Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Imperial German Colonial and Overseas Troops

Although their numbers never reached much more than 15,000 at any time, Imperial Germany's colonial and overseas troops achieved a prominent place in the history of European colonialism. It is therefore pleasing to see that one of the latest books published by Osprey covers the history of the IMPERIAL GERMAN COLONIAL AND OVERSEAS TROOPS 1885 – 1918.


The book (ISBN 978 1 78096 164 4) has been written by Alejandro de Quesada and illustrated by Stephen Walsh, and it has 48 pages, 8 of which are colour plates.

As I have always had a particular interest in Imperial Germany's colonial and overseas troops, I am looking forward to reading this book over the next few days.

14 comments:

  1. WWI and earlier German colonial possessions, especially in Africa have been romanticized for years in film and books. Partly because of the exotic settings, but also due to the uniforms. One thing to look into game-wise is an attack on one of the German held islands such as Ponape. With an appropriate naval bombardment and then attack on the beach it would be a precursor of WWII island hopping. Or for that matter you could use historical battles such as on German New Guinea, Toma or Bita Paka.

    Of course you can also make it more exotic by using Imperial Japanese, who fought for the Allies in WWI. Japan got some nice islands and chunks of China as a result of being on the winning side. I saw a Japanese made film from the late 20s or early 30s about the attack on Port Arthur, but I can’t remember the name. It shows aerial bombing by very early Imperial aircraft on munitions trains. But I have drifted far from the subject of German colonial uniforms, haven’t I.

    The movie The African Queen shows a portion of the Anglo-German conflict in Africa. By the way, in the book they failed to destroy the German ship, unlike the film version. There are a lot of amazing stories out of Africa when it comes to the German colonial army.

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  2. CoastConFan,

    My particular favourite is German East Africa. The campaign waged by General von Lettow-Vorbeck is a classic and the antics of the Royal Navy's expedition to destroy the German gunboats on Lake Tanganyika are almost unbelievable!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Another movie based on theWW1 African campaign is "Shout at the Devil" with Lee Marvin and Roger Moore.

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  4. I always thought that Commander Spicer-Simson's naval expedition would make a great movie. In a country of eccentrics even he stood out amongst them!

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  5. Jhnptrqn,

    I have the film on DVD ... and every time that I watch it I marvel at the reconstruction/mock-up that they created of SMS Blücher!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Jhnptrqn,

    The National Geographic did make a DVD about the Spicer-Simpson Expedition entitled THE JUNGLE NAVY.

    It was not a Hollywood blockbuster ... but a drama documentary that told the story of the extraordinary exploits of the people who took part. Well worth seeing if you can get hold of a copy.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Hi Bob,

    Oh yes, oh very yes indeed! This will most certainly be acquired in due course! Off the top of my head could slouch hat wearing Imperial Yeomanry double for the Schutztruppen with a different paint job?

    All the best,

    DC

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  8. David Crook,

    It is definitely a book that will appeal to you.

    Any figure with a slouch hat that is turn up on the right side of the head should be suitable for a paint 'conversion' into Schutztruppen.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

    Very true ... and it has already given me ideas!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. I'm afraid the reality of German colonial rule was pretty bloody. Did you read Isabel Hull's Absolute Destruction on the German war in SW Africa 1904-7? Not nice.

    ANother tip if you read German might be Guido Knopp's Das Weltreich der Deutschen. Nicely illustrated history of German colonies in SW and E Africa and the Pacific

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  11. J de Jong,

    I know that German colonial rule in Africa was by no means 'enlightened', and that they were never averse to using overwhelming military power to ensure that the natives were kept well and truly in line.

    Thanks for the book titles. I will certainly look out for them if I can.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. I'm afraid I sounded a bit too smart ass there, that was not the intention.

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  13. J de Jong,

    That is not how I read your original comment. I assumed that you were making a very valid point about the way that the Germans behaved in their colonies.

    In my opinion you were being informative and certainly not smart ass in any way whatsoever ... but thanks for your apology.

    All the best,

    Bob

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