Schutztruppe Other Ranks Khaki Uniform
Reproduced from the Doppler Collection by kind permission


This was the other ranks khaki uniform worn by the regular German Schutztruppe on active service in South West Africa, East Africa and Cameroon. Originally issued in 1896, it was still standard issue in 1914. Although the example shown here was worn in South West Africa, the uniforms issued in East Africa and Cameroon were identical.

The tunic is made of lightweight khaki cloth piped in blue (for all colonies) around the collar, cuffs and down the front. It has a fall collar, four buttoned patch pockets with rounded edges (the chest pockets sloping slightly inwards), and six buttons down the front. The back has no buttons or piping. The shoulder straps are made from twisted braid in black/white/red and were worn by all NCOs and other ranks. The trousers are of matching lightweight khaki. Some Schutztruppe trousers were piped down the sides in blue but others, like this pair, are not.

Officer's uniforms were very similar except they were usually privately tailored to fit, of better quality and often had higher stand and fall collars and slight variations in cut. Their shoulder straps were silver or silver braid on a background of the colony's colour (Blue for South West Africa, White for East Africa and Red for Cameroon) and bore silver "pips" to display their rank.

This figure is wearing the brown leather equipment issued to mounted troops in South West Africa.

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(Click on the pictures below to enlarge)





This photo clearly shows the shoulder strap and the blue collar and front piping worn by all Schutztruppe personnel.


A closer look at the shoulder strap made from two loops of black/red/white twisted wool braiding as worn by all other ranks and NCOs.


A look at the hook and eye fastening of the collar.

This photo shows the sloped, pleated breast pocket and rank chevrons on the upper left arm.   The four rank chevrons (silver on blue) of a Feldwebel or Sergeant Major.
  Back of Rank Chevrons. Note how they are removable and are held by hooks at the corners through a loop on the tunic. In early campaigns in South West Africa the Schutztruppe learned to remove rank insignia after high losses to enemy snipers among officers and NCOs.
This photo shows the unpleated squared hip pocket closed by a white metal button with the imperial crown.   A closer look at the noticeably shallow turn back cuff, piped on the top and side in blue.   A look at the white metal buttons bearing the imperial crown.
The plain rear of the tunic. On this example the belt buckle is unfortunately missing.   The front of the trousers.   The rear of the trousers with waistband tie.
The issue stamp inside the trousers. It reads "K.Sch.Tr - DSWA" for Imperial Colonial Troops, German South West Africa (Kaiserliche Schutztruppen - Deutsch Süd West Afrika)   Another very similar Schutztruppe 1896 model tunic. This one is on display at the War Museum of the Boer Republics in Bloemfontein. There are more close up photos of this tunic on the page on South African Museum collections.   A third very similar Schutztruppe 1896 model tunic. This one is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London. There are more close up photos of this tunic on the page on the Imperial War Museum collection.






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