Unteroffizier Broedertz of the South West African Schutztruppe
Photos © Peter Klein
  The three photographs above show Unteroffizier Broedertz of the South West African Schutztruppe wearing the grey home uniform with blue collar and cuffs and piping down the front. Note the white Litzen (with a red centre stripe) and the shoulder straps of twisted cords in the imperial colours. His rank as Unteroffizier is shown by the additional white lace around the collar and cuffs. His trousers are matching grey with blue piping. His belt is an other ranks black leather belt with an imperial belt buckle.

In the photograph on the right he is wearing the other ranks single breasted grey greatcoat with blue collar patches also bearing white Litzen. The shoulder straps are also blue.

In the photograph on the left, his headdress is the Schutztruppe Südwester hat in grey felt again with blue edging and hatband. It has a large imperial cockade holding up the right side. The photos in the centre and on the right show his wearing his peaked field cap again in grey with blue hatband and piping. It has a small imperial cockade on the hatband.

These Schutztruppe photographs were taken at Karl Hill studios, Emmerich am Rhein/Rees in the Prussian Rhineland.

The photographs below show Broedertz in German army service. The photograph on the left appears to show him in the uniform of a Prussian Foot Artillery Feldwebel. As this is a more senior NCO rank than the Schutztruppe photographs above it would appear that this photograph was taken after his service in South West Africa and may indicate that Broedertz served as and artilleryman in Africa.

The photograph on the right shows Broedertz wearing medals from the Herero Rebellion and the First World War. The medals are an Iron Cross, first class on his breast and on his bar are the Iron Cross, second class, the South West Africa Campaign Medal, the Prussian Other Ranks long service award, first class, an unidentified medal and the Hamburg Hanseatic Cross. These medals would indicate that the photograph was taken in the later years of the First World War if not shortly afterwards. The uniform is unfamiliar to me and appears to be a private purchase variation on standard issue, has no rank insignia and the regimental number 29 on the shoulder straps..

A pencil written note mentioning the name Broedertz on the back of one of the cards in the collection is the only clue as to his identity.



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