The Gibraltar EM Cuff-Title
The “Gibraltar” cuff-title, the only commemorative Imperial cuff-title was instituted by the German emperor Wilhelm II on January 24, 1901 and was issued to the personnel regardless of rank of three units – Füsilier Regiment General Feldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr.73, Infanterie-Regiment Von Voigts-Rhetz (3.Hannoversches) Nr.79 and Hannoversches Jäger-Bataillon Nr.10.
Institution of “Gibraltar” cuff-title was aimed at immortalization of heroic deeds of three Hanoverian battalions that fought against Spanish forces during the siege of Gibraltar (1776-1780). It also stressed the intergenerational continuity of Hanoverian units.
“Gibraltar” cuff-title was initially introduced by the King of England George III to honor the survivors from three infantry Hanoverian battalions – Von Beden, de la Motte and Von Hardeberg that defended Gibraltar against the Spanish.
A blue cloth cuff-title bearing the title “Gibraltar” was worn on the lower right sleeve of the tunic.
Hanover and England boasted tight relations within XVIII and XIX centuries. Hanoverian rulers became monarchs of Great Britain, and from 1801 of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The first of these rulers was Georg-Ludwig who acceded to the British throne in 1714. By the way the last British monarch who ruled in Hanover was William IV as the Salic law which required succession by the male line forbade the accession of Queen Victoria in Hanover. As a male-line descendant of George I, Queen Victoria was herself a member of the House of Hanover. However her descendants bore her husband’s titular name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Three kings of the United Kingdom were at the same time Electoral Princes of Hanover.
During the American Revolution (1775-1783) the King of England George III who had a title of Duke of Hanover replaced British troops in the Mediterranean that were sent to colonies by five infantry battalions from his native Hanover. Three of them, namely Von Beden, de la Motte and Von Hardeberg were dispatched to Gibraltar on October 16, 1775. After Spain declared war on England in June 1776 Gibraltar was besieged for three years and seven months until the Treaty of Versailles ended hostilities on August 15, 1783.
Prussian victory in the Austro-Prussian Seven Weeks’ War (1866) during which Hanover sided with the Austrian Empire led to the liquidation of Hanover as a kingdom and its annexation by Prussia. Hanover was made a capital of a Prussian province, its king Georg V left the country and Hanoverian infantry battalions were incorporated into the Prussian army. Three above mentioned battalions were renamed Füsilier Regiment General Feldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr.73, Infanterie-Regiment Von Voigts-Rhetz (3.Hannoversches) Nr.79 and Hannoversches Jäger-Bataillon Nr.10.
The commemorative “Gibraltar” cuff-title that was instituted by Wilhelm II in 1901 had simpler design but still had yellow hand-embroidered “Gibraltar” title on a blue wool cloth. It was worn by all ranks on the lower right sleeve of the dark blue “peace time” tunic, i.e. Waffenrock M1895.
The color of the cloth, height and width of letters slightly differed depending on the manufacturer. Privately purchased cuff-titles were of a higher quality.