This is a very fine tunic from an elite unit with a long and proud history. The very rare tunic comes from Hannoverisches Jäger-Bataillon Nr 10. The unit was raised in 1803 and garrisoned at Goslar. Prior to the beginning of WW I it was assigned to the X. Armeekorps. This was the only Jäger Bataillon in the Kingdom of Hannover’s Army. It was an elite rifle unit that was greatly prized by Wellington, along with his own 92nd Rifles, for its members’ marksmanship. These troops were an important part of the skirmishers sent out in advance of the regular Infanterie. Their marksmanship helped eliminate officers and interfered with the command and control of the French troops they opposed. This unit proudly served with the Duke of Wellington throughout the Peninsula Campaign and at Waterloo. Like the other Hanoverian Regiments, Hannoverisches Jäger-Bataillon Nr 10 was absorbed into the Prussian Army in 1866 after Hannover’s defeat when they sided with Austria against Prussia. Even though Hanoverian Infanterie, Kavallerie, Artillerie, Jäger, and Pionier units were redesignated as Prussian units, they retained a strong sense of pride in their roots as native sons of Hannover. In the late 1890’s this was recognized by Kaiser Wilhelm II. He then allowed these units to wear bandeaux for the battle honors that they had achieved while under Hannover’s flag. This small gesture meant a great deal to the troops. From that day until the end of the empire, they could be distinguished from other Prussian units by the wearing of these bandeaux on their parade headdress.
The tunic we are offering today is a wonderful example of a pre WW I tunic for this particular unit. The tunic’s body is green. [This was similar to the elite English 92nd Rifles Regiment]. It not only distinguished them from other Infanterie troops, but helped them blend in with the landscape that they were skulking through. The tunic has a single row of eight, gilt-toned buttons, along with gilt buttons at the sleeve, shoulder straps, and rear vent. The sleeves and collar are red, with silver bullion trim. Each of the shoulder straps are red, with the Bataillon number in yellow. Also attached to each of the shoulder boards are buttons with a “1” on them for the 1st Kompagnie of the Bataillon. Perhaps the tunic’s most striking detail is a cuff title on the right cuff for “Gibraltar.” Only Hannoverisches Jäger-Bataillon Nr 10, Füßilier-Regiment Generalfeldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (Hannoversches) Nr 73, and Infanterie-Regiment von Voigts-Rhetz (3. Hannoversches) Nr 79 were permitted to wear this cuff title on their tunics! As a matter of fact, these three Regiments were the ONLY three in the entire German Army to wear any sort of cuff title. [Infanterie Regiment Nr 79 was actually not created until 1838, so I do not fully understand why that Regiment was permitted to wear the cuff title]. In any event, you can understand what an honor it was to be in these units, and to be allowed to wear the cuff titles that showed the distinction of Hanoverian units in the Peninsula Campaign. The cuff title is a dark-blue. The word “Gibraltar” appears in yellow. Needless to say, it is very striking, and speaks to the tradition of Hannoverisches Jäger-Bataillon Nr 10. The condition of the tunic is astounding. I am not sure that I can detect even the hint of a moth nip on it. The tunic was a private purchase. It has the officers-style silk liner, with no hints of depot marks. This is a very rare tunic to an elite Regiment, in sparkling condition.