Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Discussions on all aspects of the German Colonies and Overseas Expeditions. Hosted by Chris Dale.
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Seitengewehr98
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Post by Seitengewehr98 » 26 Sep 2007 02:09

When it comes to regulation of edged weapons, the rules were broken quite often in Imperial Germany. For instance, in 1915, german officers were ordered to return their swords to the rear, and arm themselves with the 98/05 "butcher blade" bayonet. However, almost NO officers followed this ruling, as photographic evidence suggests. Most armed themselves with the hugely popular KS98, either issue or more likely private purchase models. As for this sword, it only takes ONE officer in the schutztruppe who wants a sword badly enough to make this possible, as long as he's of high enough rank.

There are a number of bayos marked W14 that were issued to colonial units, so it certainly wasn't produced too late to have found its way into the schutztruppe. Regimentally marked swords tend to have lower weapon numbers than the bayos marked to the same unit, and the regimental marking K.S.212 is lower than any of the KS marked bayos I have on file, and I have over 50, so this again supports it being a schutztruppe weapon.

That being said, the lack of photographic evidence doesn't help the situation. Perhaps these swords were only issed for dress purposes, and were otherwise not worn, which would explain its excellent condition.

According to regulations, when K was used to denote Kavallerie, it was supposed to be script, not block as this example is. Of course, these regulations were often broken, especially when the war broke out.

So there's really no way to tell for sure, and there may never be.

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Re: Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Post by jeger » 11 Jan 2014 04:32

Your guidance, sharpshooters -originally local german- and or other European settlers-serving with German troops in East Africa 1914-18 also used their own weapons, mostly the socalled "heavy"Mauser rifle, a long range weapon originally designed for big game hunting with special ammo, much feared by the British and the Portug. forces
Jeger

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Re: Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Post by schutzearsch » 05 Aug 2015 17:29

Like Chris Dale already said the standard service rifle for the Schutzgruppe Askaris in Cameroon and German East Africa was the Jägerbüchse 71 wich was the light infantry version of the Gewehr 71. It's mostly the same weapon the only differences i can think of are that the JB71 was about 3 inches shorter compared to the G71 and that the JB71 had a fingergrip behind the trigger.
For the first half of the 1890s this weapon seemed to be the standard rifle for all three Schutruppe Units (Cameroon, German East Africa, and German South West Africa). Ther JB71 used in German South West Africa had curved bolts while the standard JB71 (and most german rifles of the time) had straight bolts. The curved bolt was added to make it more comfortable for mounted troops to carry the rilfe on the back while riding. The rilfes might've arrived with straight bolts in German South West Africa and there the bolts where replaced or altered in company workshops or maybe at the main depot.

The JB71 fired a 11mm round which might have provied great stopping power against charging tribesmen. But it was a black powder catrige and had real long muzzle flash and those two features made it worthless in modern warfare.

The German South West Africa Schutztruppe that considered of german soldiers that got transfered to the Schutztruppe received the Gewehr88 and maybe the Gewehr98.
Some sources state that the Schutztruppe in Cameroon had recived the Karabiener98az by 1914. The Kar98az is the rifle today mostly known as the Kar98a (cause it was renamed after the war) the originally Kar98a was the original carbine version of the G98 but it was put out of service before WW1 and a new carbine (the Kar98az) was introduced. However they might have enough to equip all or allmost all of the 1,550 Askaris that served in the Schutzruppe in 1914 they evantualy had not enough weapons to equip all of the 6,550 Askari the Schutztruppe had after the outbreak of WWI these 6,550 consist of the 1,550 already in serive and the other where Polizeitruppen (Police forces) reservists and re-enlisted soldiers.
germancolonialuniforms.co.uk states that in German East Africa by 1914 5 of the 14 companies (the 1st, 4th, 8th, 10th and 13th) had received the Gewehr98.

I know the thread is 1 1/2 years old but maybe the starter of the thread is still reading.

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Re: Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Post by Chris Dale » 05 Aug 2015 18:41

Thanks for that summary Schutzearsch!

There is a page on the German Colonial Uniforms website on the rifles used overseas with photos of them in use and in modern collections-
http://s400910952.websitehome.co.uk/ger ... rifles.htm

Cheers
Chris

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Re: Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Post by schutzearsch » 04 May 2016 22:52

Hello, I have a question not about the weapons of the Schutztruppe in WWI but of their enemies. The Belgian Force Publique to be specific. I didn't want to start a new threat so I ask this here.
I've read that at least at the beginning of WWI the Askari of the Force Publique where entirely or mostly still armed with the M1867 Albini-Braendlin rifle. I did some research about the rifle and if you think the Schutztruppe where at the bad end of weapons with the Mauser M71 the M1867 Albini puts this in a kinda new perspective. It fired a 11mm round and operated with a breech block that is interessting but seems awkward and terrible unpractical in the heat of a firefight. Also the fact might be interssting that the Belgian Army already introduced a new rifle in the 1870s which still fired a 11mm round.

Well my question is...is it true that the FP used the Albini rilfe in the war? And did they use it for the entire war or where they later re equipped with modern weapons and with which kind of weapons? Belgian Mausers I asume.

Anyway thanx for any reply.

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Tanzania
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Re: Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Post by Tanzania » 29 Sep 2016 19:05

schutzearsch wrote: Well my question is...is it true that the FP used the Albini rilfe in the war? And did they use it for the entire war or where they later re equipped with modern weapons and with which kind of weapons? Belgian Mausers I asume.

Anyway thanx for any reply.
According to a memorandum by the Director of Military operations of the
British War Office to the Secretary of State for the Colonies on the 9 December
1909 on ‘Congo troops and the Mfumbiro Boundary Question’ military capacity
and operations of the Belgians in this area, the Belgian garrison of the Rusisi-Kivu
district had about 1,000 soldiers, of whom 550 were assembled in front of the
British post at Kigezi, in Bufumbira District. Belgium had about 3,000 troops in
that district.

After describing the weapons owned by the Belgian forces and their efficacy
in case of war, he then went on to describe the soldiering qualities of the
Belgian troops. The description of the Belgian weaponry gave a clear picture of
Belgium’s preparedness and also Britain’s spying efficiency. From the report,
the natives were armed with the Albini rifle, date 1867, and calibre .433.
The
European officers and the non-commissioned officers (N.C.Os) numbering about
700 men were armed with Mausers, 1899 pattern.
Their artillery and machine
guns consisted of: the Italian field and Krupp mountain guns, of calibre varying
from 70 to 90 mm. It dismissed these as not suitable for combat due to transport
problems. This also applied to the Bronze S.B. guns of British origin. Their Light
Hotchkiss (37 mm) and Nordenfeldt (47 mm) guns were valued as the relevant
weapons; the latter being the standard practical gun for feld service in the Congo,
as it could follow the infantry practically everywhere, mounted or dismounted. It
had a calibre of 1.85 inches, with a total weight of 514 lbs, while the canon shell
weighed 3.3 lbs and shot 4.4 lbs. The Belgians’ other important practical gun was
the Albini Maxim gun (???). This gun with tripod and shield weighed about 130 lbs.

Source: “Colonial Invasion of Kigezi”, In: Politics, Religion and Power in the Great Lakes Region, 36 pages, pdf.
http://www.codesria.org/IMG/pdf/3-4.pdf?2518/
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Post by schutzearsch » 21 Nov 2016 19:25

Thank you very much Tanzania!

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Re: Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Post by MWCenker » 15 May 2022 16:54

Hello everyone. I have some information that may help this Thread. This is from a 1912 and 1913 inventory count. With some other information I have found.

Small arms of the Schutztruppe and Polizeitruppe by colony. Pre-WWI and during WWI.

German SouthWest Africa: Schutztruppe
G. 71: 461 B. 71: 72 K. 71: ? G. 71-84: ?
Gew 88: ? Gew 91: ? Kar 88: 1
Kar.98 1stp, 2ndp and Art Kar 98: 292 (266)*
Kar98AZ: 195
Reg Gew 98: 1,560**
Sch Gew 98: 10,069***

*On 1 October 1913 the Schutztruppe in German SouthWest Africa reported 72 artillery and 220 M98 cavalry carbines in stock, of which 69 and 197 respectively were already useless.

** In October 1913 there were 1,560 M98 old pattern rifles.

***10,069 Schutztruppengewehr 98 there, of which exactly two thirds were located in the two artillery depots of the province. When night in June of 1915 Schirrmeister Keplin burned 2,000,000 rounds of ammunition and 8,000 rifles. So they wanted to fall into the enemy's hands.

German SouthWest Africa: Landespolizei
G. 71: 431(8) B. 71: 33 K. 71: 13 G. 71-84: 34(1)
Gew 88: 26 Gew 91: ? Kar 88: 117
Kar.98 1stp: 100 2ndp: 646 Art Kar 98: 47
Kar98AZ:?
Reg Gew 98: 20
Sch Gew 98: 497

German East Africa: Schutztruppe
G. 71: ? B. 71: 5,065* K. 71: 701(1) G. 71-84: 1
Gew 88: ? Gew 91: 9 Kar 88: 54
Kar.98 1stp, 2ndp and Art Kar 98:
Kar98AZ: 909
Gew 98: 406(182)

*The report speaks of 71 rifles but all other documents clearly shows these were Jägerbüchse, 3,588 with the troops. The rest in storage.

After the debacle of the landings at Tanga on 4th and 5th November 1914, Indian Expeditionary Force ‘B’ steamed away leaving on the beach or nearby:

455 SMLE
Eight serviceable machine guns plus others that could be cannibalised for parts (the Royal Navy had forbidden the evacuation of machine guns to avoid small-boat damage).
Over 500,000 small arms rounds.
Telegraph equipment, greatcoats, blankets and uniforms.
The substantial officers’ mess stocks of food and wine brought by the 2nd Battalion the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment from India (and doubtless similar stocks brought by other regiments).  

Rubens delivered supplies on April 14th 1915.
1,800 Gewehr 1898      
4,500,000 rifle and machine gun rounds     
Two 6-centimetre guns 
Four machine guns      
1,000 rounds of 10.5-centimetre (4.1-inch) naval gun ammunition     
500 rounds of 8.8-centimetre naval gun ammunition      
3,000 rounds of 6-centimetre gun ammunition       
3,000 rounds of 3.7-centimetre gun ammunition      
One ton of Trinitroanysol explosive     
200 tents      

The Gew98s usage is supported by the mounted force (raised with captured horses) being issued with them.
Lettow-Vorbeck's own ammunition holdings were down to around 600,000 rounds by early 1915 so the Rubens did boost his chances of carrying on.

Marie delivered supplies on March 16th 1916.
Four modern 10.5-centimetre Howitzers.
Two 7.5-centimetre Mountain Guns.
2,000 Kar.98
Six machine guns with telescopic sights.
3,000,000 rounds of assorted ammunition.
200 kilograms of quinine (to fight the ever-present malaria).
50,000 pre-packed porter loads containing uniforms, food, equipment, medical supplies, and comforts such as sweets.
A quantity of decorations and military awards. These were particularly useful to von Lettow for raising morale and maintaining esprit de corps within the Schutztruppe.

After the Portuguese withdrawal from Newala, DOA, in late November 1916 the following were left behind in good order.

four new 7.6-centimetre mountain guns with ammunition.
seven machine guns and a quantity of rifles.
100,000 rounds of rifle and machine gun ammunition.
two Fiat cars.
a wireless station.
45 supply carts with horses and mules.
An unknown tonnage of provisions and medical supplies.  

After the German invasion of Portuguese East Africa in December 1917 and until the end of the war in November the following year the Schutztruppe experienced few difficulties in seizing Portuguese garrison stocks of weapons and supplies, whenever these were needed.  The rolls of trading cloth taken from these garrison posts were traded with local Africans for food, and the Africans were appreciative of this gesture as the Portuguese tended to commandeer what they wanted without payment.

German East Africa: Polizeitruppe
G. 71: ? B. 71: 5,014* (343) K. 71: 300 G. 71-84:
Gew 88: ? Gew 91: ? Kar 88: ?
Kar.98 1stp, 2ndp and Art Kar 98: 100**
Kar98AZ: 300
Gew 98: 356

* 1,290 of these adapted, that is with an extractor; 20 of the unusable guns were of this type.
** No model given; they could also have been 98 AZ carbines.

Kamerun: Schutztruppe
G. 71: ? B. 71: 1,990 K. 71: 300 G. 71-84: ?
Gew 88: ? Gew 91: ? Kar 88: ?
Kar.98 1stp, 2ndp and Art Kar 98:
Kar98AZ: 1,645
Gew 98: 380

Kamerun: Polizeitruppe
G. 71: ? B. 71: 1,550 K. 71: 76 G. 71-84: ?
Gew 88: ? Gew 91: ? Kar 88: ?
Kar.98 1stp, 2ndp and Art Kar 98: ?
Kar98AZ: 1,236
Gew 98:

Togo: Polizeitruppe
G. 71: ? B. 71: 1,624 K. 71: 238(8) G. 71-84: ?
Gew 88: ? Gew 91: ? Kar 88: 1
Kar.98 1stp, 2ndp and Art Kar 98: 17
Kar98AZ: 4
Gew 98: 9

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Re: Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Post by Bildberichter » 27 May 2022 15:00

Gew98
Image
Image

Kar98
Image
Image

Gew88
Image
Image
Image

Kar88
Image
Image
Image

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Tanzania
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Re: Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Post by Tanzania » 19 Jun 2022 04:30

Good morning MWCenker, :welcome:
Because I am not so familiar with handguns I haven't commented your summary yet.

Good morning MC,
Interesting photo; - where and when it was taken?
Unknown location in Africa.png
Cheers Holger
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“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Weapons of the Schutztruppen

Post by MWCenker » 11 Jul 2022 18:40

Thank you and sorry for the late reply. To be perfectly honest with you Tanzania. I am not 100% sure worth that photo was taken.

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