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Schutztruppe were the German defence troops in Africa from the late 1800s to 1918. The army consisted of European officers, field commanders, and medics, with the regular troopers drawn from the local population.[1]

There were three separate Schutztruppe command chains, one each for the west, east, and southwest German colonies in Africa.

West African Schutztruppe

The West African Division guarded German Cameroon and German Togoland. There were twelve companies totaling 1600 men in Cameroon.[2]

East African Schutztruppe

The East African Division had 14 companies totaling 2500 men. The East African Division was headquartered in Dar es Salaam.[3]

Southwest African Schutztruppe

The Southwest African Schutztruppe consisted of twelve companies totalling 1,500 men. A single unit of non-local unit was raised as tensions between the Germans and the Africans grew so high that local Africans would not sign up. Soldiers from as far away as Germany and Austria served in the Southwest African Schutztruppe.[4]


  1. German colonial encyclopaedia, 1920, volume III, S. 321 FF.
  2. Thomas Morlang: Askari und Fitafita. 'Farbige' Söldner in den deutsche Kolonien, Berlin 2008
  3. Werner Kopf: The German colonial force 1889/1918, Dörfler publishing house
  4. Wolfgang Reith: The command authorities of the imperial colonial force in the homeland into German soldier yearbook 2000 and 2001 (2 parts) sign publishing house, Munich