This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
I would guess that the home forces had first priority on new weapons and equipment. It's quite common for colonial forces to hang onto obsolete items long after they've been superseded in the home forces. Also the main function of any colonial force is to maintain order in the colony- against tribesmen who would largely only have spears and flintlocks, a single-shot breechloader would be sufficient, so arming them with the latest weapons wouldn't be of a priority equal to the priority of so equipping the home forces who would face a Continental enemy which also had the latest weapons. Another reason for giving indigenous troops outdated weapons might well have been as a safeguard against potential mutiny and revolt by the native troops- the British followed the same pattern when arming the Indian Army after the 1857 Mutiny; the Sepoys got the rifle/carbine that the British Army had just superseded. The Indian Army continued using single-shot Snider and Martin-Henry rifles well after the British had switched to magazine rifles. The final reason no doubt would have been economic- to equip the entire home army and colonial army with the latest rifle at the same time would have been quite expensive- note that many Landwehr and Landsturn units continued using the 1888 rifle for the entire war.Vuk wrote:Thank you for your answers, a couple of new questions.
Why were the Askaris armed with M1871 rifles (surely there were plenty of M1871/84 and Gew.88 available)?
What kind of machineguns did the Rubens carry (8.8mm seems strange)?
Peter H wrote:Actually only 8 of the 14 Field companies in East Africa were equipped with the M71 in 1914.The others used the M71/84.
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