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Imperial East Asian Regiments (Germany)

Kaiserliche Ostasiatische Regimenter

Last modified: 2013-12-06 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: east asian infantry regiment | east asian cavalry regiment |
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East Asian Cavalry Regimental Guidon
Ostasiatische Kavallerieregimenter

[Imperial German East Asian Cavalry] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 Jul 2012

It is a guidon held in style of Prussian Cuirassiers' guidons. The sheet is red. The wedges are white - black -white with converging lines. All ornaments like wreath, fringes and cyphers are golden. The disc is orange bearing the imperial eagle topped by a red scroll. Above the disc is the Imperial crown in natural colour.
Source: "Fahnen- und Standartenträger", Cigarette Album of Manufacturer "Yosma", Bremen 1932; p.26, image no.11
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 Jul 2012

East Asian Infantry Regimental Colour
Ostasiatische Infanterieregimenter

[Imperial German East Asian Infantry] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 Jul 2012

This was one of the very few 1871-1918 German units which was "national" rather than belonging to any of the constituent states. Neubecker 1933 contains a very detailed text plus three images, two of Seabattalions Colours, those of the 1st and 3rd Sea Battalion - plus one of a swallowtailed Reiter-Seebataillon Standarte or Colour of a Marine Cavalry Battalion - and one of the East Asian infantry regiments' colours. The latter I thought was a different branch of service but having read the long explanation on the development of these colours I am not quite sure of the relation between them.
Santiago Dotor, 11 Dec 2001

Source: Neubecker 1933, pp. 4 and 5, ills. 4, 5 and 7.

As the Boxer Rebellion is a particular obsession of mine I was interested in what it said and asked a German friend, Hildegard Bech, to translate it for me. This is what she produced, slightly edited by me:

"As was common practice abroad, there were, with the navy, trained troops for the land service, the marine infantry, which had their place in the ranking of the army as well as in the ranking of the navy. The appearance of the flags of these sea battalions (...) are similar to the Prussian guards flags, as they were well known at that time. (...)The main differences are only that instead of the Prussian armed war eagle there was the Imperial eagle in the form, which was used by all Imperial authorities, and the "W" (Wilhelm) in the corners and at the top of the flag is not intertwined with a "R" (Rex=King), but with tan "I" (Imperator= Kaiser).

The royal crowns are also replaced by the new Imperial crown. Soon after Kaiser Wilhelm II's accession to power the Imperial crown was given an improved shape, which served as model for the painting of the two Sea Battalion flags awarded. (...) On these two flags a little "II" is added to the WI (Wilhelm Imperator). The poles are white. As expected the banderole shows the imperial colours but in the unusual juxtaposition White-Black-Red-Black-White according to the model of the ribbon of the war medal of 1870/71. Opposite to that the banderole of the newly created colours of 1900 of ordinary German troops is, like the Prussian, silver with three colour stripes, of which the one in the middle is red instead of black.

These colours were made for six infantry regiments and a cavalry regiment, which were composed of members of all German states and which made up the German expedition corps, that was to punish the murder of the German envoy in Peking. After the suppression of the so called "Boxer Rebellion", the flags and the pennant were brought to the armoury in Berlin. The flags, which were identical, differed from the new Sea Battalion flags by the flames in the corner in the Imperial colours. Furthermore they differed due to regulations that had been applied to all new Prussian colours since 1890, which had to be considered for renewals or bestowals and which applied to these colours, too. Therefore their poles were black.

Note on Images: My images are mainly based upon the description in Schlawe 1913, the images in Neubecker 1933 and Lezius 1935. I used Ernst-Heinrich Schmidt: "FeldzeichenTeil I Das Königlich Preußische Gardekorps", Rastatt 1982, being volume 3 of the series "Schriften des Wehrgeschichtlichen Museums im Schloss Rastatt" for details like wreaths, grenades etc. -
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 Jul 2012

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