The
GIBRALTAR
Cuff-Title
"Gibraltar is your sign, and it is true that you stood like a rock in the raging seas"

 
Introduction
The story of the Gibraltar cuff title can be traced back to 1775 when the King of England, George III, Duke of Hannover was in need of fresh troops to allow British troops to serve in the colonies during the American Revolution. Five Battalions of troops from his native Hannover were recruited to replace British troops in the Mediterranean. Three of the Battalions, Von Beden, de la Motte, and von Hardeberg were sent on 16 October 1775 to Gibraltar for service. Life in the garrison on Gibraltar was uneventful until June 1776 when Spain declared war on England and immediately blockaded the island. Starvation, scurvy, and death by Spanish Artillery were commonplace on Gibraltar until the Treaty of Versailles lifted the siege on 15 August 1783. The British garrison and their three Hannoverian Battalions had lasted over three years and seven months. To honor the survivors of the siege, the three Battalions were authorized to wear a blue cloth cuff-title embroidered GIBRALTAR on the lower right sleeve of their Waffenrock.
The example shown here is a replica of the original cuff-title awarded by King George III in 1784.

Photo used with the kind permission of Cyrus Lee of
Soldat
.
 
In 1866, Hannover sided with Austria in the war with Prussia which ended in a Prussian victory. As a result, Prussia annexed Hannover which ceased to be a Kingdom that same year. Hannoverian Infantry Battalions were duly assimilated into the Prussian army, with the three Battalions that fought in Gibraltar being re-named Füsilier Regt General Feldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr. 73, Inf. - Regt. Von Voigts - Rhetz (3. Hannoversches) Nr.79, and Hannoversches Jäger - Batl. Nr. 10.
 
To commemorate the three Hannoverian units that fought in Gibraltar, Kaiser Wilhelm II by AKO 24.01.1901, awarded the right to wear a commemorative cloth cuff title for all three units that had perpetuated the original Gibraltar survivors. This version of the Gibraltar cuff title was a simpler design from the first version and worn on the lower right sleeve of the Dunkelblau Waffenrock by all ranks. The original example below has the typical yellow hand-embroidered Roman letters on a medium blue wool. Original examples can be encountered from a medium blue as shown here to a light powder blue. Although the letters on original examples can vary slightly in height and width, they maintain the broad Roman style. Note that the thread is twisted and quite substantial.

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A scan of the AKO 24 January 1901 which introduced the GIBRALTAR cuff-title. This was published in the Armee-Verordnungsblatt edtion on the 13 March 1901. Kindly provided by Glenn Jewison via the University library in Münster.
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Füsilier Regt General Feldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr. 73
The original cuff-title to the right is attached to a Dunkelblau Waffenrock for a Gefreiter (Corporal) in Füsilier Regt General Feldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr. 73. The cuff title is yellow hand-embroidered on a medium blue wool. The Brandenburg cuff on this Waffenrock is piped in light blue, correct for the X Armee-Korps Hannover.
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A group from Füsilier Regt General Feldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr. 73 pose for the camera.
A Mannschaften (Other Ranks) Waffenrock from Füsilier Regt General Feldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr. 73.
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Inf. - Regt. Von Voigts - Rhetz (3. Hannoversches) Nr.79
The original cuff-title to the right is affixed to a Dunkelblau Waffenrock for a Captain in Inf. - Regt. Von Voigts - Rhetz (3. Hannoversches) Nr.79. The cuff title is yellow hand-embroidered on a powder blue wool and of a higher quality than the standard issued pattern, indicating that it may have been privately purchased. The Brandenburg cuff on this Waffenrock is piped in light blue, correct for the X Armee-Korps Hannover.
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A soldier in Inf. - Regt. Von Voigts - Rhetz (3. Hannoversches) Nr.79 wearing the standard issue GIBRALTAR cuff-title.
An officer's Waffenrock from Infantry Regt 79
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Hannoversches Jäger - Batl. Nr. 10
The original cuff-title to the right is attached to a Jäger green Waffenrock for a Jäger (Private) in Hannoversches Jäger - Batl. Nr. 10. The cuff title is yellow hand-embroidered on a light blue wool. The bend on the right side of the cuff-title is due to the downward expanse of the sleeve material.
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A wonderful photograph of a young Jäger of Jäger - Batl. Nr. 10 wearing the standard issue GIBRALTAR cuff-title.
A Mannschaften (Other Ranks) Waffenrock from Hannoversches Jäger-Batl.Nr.10 (Goslar)
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1914-1918
During the Great War of 1914 to 1918, the GIBRALTAR continued to be worn on the lower right sleeve of both the Feldgrau M1907/1910 Waffenrock as well as the M1915 Bluse.
 
The 15 August 1917 dated article to the right is from the British publication the "Illustrated War News". The caption states" In the illustration, two trench helmeted German officers are waiting for cross-examination. The one standing belongs to a Hanoverian regiment as shown by the 'Gibraltar' on his arm-band, his Corps having since been in George the Third's army which helped defend Gibraltar in the Great Siege and was awarded the badge." It is interesting to note that the photograph has clearly been re-touched to better show the standing officer's GIBRALTAR cuff-title as well as his shoulder board. This was a common practice for 1st war publications if the photograph did not clearly show the required details. Note that the standing officer is wearing a M1907/10 Waffenrock with a M1916 Steel helmet.
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The picture to the left is of a display at the Imperial War Museum in London England. The mannequin is wearing a M1915 Bluse with a camouflaged M1916 steel helmet. He is armed with a MP/18-1 Machinepistol.
A field tailor repairs a tunic with the GIBRALTAR cuff-title.
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Reproductions
Two examples are shown here of replica GIBRALTAR cuff-titles

Photo used with the kind permission of Cyrus Lee of Soldat.
 
A note on the so-called "officer gold bullion
embroidered" GIBRALTAR cuff-title.
Over the years claims have been made that a version of the GIBRALTAR cuff-title made from hand-embroidered gold wire was made for officers. Despite years of effort, I have been unable to locate a single period photograph that proves the existence of a hand-embroidered gilt version for officers. I have had the opportunity to examine several alleged "originals" and I am of the opinion that they were replicas. Photographic evidence as well as the original officer's Inf. - Regt. Nr.79 Dunkelblau Waffenrock in my possession all seem to indicate that officers wore a cloth cuff-title similar to Mannschaft, at least up to 1914. However, a recent example has surfaced in Germany which indicates that a gold wire embroidered title may have been authorized for the M1910 Feldrock. Any evidence would be welcomed.
 
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