Gruson-Hotchkiss revolverkanone from SMS Habicht|
|Maxim Gun: Maschinengewehr|
(probably purchased in 1901)
Thursday, July 13, 2017
|From Die Deutschen Kolonial und Schutztruppen von 1889 bis 1918|
I've decided to try to recreate this uniform tunic, and possibly fashion a complete reenacting impression for a sergeant of the landsturm, which presents a number of challenges, the most significant of which is that I do not have an original uniform to examine in person. There are, however, many contemporary images, as well as photographs of surviving examples, and by examining the differences between the Prussian M1895 waffenrock on which it is based, I believe a credible interpretation may be achieved. I have also been able to source most of the trimmings needed to complete this coat as well, and have every expectation that I will be able to gather the materials I require.
|Prussian Field Artillery M1895 waffenrock, |
I'm less certain about the top buttons on the rear flaps of the tunic, and whether these should be imperial crown belt hooks or not. I have a pair just in case. All the imperial buttons were pressed through the fabric and attached with what look like split brass rings. The collar was closed by one or two long hooks that also attached to a brass ring. Button holes were hand sewn but the rest of the tunic was machine stitched.
The issued waffenrock was lined. I doubt that the skirts were in black cotton or silk like the Prussian waffenrock.. My interpretation will have white linen lining above the skirts (with an internal pocket at the left breast) and heavy khaki poplin to line the skirts. The back of the tunic has a working vent which allows access to two skirt pockets. The skirt flaps and the open edge of the tunic are piped in cornflower blue. There were reinforcement bars stitched at the top, rear of the cuff adjustment slits and above the rear vent of the tunic.
Aside from these details, sourcing the uniform fabric has been challenging. I am going with wool felt in cornflower blue for the collar, cuffs and shoulder board backing. I've requested a swatch of the Hainsworth True Heritage brown khaki whipcord uniform fabric. Contemproary Germans called corduroy trousers Manchesterhosen after the famous English corduroy manufacturing center, and the color sandfarben specified for field service was variously colored sandy brown corduroy that lightened in the desert sun. I have an original M1893 canteen cover made from brown corduroy and if the Hainsworth stuff is a close match, that is what I'll use.
As a junior NCO (Unteroffizier ohne Portapee), there is no difference between the insignia on my kord waffenrock and that of a vice-feldwebel. These ranks are distinguished by bayonet knots. Unteroffiziers and Sergeants wore a troddel knot in imperial colors, and I have one of those though I do not yet own an appropriate bayonet. Senior NCOs and Officers were entitled to the more ornate Portapee, which was worn by the vice-feldwebel and feldwebel with a sword while on parade and on the bayonet when on campaign. Those for DSWA were closed knots with white metallic lace with the lanyard threaded in imperial black and red colors. I do not have one of these. On very rare occassions, an historic image shows an unteroffizer wearing both the kord waffenrock and a detachable shoulder chevron such as were worn on the kord litewka and khaki feldrock uniforms, but this was not according to regulation.
I'm far too old to depict the young regular army volunteers who customarily served 3 year terms in the Schutztruppe in southwest Africa. My impression, should I ever complete it, will be of a reservist from the Landsturm, an old retired member of the Protection Force who settled down int he colony and was called up during the Herero uprising. I'll wear a mix of uniform types and Schutztruppe kit, which was quite common even for regular Schutztruppen while on campaign.
If anyone reading this post has firsthand knowledge or documentation for the lining of the kord waffenrock, whether it had belt hooks or not at the top of the vent flaps, and what specific fabric comprised the collar, cuffs shoulder-board backing, I would be deeply appreciative of your sharing you knowledge and source material.