Shared battle honours

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by lancslad, Jan 13, 2009.

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  1. Picked up a copy of Christopher Duffy's "Through German Eyes" at the weekend and have been enjoying reading about the Somme from the German perspective rather than the standard Brit version. Still early doors but came across the following comment which caught my eye:

    "Pte Giles Eyre of the 2/KRRC was captured by a Hanoverian regiment which bore the honour "Gibraltar" on a blue band on its sleeves"

    The Hanoverian link explains the shared battle honour in this instance but I was wondering if any other such instances existed with other allies/enemies or indeed if folk have encountered foreign regts on their travels with shared battle honours?

  2. Just a guess, but I image various German have Cassino and Anzio?
  3. Sharp no.9, very sharp...

    Hanoverians ought to have quite a few shared hionours from the 18th and early 19th century. So should Spanish and Portuguese. I believe the royal Scots have a shared French-originating battle honour...or is that an Irish regiment?
  4. Found this about the KGL. Who eventualy amalgamated into various Wermacht Regts. and who share many battle honours with British Regts.

    The King's German Legion (KGL) was a German military unit, but was an integral part of the British Army. It was in existence from 1803 till 1816. It has the distinction of being the only German force to have fought without interruption against the French during the Napoleonic occupation.
    When Napoleon imposed the Convention of Artlenburg (Convention of the Elbe) on July 5, 1803, the Electorate of Hanover was disbanded and its army dissolved. Many former Hanoverian officers and soldiers fled the French occupation to Britain, as George, Elector of Hanover, was also King of the United Kingdom, as George III.

    The number of officers and rankers grew over time to around 14,000, but during the 13 years of its existence, about 28,000 men served in the Legion. It saw active service as part of the British Army from 1805 until 1816, when its units were disbanded.

    The Legion never fought as a unit, so it is difficult to follow the various battalions in their campaigns.

    The Legion's units fought in battles in Hanover, Pomerania, Copenhagen and Walcheren, the Peninsula under General Sir John Moore; and the retreat to Corunna; the Peninsula under the Duke of Wellington, including the battles of Bussaco, Barrosa, Fuentes de Onoro, Albuera, Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, Garcia Hernandez, Burgos, Venta del Pozo , Vittoria, San Sebastian, Nivelle, Sicily and the eastern parts of Spain, Northern Germany and Göhrde.

    At the Battle of Waterloo, the 2nd Light Battalion — with members of the 1st Light Battalion and the 5th Line Battalion — famously defended "La Haye Sainte" until they ran out of ammunition.

    The Legion was known for their excellence and their fighting ability. The cavalry was reputed to be among the best in the British army. According to the historian Alessandro Barbero, the Legion "had such a high degree of professionalism that it was considered equal in every way to the best British units." After the victory at Waterloo, the Electorate of Hanover was re-founded as the Kingdom of Hanover. However, the army of Hanover had been reconstituted even before the final battle, so that there were two Hanoverian armies in existence.

    In 1816 the Legion was dissolved and some officers and men were integrated into the new Hanoverian army, but not all, which led to much hardship, especially for the lower ranks.

    The KGL received these battle honours:

    Venta del Pozo (1st and 2nd Light Infantry Battalion)
    Garcia Hernandez (1st Regiment of Dragoons )
    El Bodon (1st Regiment of Hussars)
    Barossa (2nd Regiment of Hussars)
    Göhrde (3rd Regiment of Hussars)

    After the unification of Germany, some of the old KGL units that had served in the Hanoverian Army were perpetuated in the Imperial German Army, which eventually led to them serving in the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht during the Second World War.

    Kavallerie-Regiment 13—1st Regiment of Light Dragoons
    Kavallerie-Regiment 13—2nd Regiment of Light Dragoons
    Kavallerie-Regiment 14—1st Regiment of Hussars
    Infanterie-Regiment 17—1st Light Battalion
    Infanterie-Regiment 16—1st Line Battalion
  5. I think, but my google mojo is weak today, that "Cambrai" may be German battlehonour but only shared in that they were there as well. BICBW.
    As an aside, when 3RTR were posted to Deilinghofen in the late 80s, a fellow arrser and I were were walking through the, not often frequented, village of Brockhausen, about a 1k away.
    The War memorial there had a confirmed kill from the Battle of Cambrai on it.
  6. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Not entirely on-topic but I was referred to this website earlier today:

    It looks at 1 Australian Armoured Regiment and shows pics of them celebrating Cambrai Day including a drive-past in the the last Cents in their Army in 1976. It doesn't actually claim Cambrai as a battle homour for them (I am glad to hear), but it's nice to know they celebrate what the day did for their regiment.

    I find it curious that they had binned Ferrets five years earlier, but we were still using them until [insert year here].
  7. Must admit I had thought the the Brit habit of Battle honours was a purely Brit tradition.
    If the Germans have same tradition then I see no reason why an old Regiment of German origin would not carry a Battle Honor gained in British Service.
  8. I think the German Regiment bearing the Cuff Title (this is how the Germans displayed battle honours) Gibraltar was the 73rd Hanover Regiment. They claim their antecedants from either Hardenburg's Regiment or de la Motte's Regiment, both Hanoverian regiments that served through the Great Siege. Hardenburgs, incidently, was one of three Hanoverian regiments that advanced with the six British regiments at Minden.

    German military genealogy is convoluted to say the least. I was once taken into the history room of 150 Raketen Bn to find that they traced their history from a regiment of Cuirassiers in Frederick the Great's service. Common theme however is that everyone can trace themselves back to FdG
  9. I recall seeing a photograph of a WW1 German soldier with 'Waterloo' on his pickelhaube plate. Prussian and Hannoverian (not KGL) regiments fought alongside the Brits at Minden.
  10. Correct me if I'm wrong but the German army post 1955 dispensed with the old regimental approach in favour of battalions & brigades. Feu-de-joie's note states that all of the current battalions can trace their lineage back to a historical regiment which is good to know however I am curious as to the rationale for the revised approach? Was it simply a "complete break from the past" or something else?