German Samoan Polizeitruppe

 
     
 

 
 

Photo Shaun Aumua

 
 
     


Samoan Polizeitruppe Badge
(Click here for a larger Photo)
Photo
Shaun Aumua

Close up of the Imperial Crown
Photo Shaun Aumua

This is a photograph of four Samoan Polizeitruppe taken in Apia in 1914 probably by a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force that captured the islands.

They appear to wear white tropical helmets (with the chinstraps worn over the peak by the two figures on the right) and khaki uniforms. The tunics are of a style similar to the Drillichrock (also worn by members of the early New Guinea Polizeitruppe and by the East Asian Expeditionary Corps), with a standing collar, six buttons to fasten the front, one left breast pocket and two hip pockets. The pockets appear to have no pocket flaps or else are folded in. Two of the four figures wear puttees while the other two wear their khaki trousers loose around the ankles.

Above the breast pocket each man wears a seven pointed star badge. The badge is brass with a white metal circular centre showing an imperial crown above the letter "P" (see left). Three of the four policemen have coloured bands around their cuffs. These would most likely be NCO rank insignia.

This photograph is especially curious as I have so far found no other period references to the Samoan Polizeitruppe wearing tropical helmets, khaki uniforms, breast badges or NCO insignia around the cuffs. Yet the breast badges with a clear German imperial crown would seem to confirm them as being in German service.


Detail of the same photograph
showing the breast badge and cuff bars.
Photo
Shaun Aumua

Please respect the generosity of Shaun Aumua 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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