Markus Bodeux

The German Colony Kamerun had since 1881 besides the regular police force (Landespolizei) a so called police troop (Polizeitruppe). They took over the military protection of the Kamerun area, since the Imperial German Navy was only able to take care on the coastal lines and not on the inner country. This troop was lead by two white privates (Gefreite) of the Landespolizei and some police Askaris. The troop itself was set together from the so called „Dahomey-people", set free slaves of the chief  Behazin of Dahomey.
In December 1893 a rumor among the Dahomey-people came up. They left the police troop taking their weapons with them, threatened the German settlers in Duala and hid in a fortress.
The only war ship at this time was the small "Kanonenboot HYÄNE" under command of  Kapitänleutnants Reincke. As soon as he got aware of the situation, he immediately started attacking the enemy. He collected all available forces in his area, as:

  • the landing crew of "Kanonenbootes HYÄNE",
  • the crew of "Hulks CYCLOP" in Duala, with one Deckoffizier and 8 soldiers,
  • the engineering crew of the detachment Kamerun under Leutnant zur See Deimling, just shipped in by the "Kanonenbootes HYÄNE",
  • the crew of the "Gouvernementsdampfers NACHTIGAL".

S.M. Kanonenboot HYÄNE

With not even 200 soldiers it was possible to defeat the rumoring Dahomey-people. Meanwhile in Germany was set together a expedition corps consisting of two Sea battalions "Seebataillon" as follows:

  • 3 Officers
  • 1 Medical Doctor
  • 15 NCOs
  • 102 Soldiers

to defeat the rumor. For the expedition corps and also for the small "Kreuzer SPERBER", immediately send to Kamerun, was no need anymore. After its arrival HYÄNE went to Cape Town for an overhaul.

This happening in 1893 was taken care on with issuing the Colonial Commemorative Medal. Finally on February 17, 1914, this maneuver was officially recognized and honored by awarding the Colonial Commemorative Medal:

Marineverordnungsblatt 1914, Nr. 4, S. 38


Due to the highest cabinets order on February 12, 1894 the following soldiers were awarded Prussian orders and medals:

Red Eagle Order 4th class with swords:

Korvettenkapitän Reincke, Commandant HYÄNE
Leutnant zur See Deimling, Führer des Vermessungsdetachements Kamerun

Order of the Crown 4th class with swords:

Unterleutnant zur See von Koschembahr, Stab HYÄNE

Military Honor Medal 2nd class:

Steuermann Klein, Vermessungsdetachement Kamerun
Steuermann Staack, Dampfer NACHTIGAL
Steuermann Strenz, HYÄNE
Bootsmannsmaat Giersch, HYÄNE
Bootsmannsmaat Kraus, HYÄNE
Matrose Unruh, HYÄNE.

Besides this: "...for the shown bravery at the defeat of the rumor in Kamerun in December last year highest reward was awarded (the Kaisers reward)..." to:

Leutnant zur See Vles
Marineassistenzarzt Dr. Ratz
Maschinist Schmitz
Obermatrosen Ehrlich and Janßen,
everybody on S.M.S. HYÄNE.

All these were allowed to wear the Colonial Commemorative Medal. In addition to this the 1st officer of the "Kanonenboot HYÄNE", Leutnant zur See Alexander Graf von Monts, Obermaschinist Pintier and approx. 150 soldiers and NCOs.


© A. Schulze Ising, I/00