Help date this photo, please

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Help date this photo, please

Post by les1234 » 06 Nov 2014 01:39

First of all, hello to the members here, I've lurked quite a bit before, but never posted.
Some of us were discussing this photo of a German Sailor on another site: ... 1258135942

Trying to date it, one of the members there is into the history of watches, thinking it's at least after the late 1880's. I'm no expert on German Navy uniforms, so I can't help by the uniform. Rifle is an 1871 Mauser, how long did the navy keep the single shots in service? Also, background looks like a dugout of some sort, could it be as late as early WW1, taken in the trenches?

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Chris Dale
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Re: Help date this photo, please

Post by Chris Dale » 09 Nov 2014 15:22


Hi Les,

It's good to have lurker posting here. I must admit I too lurked here long before joining up and posting. Come on out all you lurkers!

That's a difficult one to date as naval uniforms didn't change much from 1870s until the end of Empire... I would think the rifle would date it to the earlier end of that scale but not 100% sure... I'll post back in the next few days if I find more on this one.


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Re: Help date this photo, please

Post by danebrog » 09 Nov 2014 22:17

Hi Les
the picture in question most probably shows a Marine at Flanders
Have a glance at:
then click "WK1 Fotos" and then " Marineinfanterie und Schutztruppen".

There you´ll find your posted picture ans also another Marine with a Gewehr 88, obviously at the same dugout.
Both wear naval uniforms, so I would assume the picture was taken early in the war and these guys could been from "Marinekorps Flandern" or from the very first "Seebatallione" there :idea:

Compare the uniforms with this pic: ... /lightbox/
It was taken at 26 September 1915

The Imperial Marineinfanterie had the Gewehr M 71, Gewehr M88 and even numerous captured Russian Mosin-Nagant Rifles at the beginning of the Great War. Although the Imperial Navy tried to change to the famous Gewehr 98 at the outbreak of war these were scarce as the Army demanded the lions share. So the Marine must improvise and took every rifle available to outfit the hastily formed Seebataillone and Reserve Units.

Hope this helps a little

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