Heinrich (or Heinz) Michaelsen was a scientifically oriented officer of the Schutztruppe (colonial troops) in German South West Africa (now Namibia) during the early part of the twentieth century. He made a detailed study of the lime-pans of eastern Damaraland and reported his findings in a dissertation submitted to the University of Berlin, Die Kalkpfannen des oestlichen Damaralandes (Berlin, 1910). The work was published also in the form of a comprehensive paper with the same title in Mitteilungen aus den deutschen Schutzgebieten (1910, Vol. 23(3), pp. 111-134). A shorter version of the paper appeared in the Naturwissenschaftliche Wochenschrift the same year. The paper was discussed by the geographer Dr Siegfried Passarge*, to whom Michaelsen responded in the journal Globus (1910).
Michaelsen died while on active service as a lieutenant in the German Army during World War I (1914-1918). There is some confusion about his first name (usually Heinrich, sometimes Heinz) and his possible other publications, as there were several other authors with the same names.