Hauptmann von Loßnitzer of the South West African Schutztruppe
Photo © Christophe Deruelle



This is a photograph taken in Germany in the 1920s or 30s. It shows Hauptmann a.D Erich von Loßnitzer, formerly of the South West African Schutztruppe.

He still proudly wears his privately tailored 1897 Schutztruppe Home Uniform in pale grey with the collar, Swedish style cuffs and piping down the front and rear skirts in blue for South West Africa.

It has white metallic Litzen on the collar and cuffs and white metal buttons bearing the imperial crown. His rank is shown by the use of white metallic lace shoulder straps with threads of red and black with two pips (for Hauptmann, see Officers Rank Insignia Page).

On his left breast he wears Schutztruppe parade aiguillette cords in white metallic lace and several medals.

On his bar he wears the Saxon Knights Cross of St Henry (which he received on 21st January 1920), followed by the Iron Cross second class. Schutztruppe regulations required that Prussian awards such as the Iron Cross be worn in precedence to other state awards, such as the Saxon Cross of St Henry. Von Loßnitzer as a proud Saxon wears his Saxon medal ahead of the Prussian Iron Cross.

Following the Iron Cross on the bar is the Saxe-Ernestine Knights Cross first class with swords, the Hamburg Hanseatic Cross and another unidentified medal that may be a semi-official colonial commemorative medal.


Below the medal bar he wears the Prussian Iron Cross, first class and the post-war Lion Order.

His headdress is the South West African Schutztruppe Südwester hat in grey felt with a hatband and edging in blue for South West Africa, pinned up on the right hand side with a large imperial cockade.

The trousers are matching pale grey with blue piping down the edge.

His sword is a dress sword, lighter and more decorative than those carried before the war.

Recommended External Links -
Axis History Forum Discussion of this Photograph
Golf Dornseif mentions of von Loßnitzer's Post War Activities



Karl Erich von Loßnitzer, was born on 4th August 1886 into a military family in Riesa in the Kingdom of Saxony. He transferred from the Saxon army to the Schutztruppe in 1913 and served in South West Africa during the First World War. After the Schutztruppe surrender in 1915 he became a prisoner of war. He returned to Germany after the war and joined the National Socialist Party. In 1934 he returned to South West Africa where he tried to organise the local German youth group the Pfadfinder as a section of the Hitler Youth. He was soon expelled from the country by the ruling South African authorities.


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