German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

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German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Animal on Fri 27 Jun 2008, 11:03 pm

The homepage for this site had an image a few months ago of a 1950's Dominican infantryman wearing a US khaki cotton uniform and cartridge belt, but with a WWI German stahlhelm. Considering that the Dominican Army was formed under US auspices during the US Marines' occupation of the country in the 1920's, one would think that US helmets would've been worn. Were the helmets aquired by the US as WWI or WWII booty then issued to the Dominicans, or did the Dominicans aquire them on their own?

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Sean on Sat 28 Jun 2008, 3:38 am

I can't give you a why.
All I can say was that the illustration was taken from a contemporary photograph.
An other mystery I hope someone can solve

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  buistR on Sat 28 Jun 2008, 7:20 am

The historic army of the Dominican Republic (disbanded following the US occupation in 1916) wore dark blue uniforms with red facings and French style kepis. The Dominican Constabulary Guard established under the US Military Government predictably wore US khakis and wide brimmed hats. So, unlike some Latin American countries (such as Chile or Argentina), there was no traditional German model for the Dominican National Army - as it became after the US withdrew in 1928. My guess is that stocks of stahlhelms would have been available by purchase from the two major South American countries named above - the Chilean Army still has a strongly Prussian appearance in modern parade dress and drill; while the Argentinians retained German advisers until as late as 1940. Only a guess though.

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Animal on Wed 02 Jul 2008, 8:05 am

buistR wrote:The historic army of the Dominican Republic (disbanded following the US occupation in 1916) wore dark blue uniforms with red facings and French style kepis.

I imagine the red facings were for infantry, and that the other branches(cavalry, artillery, engineers, etc) would've worn different colored facings. I wouldn't mind seeing some illustrations of the pre-1916 army. Of course I amagine that by then they would've also had a khaki drill uniform for fatigue, service, and campaign dress, certainly during the summer. What weapons(rifles, pistols, machine guns, artillery) did the pre-1916 army use? Also any information on rank insignia would be appreciated, as I imagine the post-occupation army would've had an entirely different system.

buistR wrote:My guess is that stocks of stahlhelms would have been available by purchase from the two major South American countries named above - the Chilean Army still has a strongly Prussian appearance in modern parade dress and drill; while the Argentinians retained German advisers until as late as 1940. Only a guess though.

I believe that the Mexican Army also wore stahlhelms for a time before switching to the French Adrian style helmet.

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  buistR on Wed 02 Jul 2008, 9:19 am

The multi volume Spanish "Enciclopeida Universal" published about 1922, has colour plates of most of the armies then existing, covering roughly the period 1910-20. There are usually 25 to 50 uniforms illustrated in respect of each country but the Dominican Republic page has only 6 - presumably reflecting the paucity of information available outside the country. Two of these are an officer and soldier of the "Guardia republicana" (i.e. the US created Constabulary Guard) in khaki drill and slouch hats; the others are in the dark blue French style uniforms of the old army - respectively those of a general in gala uniform, a general in diario (i.e. ordinary duty), an officer and a soldier - both in diario dress. That may be all the uniforms there were - the military historian John Keegan describes the pre-1916 army as having an establishment of 900 men "but most of the ranks were filled by phantom troops whose salaries were pocketed by the officers". Cavalry, artillery, engineers etc may not have existed. You are probably right about the khaki or other drab cotton for fatigue and field use - most Latin American armies seem to have started to move to drab coloured field dress from about 1910 on - with the process accelerating after the outbreak of WWI. The insignia is hard to distinguish from the Spanish prints - but the General's gala dress includes gold epaulettes with heavy fringes hanging from the crescents. The officer in diario order has twisted gold shoulder cords and a single star above each of his cuffs - both items following the Spanish rank system of the time. Nothing about weapons and equipment - sorry.

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Animal on Wed 02 Jul 2008, 3:51 pm

buistR wrote:The multi volume Spanish "Enciclopeida Universal" published about 1922, has colour plates of most of the armies then existing, covering roughly the period 1910-20. There are usually 25 to 50 uniforms illustrated in respect of each country but the Dominican Republic page has only 6 - presumably reflecting the paucity of information available outside the country. Two of these are an officer and soldier of the "Guardia republicana" (i.e. the US created Constabulary Guard) in khaki drill and slouch hats; the others are in the dark blue French style uniforms of the old army - respectively those of a general in gala uniform, a general in diario (i.e. ordinary duty), an officer and a soldier - both in diario dress. That may be all the uniforms there were

Interesting. I wouldn't mind seeing that encyclopedia, certainly the plates from it.

buistR wrote: - the military historian John Keegan describes the pre-1916 army as having an establishment of 900 men "but most of the ranks were filled by phantom troops whose salaries were pocketed by the officers". Cavalry, artillery, engineers etc may not have existed.

If the army's establishment was mostly on paper, then it is possible that cavalry, artillery, engineer, and other units may have also existed on paper. At the very least, one would think that there were uniform regulations for such units.

buistR wrote:Nothing about weapons and equipment - sorry.

If the army was uniformed on the Spanish model, it's quite possible that Spanish weapons, including the Spanish Mauser 1893, were used. After all the Spanish Mauser was used by several other Latin American nations.

Hopefully an influx of more members here with knowledge of the uniforms of their countries or surrounding nations will expand the available information here.

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Enciclopeida Universal

Post  Sean on Fri 04 Jul 2008, 2:15 pm

Can I get some more detail on Enciclopeida Universal?
I have seen a small back and white photo of a plate from this series (I think).
Tried to run this title through a library search here in the UK and came up totally blank.
Surely love to get colour copies of those plates you mention

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  buistR on Fri 04 Jul 2008, 6:51 pm

Hi Sean - I have colour photocopies of each of the plates and will be glad to scan and email them to you (as with the earlier Canadian and NZ material). Can't guarantee quality but I'm sure you will be able to work your usual creative magic with them if any of the uniforms are interesting enough to post on the web site. Shall we start with a couple of the Latin American armies as a test run?

Cheers

Rowin

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Sean on Fri 04 Jul 2008, 8:50 pm

That would be fantastic, thanks.
South & Central America are a rare area to find info on so I'm looking forward to your emails.
Don't know about the magic though

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Billy Paul on Mon 23 Mar 2009, 4:30 pm

Animal said: "I believe that the Mexican Army also wore stahlhelms for a time before switching to the French Adrian style helmet."

That appears to be correct, as I've seen a photo of a Mexican soldier from I think the early 1920s and he was wearing an M1916 stahlhelm. And you're right that they then adopted the Adrian. The Adrian seems to have been a popular helmet in interwar era armies, including Latin American ones. From what I can tell it seems that at least five Latin American armies used the Adrian helmet in the 1930s through WWII period: Mexico, Brazil (in its army at home, not in Italy where they wore U.S. M1 steel pot helmets), Uruguay, Colombia and Peru. There were country-specific details though at least in a couple instances, as I know that Peru's had a sun emblem on the front and Mexico's had I think their branch insignia on the front at least sometimes. Not sure about a design on Uruguayan, Brazilian or Colombian Adrian helmets.

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Animal on Sat 28 Mar 2009, 5:43 am

Billy Paul wrote:Animal said: "I believe that the Mexican Army also wore stahlhelms for a time before switching to the French Adrian style helmet."

That appears to be correct, as I've seen a photo of a Mexican soldier from I think the early 1920s and he was wearing an M1916 stahlhelm. And you're right that they then adopted the Adrian. The Adrian seems to have been a popular helmet in interwar era armies, including Latin American ones. From what I can tell it seems that at least five Latin American armies used the Adrian helmet in the 1930s through WWII period: Mexico, Brazil (in its army at home, not in Italy where they wore U.S. M1 steel pot helmets), Uruguay, Colombia and Peru. There were country-specific details though at least in a couple instances, as I know that Peru's had a sun emblem on the front and Mexico's had I think their branch insignia on the front at least sometimes. Not sure about a design on Uruguayan, Brazilian or Colombian Adrian helmets.

Actually the homepage here recently had a plate of a Colombian infantryman of 1938 with a Stalhelm.

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Billy Paul on Sat 28 Mar 2009, 3:44 pm

"Actually the homepage here recently had a plate of a Colombian infantryman of 1938 with a Stalhelm."

Oh cool, that's a new one on me. I have only seen a couple photos of Colombian infantry and in one they were wearing the Adrian and the other they had just field caps, I think both from the early 1930s border fighting with Peru. Maybe in the late '30s they switched to the stahlhelm?

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Animal on Sun 29 Mar 2009, 6:56 am

Billy Paul wrote:"Actually the homepage here recently had a plate of a Colombian infantryman of 1938 with a Stalhelm."

Oh cool, that's a new one on me. I have only seen a couple photos of Colombian infantry and in one they were wearing the Adrian and the other they had just field caps, I think both from the early 1930s border fighting with Peru. Maybe in the late '30s they switched to the stahlhelm?

Where did you see those pics at? I'd like to take a look at them.

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I was wrong

Post  Billy Paul on Sun 29 Mar 2009, 3:02 pm

You were right Animal. It had been ages since I saw that photo and I got to thinking "Where exactly DID I see it?" In looking up the Leticia War (as the 1931-'32 Colombia-Peru conflict is sometimes called) I ran across a picture that looked very familiar and I think it was the one I was thinking of: They were Peruvian infantry and I must have (a long time ago, before I saw photos of Peruvian infantry of the period) thought they were Colombian. Confirming it was this Spanish-language entry in Wikipedia which shows a photo of Colombian artillerymen in the 1931-'32 war, and though it's a small photo, and not the clearest, if you look really closely you can see they are all wearing what appears to be a stahlhelm.

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Guerra_peru2_1932_d.jpg

They are definitely Colombian Army as the caption states: "Ejército colombiano repeliendo un ataque peruano" which means "Colombian Army repels a Peruvian attack". Sorry bro, I was wrong.

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Billy Paul on Tue 14 Apr 2009, 2:58 pm

And confirming it further are these colour photos I found of Colombian Army soldiers in a parade in 2004 in which they have some dressed as soldiers from the Leticia conflict. Great photos of their campaign uniform by the way, worth checking out.

http://www.ipmsbogotaar.net/images/articulos/desfccp1.jpg

http://www.ipmsbogotaar.net/images/articulos/desfccp2.jpg

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Animal on Fri 17 Apr 2009, 4:15 pm

Billy Paul wrote:And confirming it further are these colour photos I found of Colombian Army soldiers in a parade in 2004 in which they have some dressed as soldiers from the Leticia conflict. Great photos of their campaign uniform by the way, worth checking out.

http://www.ipmsbogotaar.net/images/articulos/desfccp1.jpg

http://www.ipmsbogotaar.net/images/articulos/desfccp2.jpg

Good find! About the Leticia conflict, I haven't been able to find anything in English about it, and hardly any mention at all in the Spanish version of Wikipedia. Considering that Columbia and Peru don't share a common border but have Ecuador between them, the 2 countries couldn't have had any border disputes, and certainly wouldn't have been able to come to blows without getting Ecuador involved and likely violating its territory.

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Billy Paul on Tue 28 Apr 2009, 3:15 pm

Thanks, and though Peru and Colombia do have a common border, back in the time in question (and until the 1941 Peruvian war against Ecuador) their common border admittedly was very much smaller as what is nowadays Peru's province of Loreto back then almost entirely belonged to Ecuador. But the Leticia conflict was in fact very small in scale and is probably more remembered in Colombia as they came out on the winning end of it and have not had many victories in the twentieth century to remember fondly, wheras Peru instead glorifies its much larger war against Ecuador in 1941 in which it seized just a little over half of what was considered pre-1941 Ecuador. You're right that there isn't a whole lot of information available about this small war. Here's what little I can find about it:

"On September 1, 1932, over 300 armed Peruvian civilians seized the Amazonian harbor town of Leticia in a demonstration against the Salomón-Lozano Treaty of 1922 which ceded the territory to Colombia. In response, the Colombian government announced plans to send a force of 1,500 soldiers to repel the invaders. Upon learning of Colombia's intent, the Peruvian government--which had earlier criticized the invaders' action--moved to support its nationals. The first skirmishes took place in early 1933, as the Colombian river fleet made its way up the Amazon to the site of the invasion. After months of diplomatic wrangling over the selection of a mutually acceptable forum for the peaceful resolution of the dispute, Colombia and Peru accepted mediation by the League of Nations. A provisional peace agreement, signed in May 1933, provided for the league to assume control of the disputed territory while bilateral negotiations proceeded.

In June 1934, following the signing in May of yet another bilateral treaty, Leticia was returned to Colombia. Under the terms of the May pact, Peruvian concessions included a formal apology for the 1932 invasion and a reaffirmation of Peru's acceptance of the 1922 agreement. The treaty also provided for demilitarization of the area around Leticia, free navigation on the Amazon and Río Putumayo, and a pledge of non-aggression. As a gesture of mutual goodwill in continuing bilateral cooperation, the settlement also provided for future negotiations on trade and tariff issues, riverine transport, population settlements in the region, and the joint policing of the common border. In September 1935, the instruments of ratification were exchanged."

http://www.onwar.com/aced/data/lima/leticiawar1932.htm

a reprint of a Time magasine article from the era
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,745091,00.html

and there actually is a Wikipedia article about it but it calls it the Colombia-Peru War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombia-Peru_War

and a site with a few (very small) photos about the war and text in Spanish
http://www.lablaa.org/blaavirtual/revistas/credencial/noviembre2005/guerras_peru.htm

Aaaand... that's about it. Unfortunately not a wealth of information on the subject and most disappointingly (to me at least) still less of a collection of photos from it.

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Billy Paul on Mon 18 May 2009, 3:31 pm

And Colombia's Navy of that era (from what little I've seen of it) appeared very British with the same kind of white short-sleeved square-necked jersey with the thin strip of blue-jean material at the edge of the neckline, but (at least in the couple pertinent photos) with long white trousers instead of shorts. This was from combing through history sections of the Colombian Navy's magasine pages on its (Navy's) website. It's like a naval review magasine and has a brief history segment in each issue, sometimes with a photo or two.

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  Animal on Tue 02 Jun 2009, 7:39 pm

Animal wrote:
Billy Paul wrote:And confirming it further are these colour photos I found of Colombian Army soldiers in a parade in 2004 in which they have some dressed as soldiers from the Leticia conflict. Great photos of their campaign uniform by the way, worth checking out.

http://www.ipmsbogotaar.net/images/articulos/desfccp1.jpg

http://www.ipmsbogotaar.net/images/articulos/desfccp2.jpg

Good find! About the Leticia conflict, I haven't been able to find anything in English about it, and hardly any mention at all in the Spanish version of Wikipedia. Considering that Columbia and Peru don't share a common border but have Ecuador between them, the 2 countries couldn't have had any border disputes, and certainly wouldn't have been able to come to blows without getting Ecuador involved and likely violating its territory.

They do share a border. I can't believe I fucked up on that one! DAMN!! DAMN!! DAMN!! DAMN!!

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Re: German Helmets Worn By Dominican Republic Army

Post  buistR on Wed 03 Jun 2009, 2:54 pm

At an earlier stage (May 2008) in this long but interesting thread, I expressed doubt as to whether the 900 strong Army of the Dominican Republic included artillery prior to the US occupation of 1916. The attached photo dated 1913 shows that I got it wrong (not for the first time).

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Also attached is a colour plate from the Spanish Enciclopeida Universal showing the Dominican uniforms before the occupation (dark blue) and during the occupation (khaki).

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Dominican Rep army.

Post  zebra on Mon 22 Mar 2010, 8:34 pm

Looking at the list of Latin American countries that had the Adrian helmets it seems that Venezuela has been ommitted.I may be wrong, but i'm sure i've seen a reference to the Venezuelans wearing this WW2. Pat.

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