German Colonial Officers 1914

Discussions on all aspects of the German Colonies and Overseas Expeditions. Hosted by Chris Dale.
Gwynn Compton
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Post by Gwynn Compton » 03 Nov 2005 10:22

I'm surprised we don't have any German Samoan officials pictured here so far such as Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Solf.

Given google is down at the moment, does anyone have any photos of him or other German Samoa officials?

Gwynn

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Reichskolonialamt
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Post by Reichskolonialamt » 03 Nov 2005 11:33

Dr. Solf? No problem.

If you are searching famous officials or officers, you will be succesfull here:
http://www.stub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankfurt.de
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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 03 Nov 2005 12:53

Hi Peter,
I had heard that Detzner had exagerrated his story, but made it up entirely? I guess it's possible. That's one of the great things about history, just when you think you're getting to the bottom of a mystery and even bigger one turns up.
Surely if he had surrendered early on the Australians would have a record of him? And surely he would have been kept with the other prisoners from New Guinea, and they would have given the lie when his book came out? Very odd.
Just because the Australian official records don't mention him doesn't mean he didn't exist out there in the jungle. They probably weren't aware of him. I don't think he ran a guerilla campaign like Lettow-Vorbeck, he just wandered round evading capture (and possibly detection), and if he surrendered after the war, that's why there be no record of him in the war. As we can't prove a negative, we may never find the truth behind this one.
The battle of Tanga isn't mentioned in the British Times official history of the war....doesn't mean it didn't happen!
Cheers
Chris

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Scarlett
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Post by Scarlett » 03 Nov 2005 17:00

Peter,

the best contemporary German source about all aspects of the German possessions iin
the South Sea is:

Hermann Josef Hiery
Die Deutsche Südsee 1884-1914

Ferdinand Schönigh Verlag
Paderborn, München Wien Zürich
2001
880 pg.

On pages 815 and 816 Hiery reports about this episode.
He confirms, that Detzner staid in the bush during all the war, but he was dependent on a continuous
support by the missionaries.

The Neuendettelsauer missionaries were very active in this area during all the war, they made
expeditions and erected new stations in the area, not along the coast, but far in the
hinterland.
Cut off from their German sources they were supported by the Immanuel Synod-affiliates in Australia
and the Iowa Synod in the US.
It was only after the Versailles-treaty, that the Australians wanted to close them down. The head of the Iowa-Synod,
Präses Richter and the Australian Pastor Theile, who had coordinated the support for the missions during the war
from Brisbane, could finally, with the help of the great Australian churches, convince the Australian
government, to leave them working. But they had to be transferred to the Lutheran Church of Australia.
From May 4, 1921 they became 'Lutheran Mission New Guinea'.
Now the missionaries, some of whom had worked in New Guinea for more than 20 years without a holiday,
could for the first time since 1914 go for a rest to Australia, convinced, that they could return to
their work in New Guinea.

About Detzner Hiery writes, that his gross exaggerations - he for instance claimed to have crossed New Guinea -
had led to a general assessment of his tales as unreliable and untrustworthy. Hiery holds that the realistic
background of his story is up to now not sufficiently recognized.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 04 Nov 2005 06:50

The Australian Official History, Volume X - The Australians at Rabaul can be found online here:

http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/chapter.asp?volume=11

Interesting that Holmes allowed parole for all Germans except for regular military officers and regular seamen..

All German reservists,Landwehr etc were allowed to return to their plantations,work.

German Civil servants and Police officers were not classified as Pows but were interned in Australia as "enemy aliens".Their role as adminstrators were taken over by Australians.

The 130 Germans or so captured/interned in Australia (resulting from the South Seas campaigns) are not listed individually but I'm chasing up a list.

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Reichskolonialamt
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Hauptmann Hermann Detzner

Post by Reichskolonialamt » 04 Nov 2005 13:32

Detzner seems to have been a kind of measurement-specialist in the army.

In 1912 there were 2 "measurement-expedtions" in Cameroon to locate the new borders after the Marocco-Treaty. Detzner(at this time Oberleutnant) was member of the German-British "Vermarkungsexpedition Jola-Crossfluss" Oct.1912 - April.1913.

In NG, Detzner was member of another "measerement-expedition" - this time to find the borders in the south of Kaiser-Wilhelms-Land to British-NG. During this, the first world war startet...
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Scarlett
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Post by Scarlett » 07 Nov 2005 10:53

Not 1914, but some centuries earlier.

Otto Friedrich von der Groeben
* 16.04.1656 Napratten near Heilsberg
† 30.06.1728 Marienwerder

On January 1,1683 a Brandenburg expedition of two ships led by Otto Friedrich von der Groeben, arrived in the Gold Coast, and started to build a strong fort between Axim and Cape of Three Points, which was named Gross-Friedrichsburg.

The fort was to be the headquarters of Brandenburg in Africa, it was garrisoned at the beginning by 91 European men and 130 Africans.

Otto Friedrich von der Groeben returned to Europe in 1684.

In 1718 the last German governor, Charles Dubois, left Gross- Friedrichsburg and transferred the protection of the colony to Jan Conny, a black ally.

In 1720 a treaty was concluded between the King of Prussia and the Dutch, and all the African forts were sold to the Dutch, but the African ally Jan Conny, aka "The Black Prussian", refused to surrender Gross-Friedrichsburg, claiming to be adminstrator on behalf of the king of Prussia and giving control to the Dutch only in the presence of Prussian ships. He defeated the Dutch, when they tried to take the fort.

Only in 1725 the Dutch captured Fort Gross-Friedrichsburg and renamed it Fort Hollandia. Jan Coony retreated into the bush, taking the old Brandenburg flag with him.
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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 13 Nov 2005 01:54


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Scarlett
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Post by Scarlett » 23 Nov 2005 17:56

In front on the pic is

Effendi Mitambo of the 11. Feldkompanie, one of the very few black officers of the Schutztruppe fuer Deutsch-Ostafrika.
Left is Bet-Schausch/Sergeant Hamiss.
Ranks of the black NCOs were Ombasha/Gefreiter, Schausch/Unteroffizier, Bet-Schausch/Sergeant, Sol/Feldwebel.The pic was probably taken 1917.

The effendis were superior to all askaris including the black NCOs,
but not the German soldiers.

Nevertheless the Effendis enjoyed a very high standing by the German soldiers.

Can anybody give details about Mitambo's further life?
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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 23 Nov 2005 21:20

Hi Scarlett,
Thanks for posting that great photo. I'd never seen a photo of an Effendi before- I believe there were only two i the Schutztruppe in 1914. If Mitabo was one, who was the other?
On the website at http://www.schutztruppe.de a plate shows the Effendi's uniform. Has anyone got a photo of this uniform being worn? Mitabo wears a later irregular style of uniform by 1917.
Cheers
Chris
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Scarlett
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Post by Scarlett » 24 Nov 2005 11:23

I don't know the names of the two Effendis, who had this rank in 1914 already.

The three I know of were promoted during the war:
Effendi Said Hassan, 4. Schuetzenkompanie, who was killed in action during the battle of Mahiwa October 17-19, 1917.
Effendi Juma Mursal, Abteilung Goering, who got his promotion for his performance as Patrouillenfuehrer (patrol-leader) in the fights at Kidundahoehe on June 8, 1916 and was given in British custody November 1917 severely ill (liver abscess)
and
Effendi Mitambo, 11. Feldkompanie, who according to my sources was Sol/Feldwebel at the outbreak of the war.
Date of and reason for promotion unknown to me, as well as any further information.

The great esteem of the German soldiers for the Effendis is shown by a quote from the book "Unter drei Gouverneuren" (1938) by Oberleutnant d.L.II Wilhelm Methner, Leader of the 4. Schuetzenkompanie, in the four-days-battle of Mahiwa.
He writes:
"None of the losses suffered in those days has moved me more than the death of Effendi Hassan, one of the few black NCOs, who were promoted officer by the commander (Lettow-Vorbeck) for their incomparable loyalty and bravery. For years this quiet and taciturn man had been one of the firmest pillars of my company; he was a person of utmost loyalty and discipline, a soldier I could rely on in every situation, be it the most difficult and severe. I mourned for many comrades, but I'm even today not ashamed to say, that, sitting alone in my grass-hut in the field-hospital, I cried my eyes out for Effendi Hassan."

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 24 Nov 2005 13:09


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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 24 Nov 2005 14:24

Thanks for the great info on the Effendis, Scarlett.
Cheers
Chris

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Scarlett
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Post by Scarlett » 25 Nov 2005 17:13

Who can identify these officers?

Pic was taken either before the outbreak of the war or during the first time of the war.
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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 27 Nov 2005 06:09

I'm curious if one of them is Lettow-Vorbeck's second in seniority in 1914,Major Keppler.

Keppler was killed in action at Jassin in 1915.

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