PHOTOGRAPH – NCO – SEEBATAILLON NR III
The Seebataillone were attached to the Imperial German Navy. Three Bataillone existed prior to WW I. Seebataillon Nr I was stationed at Kiel, Seebataillon Nr II was located at Wilhelmshaven, and Seebataillon Nr III was based at Tsingtao, China. [During WW I, the Seebataillon became the Marine Infanterie, which included an artillery component and even Marine (Aviation) Jastas. The Marine-Infanterie ballooned into three Divisions containing some 40,000 men by 1917]. Like the U.S. Marine Corps, the Seebataillone were responsible for security on larger naval vessels and at Germany’s embassies. [PLEASE NOTE: China-based Seebataillon Nr III was charged with security in the German-controlled territory].
The photograph we are offering today features a young Seebataillon Nr III NCO. The glossy photograph was taken at a studio located in China. The photograph measures 4.25” x 6.75,” and is pasted onto a charcoal-colored, cardboard matte. The photographer/studio is identified as “Photo Yung Tai,” which is printed in white script just below the photo’s lower left corner. The photo’s lower right corner bears the phrase “5. Beritt Komp.” (5th Riding Company), which is also printed in white script. The Marine, attired in his dunkel-blau uniform and schirmmütze, is seated in a chair in front of an elaborate painted backdrop depicting a very European-looking countryside. He is holding his white gloves in his left hand, which is also resting against the pommel of his sword (the sword comes complete with its attached hangers and a light-colored sword knot).
Photographs from any of Imperial Germany’s Seebataillone are VERY hard-to-find. [Locating one for a man stationed in China is even rarer]!