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German-East-Africa 1888/89
 

Markus Bodeux

 

The occurrences in the German Colony Deutschostafrika between August 1888 and May 1890 lead the largest military action of the Imperial German Navy before WW I. These occurrences are commonly known as the „East African up rise“ or „Arabian up rise“.

In August 1885 the sultan of Zanzibar was compelled to by the German cruiser-squadron under the command of Konteradmiral Knorr, to admit the imperial German protectorate over the German acquisitions in inner-East Africa. The sultan could accept this treaty, because his and the chiefs territories on the East African coast and the river deltas were not touched. In this area flourished the slave-trade, well organized by the Arabs, and brought prosperity to the sultan and the chiefs.

On April 28th 1888 a delegation of the German-East African-Company could buy territorial rights in the coastal region from the successor of the sultan. He got a lot of money and participation in the coming profits.
This evolution awaked rumors and resistance under the Arabian slave-traders, because this deal was made without them. They were afraid to loose their economical base. At least 18 coastal settlements should come under the control of the German East African company, but until September 1888 the company was driven away by the Arabs from all coastal places, except Bagamoyo and Dar-es-Salaam.
The german Kreuzergeschwader (overseas-cruising-squadron), since August 31st 1888 under the command of Konteradmiral Deinhard, came in action in September 1888 and tried to force the Arabs to retreat from this places by landing operations and artillery gunning.

The situation escalated and the fight of the German Kanonenboot (gunboat) MOEWE at Tange on September 5th and 6th 1888 counts as start of the campaign.
Meantime, the German government had convinced
the governments of Great Britain, Portugal and Italy that the military action was only necessary to crush the slave-trade.
These states agreed to hang blockade over the East African Coast.
 
The blockading-sections of the ships
of the German Kreuzergeschwader, end of 1888
 


 

 

The intention of this article is to list all members of the imperial German navy, which participated in this action and so received the Colonial Commemorative Medal with the clasp „Deutschostafrika 1888/89“.
Also the military decoration, awarded for this campaign, will be mentioned. A detailed explanation of the many different actions and fights would fill a book.

The military action in East Africa was divided in two parts, because not all the participants stayed in the theatre for at least three years (1888-1890).

With the Highest Order of the Cabinet of November, 19th 1889 the period from the first fight of the MOEWE on September, 6th 1888 until the ending of the international blockade on July, 10th 1889 as a campaign and wartime service.

The crews of the following ships:

- Kreuzerfregatte LEIPZIG
- Kreuzerkorvette SOPHIE
- Kreuzerkorvette CAROLA
- Kleiner Kreuzer MÖWE
- Kleiner Kreuzer SCHWALBE
- Aviso PFEIL
- and the staff of the Kreuzergeschwader (on board LEIPZIG)

which were present in the theatre of operations during this period, received 4 years involved credit for their pension. In the foundation document for the Colonial Commemorative Medal is concerning the clasp „Deutschostafrika 1888/89“ expressly referred to this order of cabinet to the crews of these ships.

The crew of Kreuzerkorvette OLGA is not mentioned in this relation, although the ship was present on the East African coast in September 1888 and even boarded a landing detachment. For the crew of the OLGA the year 1888 counted as double wartime service because of their action in Samoa in December 1888. This is declared in the same Order of Cabinet.
Nothing else, the crew of the OLGA could also receive the clasp „DEUTSCHOSTAFRIKA 1888/89““, so that on the medal bars of this persons the clasps:

DEUTSCH-OSTAFRIKA 1888/89
SAMOA 1888

 

will appear.

On board of the mentioned ships, including OLGA, served during this campaign the following officers, naval engineers, doctors paymasters and further about 1550 seaman and NCOs:

Achenwall Obermaschinist MÖWE
Alberts Unterleutnant zur See CAROLA
Arendt, Dr. Marineassistenzarzt 1. Kl. SCHWALBE
Arimond, Dr. Marineassistenzarzt 2. Kl. LEIPZIG
Bachem Leutnant zur See SOPHIE
Back Unterleutnant zur See SOPHIE
Bassenge, Dr. Marineassistenzarzt 1. Kl. MÖWE
Behm Unterleutnant zur See LEIPZIG
Benzler Leutnant zur See CAROLA
Berger Leutnant zur See SOPHIE bis 18.12.88
Block Leutnant zur See PFEIL
Bode Unterleutnant zur See CAROLA ab 25.3.89
Borgnis Leutnant zur See SCHWALBE
Bredow, von Leutnant zur See SOPHIE
Brinkmann Leutnant zur See CAROLA
Bröker Kapitänleutnant CAROLA, 1. Offizier ab 2.4.89
Bruch Leutnant zur See PFEIL
Capelle Kapitänleutnant LEIPZIG ab 1.2.89
Coßmann Kapitänleutnant LEIPZIG bis 1.2.89
Deinhard Konteradmiral Chef des Kreuzergeschwaders
Donner Korvettenkapitän LEIPZIG, 1. Offizier bis 16.12.88
Draeger Korvettenkapitän LEIPZIG,1.O.ab 16.12.88,PFEIL Kdt.ab 2.4.89
Eckardt Leutnant zur See OLGA
Elvers Unterleutnant zur See LEIPZIG
Erhardt, Freiherr von Korvettenkapitän OLGA, Kommandant ab 18.9.88
Ettel Marinepfarrer Geschwaderpfarrer ab 13.3.89
Feldmann Marineunterzahlmeister MÖWE bis 1.12.88
Ferber Kapitänleutnant MÖWE, 1. Offizier bis 18.12.88
Fonseca-Wollheim, da Kapitänleutnant CAROLA, 1.O.,LEIPZIG, 1.O. 2.4.89 bis 2.5.89
Fromm Unterleutnant zur See MÖWE
Gerstung Leutnant zur See SCHWALBE
Gotzhein Unterleutnant zur See LEIPZIG ab 25.3.89
Gröben, von der Kapitänleutnant SCHWALBE, 1. Offizier
Groppe, Dr. Marinestabsarzt Geschwaderarzt (auf LEIPZIG)
Gühler Leutnant zur See LEIPZIG
Gülich Kapitänleutnant Stab des Kreuzergeschwaders, Flaggleutnant
Haeseler, von Kapitänleutnant SOPHIE, 1. Offizier ab 1.2.89
Hartog Korvettenkapitän OLGA, ab 18.9.88 SOPHIE, Kdt. bis 26.3.89
Heinrich XXVI., Prinz Reuss Leutnant zur See CAROLA bis 13.12.88
Herbing Korvettenkapitän PFEIL, Kommandant, ab 2.4.89 SOPHIE, Kdt.
Heuschmann Unterleutnant zur See SOPHIE bis 1.2.89
Hirschberg Korvettenkapitän SCHWALBE, Kommandant
Hoffmann Marineunterzahlmeister CAROLA ab 1.2.89
Jäckel Kapitänleutnant  OLGA, 1. Offizier
Jahn Marineunterzahlmeister SCHWALBE
Koch I. Leutnant zur See CAROLA
Koch II. Leutnant zur See MÖWE bis 13.3.89
Kohlhauer Korvettenkapitän SOPHIE, Kommandant bis 18.9.88
Kruse Marinezahlmeisteraspirant MÖWE ab 1.12.88
Landfermann Kapitänleutnant SOPHIE, 1. Offizier
Lietzmann Leutnant zur See MÖWE
Meier II., Johannes Leutnant zur See LEIPZIG
Mischke Unterleutnant zur See LEIPZIG
Möller, von Leutnant zur See LEIPZIG
Nieten Unterleutnant zur See PFEIL
Oxé Unterleutnant zur See LEIPZIG ab 25.3.89
Plüddemann Kapitän zur See LEIPZIG, Kommandant ab 19.2.89
Raven, von Korvettenkapitän CAROLA, Kommandant bis 2.4.89
Renvers, Dr. Marinestabsarzt SOPHIE
Riedel Korvettenkapitän MÖWE, Kommandant
Ruge, Dr. Marineassistenzarzt 1. Kl. PFEIL
Runge Maschinenunteringenieur SOPHIE, ab 27.2.89 CAROLA
Scheer Leutnant zur See SOPHIE
Scheibel Leutnant zur See CAROLA ab 18.12.88
Schelle Unterleutnant zur See SCHWALBE
Schmidt I. Marinezahlmeister Geschwaderzahlmeister (auf LEIPZIG)
Schmidt III. Marineunterzahlmeister PFEIL ab 26.4.89
Schneider Korvettenkapitän LEIPZIG, 1. Offizier ab 2.5.89
Schrader Unterleutnant zur See SOPHIE ab 25.3.89
Schulz Kapitänleutnant PFEIL, 1. Offizier
Schulz Zahlmeisteraspirant SOPHIE ab 25.3.89
Schütze Maschinenunteringenieur CAROLA, ab 27.2.89 SOPHIE
Seydell Maschineningenieur LEIPZIG
Stechow Unterleutnant zur See MÖWE ab 13.3.89
Strauch Korvettenkapitän LEIPZIG, Kommandant bis 19.2.89
Stromeyer Leutnant zur See SOPHIE ab 18.12.88
Studnitz, von Unterleutnant zur See CARLA
Sturtz Marinezahlmeister SOPHIE bis 13.3.89
Tapken Unterleutnant zur See LEIPZIG
Thyen Unterleutnant zur See LEIPZIG
Valette Korvettenkapitän CAROLA, Kommandant ab 26.3.89
Wangemann Marinepfarrer Geschwaderpfarrer bis 13.3.89
Wapnewski Marineunterzahlmeister CAROLA bis 1.2.89
Weiß, Dr. Marinestabsarzt CAROLA
Woesner Marineunterzahlmeister PFEIL, ab 26.4.89 SOPHIE
Wuthmann Leutnant zur See LEIPZIG

For participation and merit in the different military actions the following persons received Prussian decorations:

Deinhard Konteradmiral 15.12.88 Roter Adler-Orden 2. Klasse m. Eichenlaub u. Schwertern
Ferber Kapitänleutnant 15.12.88 Roter Adler-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Landfermann Kapitänleutnant 22.1.89 Roter Adler-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Meier II., Johannes Leutnant zur See 19.3.89 Roter Adler-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Renvers, Dr. Marinestabsarzt 5.3.89 Roter Adler-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Bröker Kapitänleutnant 8.7.89 Roter Adler-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Gröben, von der Kapitänleutnant 8.7.89 Roter Adler-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Weiß, Dr. Marinestabsarzt 8.7.89 Roter Adler-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Groppe, Dr. Marineoberstabsarzt 19.6.89 Roter Adler-Orden 4. Kl. m. Schwertern am weißen Bande mit schwarzer Einfassung
Deinhard Konteradmiral 1.11.89 Kronen-Orden, Stern zur 2. Klasse mit Schwertern
Donner Korvettenkapitän 15.12.88 Kronen-Orden 3. Kl. m. Schwertern
Hirschberg Korvettenkapitän 13.5.89 Kronen-Orden 3. Kl. m. Schwertern
Meier II. Leutnant zur See 15.12.88 Kronen-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Wuthmann Leutnant zur See 15.12.88 Kronen-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Bachem Leutnant zur See 5.3.89 Kronen-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Scheer Leutnant zur See 5.3.89 Kronen-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Arendt, Dr. Marineassistenzarzt1.Kl. 8.7.89 Kronen-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Brinkmann Leutnant zur See 8.7.89 Kronen-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Gühler Leutnant zur See 8.7.89 Kronen-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern
Koch I. Leutnant zur See 8.7.89 Kronen-Orden 4. Klasse m. Schwertern


Konteradmiral Gühler, at that time on board LEIPZIG wearing the Kronenorden 4th class with swords, and, after the China Commemorative Medal, the Colonial Commemorative Medal without clasp. Following the regulation, Gühler received the Kronenorden 2nd class with sword at the ring (suspension), awarded January 20th 1907.

Korvettenkapitän Hirschberg wears on this photograph from 1892 beneath the Kronenorden 3rd class with swords the Prussian live-saving medal, the red-eagle-order 4th class, the service cross, the commemorative war-medal 1870/71 and the 2nd step of the 2nd class of the order „the shining star“ of Zanzibar.

 

The decorations were send to Africa so fast as possible, that means with the next outgoing steamer or warship. Korvettenkapitän Hirschberg received his red-eagle-order 4th class, awarded January 20th 1889, already on February 19th 1889. In his memoirs he expressed the happiness and also considerations:

„......real it's a pity, that i now already possess the red-eagle-order, because may be now is the right time to earn this decoration with swords. So, my chances for a decoration with swords are smaller.“

What a great happiness when, in spite of his considerations, the Kronenorden 3rd class with swords arrived in East Africa:

„.......on Whit Monday the French post steamer passed by, and in the evening Borgnis came with the boat from Zanzibar and he brought the post, also the post from the at the same time arriving French steamer.
With many friendly letters arrived the Kronenorden 3rd class with swords. You can imagine my great inner happiness ! The decoration themselves arrived, the very nice emailed cross with the crossed swords which can only be earned under enemies fire) ant the black and white striped ribbon. The highest order of the cabinet says:

„....regarding the storm and conquer of the fortified camp of chief Burschiri near Bagamoyo on may 8th 1889, i award the commanding officer of the participating crews form my ships LEIPZIG, CAROLA and SCHWALBE, Korvettenkapitän Hirschberg, the royal Kronenorden 3rd class with swords and send the decoration beside. Further supposes for the award of decorations i will consider after receiving the reports.

Wilhelm.IR“

In a very sad case, the expedition and out handing of a decoration had been still just in time. Korvettenkapitän Donner leaded the landing on September 22nd 1888 at Bagamoyo. His dress was completely wet and further on he was punished by fever and shivering. On December 16th 1888 he was send home for recovery. His Kronenorden 3rd class with swords reached Donner on January 22nd 1889  in Aden on his death-bed. He died on January 26th 1889.

Kapitänleutnant Lanfermann nevertheless couldn't yet receive his Kronenorden 4th class. The decoration was awarded on January 22nd 1889. After a landing operation near Dar-es-Salaam on January 25th back on board SOPHIE, Lanfermann suddenly was punished by a strong headache and heat waves, some minutes later he died by heatstroke.

Kapitänleutnant Lanfermann  Korvettenkapitän Donner

Also very interesting was the kind of awarding the Star with swords of the Kronenorden 2nd class to Konteradmiral Deinhard.
Kaiser  Wilhelm spend the autumn 1889 in the Mediterranean sea, to take part in the wedding ceremony of the greek royal house. He ordered Konteradmiral Deinhard to sail with the Leipzig to the Mediterranean sea and on November 6th the Kaiser congratulated Deinhard on board of his Ironclad KAISER near the island Mitylene.
He presented Konteradmiral Deinhard the decoration with the words:

„ ...thank you in my name and in the name of the German people for that what you have done for us in Africa.“

Additionally on November 17th 1889 the following Highest Order of the Cabinet was published:

 

Beside the decorations awarded to the Officers, the Militärehrenzeichen 2nd class was awarded to the following seamen and NCOs:

Arndt Matrose 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Aust Matrose 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Bahrs Obermatrose 15.12.88 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Blaschneck Bootsmannsmaat 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Braack Steuermannsmaat 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Danielis Matrose 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Eismann Matrose 15.12.88 Militärehrenzeichen 2. klasse
Gerhardt Bootsmannsmaat 15.12.88 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Heinig Obermatrose 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Jahnke Obermatrose 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Klebba Matrose 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Klein Matrose 15.12.88 Militärehrenzeichen 2. klasse
Kornetzky Matrose 15.12.88 Militärehrenzeichen 2. klasse
Lack Obermatrose 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Last Obermatrose 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Leiß Bootsmannsmaat 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Liebold Oberbootsmannsmaat 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Melzer Feuerwerksmaat 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Möhnert Obermatrose 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Pauly Obersteuermannsgast 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Puhlmann Obermatrose 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Samm Bootsmannsmaat 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Scharfe Oberlazarettgehilfe 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Schausch Chomba wadi Hamit Patrouillenführer 26.3.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Schneider Matrose 15.12.88 Militärehrenzeichen 2. klasse
Sieben Matrose 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Spieß Matrose 15.12.88 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Spulwig Lazarettgehilfe 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Strohbusch Bootsmannsmaat 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Taddag Obersteuermannsgast 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Toll Matrose 15.12.88 Militärehrenzeichen 2. klasse
Valtix Bootsmannsmaat 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Voigt Matrose 24.9.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Voigt Bootsmannsmaat 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Wagner Matrose 15.12.88 Militärehrenzeichen 2. klasse
Weischnur Matrose 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Wenzlaff Oberbootsmannsmaat 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Werner Bootsmannsmaat 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Wulf Matrose 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Wünsch Feuerwerksmaat 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse
Zumkowski Matrose 8.7.89 Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse


Landungszug S.M.S. SCHWALBE in Bagamoyo 1889

 

The following seamen and NCOs received a Highest Commendation (Allerhöchste Belobigung):

Bargmann Obermatrose 8.7.89 Allerhöchste Belobigung
Bukowski Obermatrose 8.7.89 Allerhöchste Belobigung
Donius Matrose 8.7.89 Allerhöchste Belobigung
Ebeling Matrose 8.7.89 Allerhöchste Belobigung
Koernich Obermatrose 8.7.89 Allerhöchste Belobigung
Reuter Obermatrose 8.7.89 Allerhöchste Belobigung
Spieß Matrose 8.7.89 Allerhöchste Belobigung
Ziemer Matrose 8.7.89 Allerhöchste Belobigung
Zimmermann Bootsmannsmaat 8.7.89 Allerhöchste Belobigung

Statistic of awards, given for the military operations of the imperial German navy
in East Africa 1888/89:

 

Roter Adler-Orden 2. Klasse mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern

1

Roter Adler-Orden 4. Klasse mit Schwertern

7

Roter Adler-Orden 4. Klasse mit Schwerternam weißen Band mit schwarzer Einfassung

1

Stern mit Schwertern zum Kronenorden 2.Klasse

1

Kronenorden 3. Klasse mit Schwertern

2

Kronenorden 4. Klasse mit Schwertern

8

Militärehrenzeichen 2. Klasse

41

Allerhöchste Belobigung

9

 

At least completely 1650 men of the imperial German navy were entitled for the Colonial Commemorative Medal with the clasp DEUTSCHOSTAFRIKA 1888/89.

 

DEUTSCH-OSTAFRIKA 1888/89 for the Colonial Commemorative medal
(Bernd Doebel collection)

 

Not only decorations, also in Africa very rare gifts were send from Germany:

"On the occasion of the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor and King, the owners of the KAISER-Brewery in Bremen, Mr. Beck & Company, have  donated 10 000 bottles of beer for the crews of ships, stationed on the East African coast, which were used in the right manner."

Marineverordnungsblatt 1889, Nr. 4, Seite 25

 

© A. Schulze Ising, IV/00


 
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