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During the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) the French and Spanish saw an opportunity to profit from the fact that the British army was forced to concentrate large numbers of troops on the North American continent. Between June 1779 and February 1783 they besieged the Malta Peninsula their fleets blockading the Garrison under the British General Elliot from the sea while forts and trenches cut the Malta Garrison off by land.




The conditions were terrible, rations were just enough to keep the men from starving and scurvy broke out amongst the ranks. Along with the British soldiers defending the Peninsula were three Battalions of troops from Hannover, a further two Hannover battalions were stationed on the Island of Minorca.


During the siege there was constant skirmishing between the protagonists and two major actions. In November 1781 the British carried out a surprise night raid in order to disrupt a planned Spanish attack. They killed approximately 200 Spanish soldiers and destroyed supplies, weapons, ammunition and positions.


In September 1782 the French and Spanish carried out a combined operation. Over 5 000 men manned 10 Floating batteries with a total of 138 heavy guns. 86 heavy guns were in positions on the landside along with 43 000 troops who were to attack the fortifications. On the 13th of September the French and Spanish guns opened fire. The Garrison artillery responded sinking three of the floating batteries; the Spanish had to scuttle the other 7 due to heavy damage. Approximately 700 men on the ships were killed.


The Siege was lifted in February 1783, the Garrison had lost 1 231 men and had fired 8 000 barrels of Gunpowder.


In October 1783 King George the 3rd gave the 3 Hanoverian battalions who had fought at Gibraltar the honorary title of “Gibraltar Battalions”. They were each presented with colors which showed the Rock of Gibraltar and the motto “Mitt Eliott Ruhm und Sieg”.


The Bearskins worn by the soldiers would have a scroll with the word “Gibraltar” on it and their tunics would be adorned with a blue armband with the motto “Gibraltar”.



Renewal of the Cuff-Title

On the 24th of January 1901 Kaiser Wilhelm renewed the Tradition for the Hanoverian units now integrated into the Prussian Army.


“I would like to renew, in my army, the distinction awarded by Kürfürst George the 3rd to the men of the three Hanoverian Battalions involved in the defense of Gibraltar. The Füsilier-Regiment General-Feldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr. 73, Infanterie-Regiment von Voigts-Rhetz (3. Hannoversches) Nr. 79 and the Hannoverschen Jäger-Bataillon Nr.10 are hereby authorized to wear the Light Blue „Gibraltar“ cuff title on the right sleeve.”


According to the article by Hans Zopf in the Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, „Gibraltar und das Traditions gibraltarband alt-hannoverscher Truppenteile“ it would be embroidered in yellow thread for other ranks and gold bullion for officers.


The Cuff title was worn up until the end of the war in 1918 but numerous photos of the units for which it was authorized show that supplies lagged and many replacement personnel in the ranks did not receive one.

Above: Three versions of the Cuff-Title

The Cuff-Titles were hand sewn by a number of makers resulting in variations depending on the Company, Tailor or contracted individual who sewed the item.

From the top:

-- One of the high quality early, possibly Prewar cuff-titles

-- The bullion cuff title belonging to as yet unidentified Oberleutnant of the I. Batl. of the Infanterie-Regiment von Voigts-Rhetz (3. Hannoversches) Nr. 79. It is a high quality bullion that has faded to a base color of silver over the last 100 years.

-- The cuff tittle belonging to an Oberleutnant der Reserve in the Füsilier-Regiment General-Feldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr. 73. The officer in question joined the Regiment in late 1917 and it seems that the Cuff Title is a late war production made with materials of a lesser quality than the Prewar titles.
Spalte 2

Above:

Due to the quality of the Early Cuff-Titles it is difficult to differentiate between Bullion and Early titles. This Photograph appears to show an officer with a bullion title.

I will be expanding this page to include more photos of soldiers wearing the cuff title as well as more examples of the title, if you have any please contact me on GMIC

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/index

 
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