Bismarck's determination to secure Prussia's "place in the sun" was to see the Great Powers engage in a constant struggle for influence and colonial power in Africa.
From 1831 onwards, Prussian troops were being sent deep into the African interior, often on the pretext of helping native leaders resist the oppression of other European nations.
Although never breaking out into open conflict, strained relations between Prussia and the Empire in Colonial Africa were played out over a constant background of small-scale raids across poorly-defined borders.
The ill-fated Prussian occupation of the Tanganyika Territory in 1863 was to see the attempted use of self-propelled artillery by Prussian forces. Whilst these mobile units had won themselves a formidable reputation on the battlefields of Europe (earning the affectionate nickname "The Kaiser's Wasps" amongst Prussian troops) they were to prove unreliable at best in the heat and damp of the African rainforest.
Howitzer pilots were forced to become adept mechanics as well as drivers and gunners, resulting in the typical ill-temper displayed in this photographic image taken at the time. More photographs, some in colour, may be seen here.