Polizeitruppe on the Pacific Island of Angaur



Photo Karsten Herzogenrath

  This photograph shows two units of the Polizeitruppe. It was sent as a postcard from Yap in the German Carolines but written in Angaur a German island off Palau on 16th September 1911. As such it most likely shows the German garrison on Angaur, an important phosphate mining base.

The German NCOs wear white tropical uniforms with no visible insignia. The man on the left wears a white tropical helmet that is most likely privately purchased. Then man on the left wears a white peaked cap with what may be a red Polizeitruppe hatband.

The Pacific other ranks wear two different styles of uniform and seem to be from different garrisons. Note also the different facial features of each group being from different ethnicities.

One half of them wear red sarongs, white naval style tops with three blue stripes across the chest and no headdress. They are armed with the JB71 rifle and what appears to be the S71 bayonet. They carry a single ammunition pouch on a brown leather belt with a plain buckle. These are probably the local Angaur Micronesian soldiers.

The other half wear a khaki naval style uniform with field cap. The edging on the uniform and the hatband of the cap would have been red. They also carry a single ammunition pouch on a brown leather belt with a plain buckle. Note the water bottle carried by one. Their rifles are the Gew88 but their bayonets cannot be identified. These soldiers in khaki are probably from the mainland New Guinea Melanesian Polizeitruppe.


Please respect the generosity of Karsten Herzogenrath in sharing this photograph with us by not reproducing it without prior permission. 

Please contact me here if you have other photographs of the German colonies or the soldiers and sailors that served there. I am especially keen to hear from people with family photograph collections and am always happy to try to assist in identifying uniforms, units, places and dates for family history research.

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