Seebataillon - Marine Infantry
Marine Expeditionskorps in East Africa 1905-07


Marine Expeditionskorps
 East Africa 1905
This NCO wears the Marine Infantry 1898 Khaki Tropical Uniform with rank lace in the Imperial colours on his collar and cuffs and a rank badge at the front of his collar showing his rank to be a Sergeant. He has the 1900 Khaki Bortfeldt Tropical Helmet with a yellow metal Imperial Eagle clutching an anchor and small imperial cockade. He wears khaki trousers and marching boots. His rifle is the Gew98.


In August 1905 one company each from the I. and II. Seebataillone were formed into a Marine Expedition Corps under Hauptmann von Schlichting and Leutnant Engelbrecht for service in German East Africa as the Maji-Maji Rebellion spread across the colony. The unit consisted of nine officers and 219 other ranks.

They travelled via Vienna and Trieste and arrived in Dar Es Salaam on board the Austrian Lloyds Steamer "Koerber" in September. As in South West Africa the Seebataillon troops were split up amongst different Schutztruppe units. They did not see heavy action and were used mostly for defensive and garrison duty freeing up Schutztruppe Askaris to fight in the frontline. They returned to Germany in early 1907.

Uniforms of the Marine Expeditionskorps in East Africa
The Marine Infantry sent to East Africa were issued Khaki Tropical Uniforms as worn in China and South West Africa with 1900 Bortfeldt tropical helmets and khaki field caps.

They were issued with stocks of the South West African Schutztruppe Mounted equipment and Gew98 rifles.

They had four machine guns operated by members of the naval I. Matrosen Division. These sailors were also issued Marine Infantry khaki uniforms and tropical helmets.

In addition they carried they grey Litewka tunics, blue home uniform trousers, blue field caps and black greatcoats, though these were not commonly needed in Africa.


Sources and Links-
Medal Net - Deutschostafrika 1905-07
"Unsere Marineuniformen" by J Zienert
"Die deutschen Marinen 1818-1918" by R Noeske and C Stefanski

1900 Bortfeldt Tropical Helmet
for Marine Infantry
Photo Private Collector

South West African Mounted Equipment
Photo Doppler Collection


Marine Expeditionskorps, East Africa 1905
Photo Frankfurt University Koloniales Bildarchiv


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