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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Beau Geste Digest

It's been quite quiet on the BGD front lately, and certainly quite a long time since I last posted anything about the company and its products. Well, here is a summary of a newsletter that landed in my inbox the other day, direct from Ana Donzino at BG

Hello!
I'm finally back with the new stuff, and so proud of them. We are now settled in our new studio by the ocean and producing again with renewed strength and enthusiasm. The long expected German Camel Corps sets are ready, and looking so much better in person! I can't get my new camera to take as good pictures as the old one did. I've made my best with these


Set 333 - Camel Corps, German Schutztruppe, Tropical Uniform, South West Africa, WWI

Set 334 - Camel Corps Sergeant and Trumpeter



Set 335 - Camel Corps Band, German Schutztruppe, Tropical Uniform, South West Africa, WWI

All eight figures pictured above are also being produced wearing their winter uniform


Set 338 - Camel Corps Band wearing their winter uniform

The colony of German South West Africa (modern Namibia) was founded in 1883 by Adolf L├╝deritz and was recognized as a German Protectorate in 1884. Its mostly arid farming land had attracted 13,000 German settlers by 1910, the recent discovery of diamonds adding to the potential of the colony. The history of German South West Africa was marred by three major rebellions and the harsh way in which they were crushed.
After Germany's defeat in the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 stripped Germany of all her colonies and overseas possessions. German South West Africa was awarded to the Dominion of South Africa




When war broke out in the Summer of 1914 the colonies were left to their own devices to defend themselves with no real hope of reinforcements from Germany due to the blockade enforced by the Entente navies. One by one, each of the colonies surrendered to vastly superior Entente forces; Togo, New Guinea, Tsingtao and Samoa in 1914, German South West Africa in 1915 and Cameroon in 1916. It was only the Schutztruppe of German East Africa that were still fighting at the time of the Armistice in November 1918




The larger German colonies (German South West Africa, German East Africa and Cameroon) had their own regular colonial troops known as "Schutztruppe". A colony was referred to in German as a "Schutzgebeit" (or literally a Protectorate), so the soldiers stationed there were referred to as "Schutztruppe" (literally meaning Protection-troop). The Schutztruppe were the backbone of defense and counter-rebellion forces of the three main African colonies. In German East Africa and Cameroon the Schutztruppe consisted of German Officers and NCOs with African other ranks. The Schutztruppe of German South West Africa consisted exclusively of German officers and other ranks




Unlike the Schutztruppe of German East Africa and Cameroon, which relied on large numbers of Africans for the rank and file, the Schutztruppe of German South West Africa consisted entirely of German troops, employed as elite mounted infantry. All the officers and NCOs, and most of the other ranks, had previous experience in the regular German army and had usually volunteered for overseas service. During the Herero Rebellion the Schutztruppe were vastly expanded under General Lothar von Trotha by the addition of almost 15,000 new troops from Germany


More information about German colonial forces can be found by taking a look at the following website, http://www.germancolonialuniforms.co.uk/

 The 1914 peacetime strength of the South West African Schutztruppe was approximately 90 German Officers with 1,800 German other ranks formed into 9 mounted infantry companies ("Feldkompagnien"), the 7th of which was camel mounted, and 3 artillery batteries 


In addition to the announcement of the release of these rather handsome looking German Camel Corps figure sets, Ana also makes mention of the fact that from now on BG figures will be available in the UK exclusively from Barry [pictured below] at Piers Christian




Two photos of the PC stand taken at the last London Toy Soldier Show


Until next time, happy hunting!

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