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Doubt about the meaning of the word "leib"

Can we say that the "Leibregiments" are the regiments of the guard of the different German states?

Why a regiment was distinguished by the nickname of "leib"

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 03fahnen said:

Can we say that the "Leibregiments" are the regiments of the guard of the different German states?

No. Leibregiment is not the same as Leibgarde. Leibregimenter got the name, because the sovereign of a state was the regiment´s chief. With that came the right to collect the money that was generated through the regiment (goes back to 17th/18th century).

It is not a nickname, either, It´s a title of honour.

GreyC

Edited by GreyC

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The first Kompanie of a regiment is also called "Leibkompanie" and normally owned by the Regminetschef (Chief or Owner of the regiment). I once heard from a Oberstleutnant-Kompanie and Major-Kompanie too. Maybe someone has more knowledge about that and can elaborate in more detail.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, GreyC said:

No. Leibregiment is not the same as Leibgarde. Leibregimenter got the name, because the sovereign of a state was the regiment´s chief. 

 

If this is the case, please explain to me why in 1914 Inf. R. 117 was named "Infanterie Leibregiment Großherzogin?"  She was certainly not the sovereign of Hessen, and why was Inf. R. 115 named "Leibgarde Infanterie Regiment" with the Großherzog of Hessen as its "Chef?"

Andy

Edited by arb

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Posted (edited)

I think back in the Holy Roman Empire the connection with the sovereign as regimental chief for Leibregimenter was correct (Maybe with some exceptions, I am sure there were some... like always...) If I remember correctly the Großherzogin regiment was renamed to that name later...

I think with the time passing the Leib- name became more or less an honor title...

But I am sure there are members with a much deeper knowledge than me

Edited by Utgardloki

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16 hours ago, arb said:

please explain to me why in 1914 Inf. R. 117 was named "Infanterie Leibregiment Großherzogin?"

The IR 115 has a long history of being called Leibregiment. It has this name since 1806 when the Großherzogin in question wasn´t even born yet. The title Großerzogin was an additional honor-titel first to honor the then wife of the Großherzog (1897). After their divorce 1901 the regiment retained the title Großherzogin, but from 1902 (not 1914 to my knowledge)  this meant the Großherzog´s mother. So the regiment retained not only the younger title Großherzogin, but the more senior title Leibregiment, as well since 1806.

And why should a Garde-Regiment not be a Leibregiment also? The same is true with the Prussian 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß, as far as I know.

GreyC

 

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Hello, The two  Leib husaren regimente of the Prussian Army , the Death head hussars ,were not part of the Garde. The Leib Garde Husaren Regiment was created in 1815 as Garde Husaren ,later in 1888 when William II acceded to the throne named himself Regimentschef and the unit was named Leib Garde Husaren

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No response yet from arb. For all of you still interested and able to read Fraktur German here the exolanation of the Brockhaus, Germany´s equivalent to the Encyclopedia Britannica (from a 1890s edition).  There is an entry to Leibregiment that has this lemma/ cross reference to Leibtruppen.

GreyC

Leibregimenter.thumb.jpg.2f93d271750e187bb7174b170c8c9b51.jpg

 

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A quick translation draft:

Leibtruppen. (literally "Body-Troups") The oweners of the regiments in 16th and 17th century were chef of a company of theire regiment too und got theire incummings from that, there duty was provided by a Kapitänleutnant (also called Stabskapitän). Such companys were named Leibkompanien. The first company of regiments, whose owner was the lands Fürst(prince) or a prince of his house, had this name too. In that sence the first company of the prussian 1st guard regiment by foot is also today called Leibkomanie, the 1st squadron of the prussian Garde du Corps Leibeskadron, the 1st driving battery of the guard field artillery regiment Leibbatterie, but the officer who commands them is the real company or squadron chief. In the german army further the 1st company of the infantry regmients number 115 to 117 are Leibkompanien and the 1st squadrons of the dragoon regmients number 23 and 24 Leibeskadrons. The third battalions of the infantry regiments number 92 and 118 are called Leibbattaillone. Leib-regiments are the prussian grenadier regiment number 8, the saxon grenadier regiment nr. 100, the Baden grenadier regiment nr. 109, the hessian infantry regiment nr. 115, the bavarian infantry leib regiment, the Leib-Gardehusarenregiment (guard hussars), the Leib-Gardeartellerieregiment (artillery regiment), the prussian hussar regiments nr. 1 and 2, the Baden dragoon regiment nr. 20, the hessian dragoon regiment nr. 24. In Russia single troup parts are called L., in Austria-Hungary now only the Leibgarden (s.Haustruppen (house troops))

 

It seems like the transition to guards is somehow fluent? ...

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Hi Utgardloki,

thanks for the translation. To answer your question: yes and no 😉

Of course, if a sovereign was Chef of a regiment he had strong ties to it. So sometimes the regiments/units became Leibgarde also. But Leibregimenter were only few, whereas for example, the Prussian Garde grew to become it´s own (Garde)Korps with around at least 30.000 troops.

GreyC

 

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As I explained before a Garde Regiment ,the Garde Hussars ,become Leib Garde Regiment when it was associated with the monarch

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Thanks for your answers.
Many years of collector (more than 40) and such basic things without knowing.

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Dont worry, nobody knows all ,knowledge is ever incomplete

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I just read a PM which chided me for not responding to a post.  Here then is my response:

Your initial response did not answer the question I posed, which was, why did a Leibregiment not have a sovereign as its "Chef" as you claimed.  Kindly grant me the consideration that I know why IR 117 and others were named the way there were.
 
Nevertheless, thank you for personally invalidating your earlier statement that Leibregimenter were so named because a sovereign was their "Chef"  A Großherzogin, be it a wife or mother, was no sovereign.  

In order to avoid such issues in the future,  perhaps use qualifying statements such as "generally speaking" or "in most instances."  Sweeping generalizations do nothing to further an accurate understanding of history.

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I took time and effort to answer your question and scanned the article of the 1890s Brockhaus for all to read (thanks much to Utgardloki for the translation) to facilitate a valid answer. So if you are not happy with my answer you have the Brockhaus article I provided to give you the answer. That´s all from my side.

GreyC

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8 hours ago, arb said:

I just read a PM which chided me for not responding to a post.  Here then is my response:

Your initial response did not answer the qu were.
 
Nevertheless, thank you for personally invalidating your earlier statement that Leibregimenter were so named because a sovereign was their "Chef"  A Großherzogin, be it a wife or mother, was no sovereign.  

In order to avoid such issues in the future,  perhaps use qualifying statements such as "generally speaking" or "in most instances."  Sweeping generalizations do nothing to further an accurate understanding of history.

arb und Grey C , In the German Empire ,a Federal Empire , existed four Kingdoms,Prussia Bavaria Saxony and Wurtemberg . each with the respective King. But existed also the Great Duchies , Baden Hesse Darmstadt, Mecklenburg Schwerin and Mecklenburg Strelitz , Saxe Weimar and Oldenburg. each with their Great Duke ,Gross herzog , that counts as a Sovereign. existed five Duchies and seven Principalties ,each with a Duke or a Prince , and finally there were three Free Cities , Hamburg Lubeck and Bremen that were Republics with a President of the Senat ,at the head.  contrary to whar arb thinks in the German Empire the Grossherzogin of Hesse counted as a Sovereign .

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That is not correct. The sovereign is the one who actually rules the state. No Großherzogin was ever the sovereign of Hessen, since Salic Law kept females out of the line of succession. She was merely the wife or mother of the ruling Großherzog.

Regarding IR 117, it was known as Regiment Landgraf from 1790-1806, and its Inhaber was Landgraf Ludwig X. In 1906, Hessen-Darmstadt was elevated to a Grand Duchy, Landgraf Ludwig X became Großherzog Ludwig I, and the regiment was renamed the Leib-Regiment. After Ludwig I died in 1830, Ludwig II was Inhaber until he abdicated in 1848. The regiment was renamed 3. Infanterie-Regiment (Leib-Regiment). There was no Inhaber from 1848-1853. Ludwig III was Inhaber from 1853 until his death in 1877, and Wilhelm Prinz von Hessen was 2. Inhaber from 1867 until his death in 1900. After the Franco-Prussian War, the regiment was normalized in the Prussian numbering system as 3. Großh. Hessisches Infanterie-Regiment (Leib-Regiment) Nr. 117. Großherzogin Victoria Melita, the wife of Großherzog Ernst Ludwig, became Inhaber on 16.6.1897. On 15.2.1902, the regiment was renamed in honor of Victoria Melita as Infanterie-Leibregiment Großherzogin (3. Großh. Hessisches) Nr. 117

So in this case, the designation as a "Leib" regiment was a legacy of its earlier status when the sovereign was the Inhaber. 

And in case anyone is interested, Hessen-Darmstadt's single cavalry regiment, the Regiment Chevaulegers, became the Garde-Chevaulegers-Regiment in 1806. On 1 January 1860, the regiment was expanded to two regiments and renamed the 1. Reiter-Regiment (Garde-Chevaulegers-Regiment). The new regiment was named the 2. Reiter-Regiment (Leib-Chevaulegers-Regiment). Both regiments were renamed as Dragoner-Regiments on 1 January 1872 when they were standardized in the Prussian system. The Großherzog was Inhaber of both regiments until 1896, when Tsar Nicholas II of Russia became Inhaber of Leib-Dragoner Regiment Nr. 24.

Here, too, the regiment retained the "Leib" designation even though the sovereign was no longer the Inhaber, although the Tsar was at least sovereign of another state.

Also, all posters are reminded to watch the tone of their posts. This is a gentlemanly forum. 

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Hello , Personally I procured since I began to post in the Forum to maintain certain style.

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That was highly interesting, do You know of any regiment which lost it's "Leib-title"?

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LGR 8 was formed on 20 June 1808 and named the "Leib-Regiment" on 26 June. It was renamed 1. Brandenburgisches Infanterie-Regiment on 7 September 1808, but renamed the Leib-Infanterie-Regiment 7 days later. The regiment was one of two formed from the troops who held out against Napoleon's forces in Siege of Colberg (GR 9 was the other). From 1816 to 1846 it was the 8. Infanterie-Regiment (gen. Leib-Regiment) and from 1846 to 1860 the 8. Infanterie-Regiment (gen. Leib-Infanterie-Regiment). It became the Leib-Grenadier-Regiment (with minor variations) in 1860. It was renamed in honor of König Friedrich Wilhelm III on 27 January 1889. So it didn't really "lose" the title, but it went without it for a week in 1808.

From 1722 to 1815, the later FR 34 was the Swedish Drottningens livregemente till fot (Leibregiment zu Fuß der Königin). When Swedish Pomerania became part of Prussia, it became a Prussian regiment without the "Leib" name. 

IR 79 was originally formed in 1866 from companies of IR 27, IR 66 and IR 67 and was garrisoned in Hildesheim. With the annexation of Hannover by Prussia, it became the 3. Hannoversches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 79. On 24 January 1899, it was assigned the traditions of the Hannoversches Leibregiment. So while IR 79 itself was never a "Leib" regiment, it carried the traditions of an earlier one.

On that same date, FR 80 was assigned the traditions of the Kurhessisches Leib-Garde-Regiment. There was a closer connection, since when FR 80 was formed in 1866, it included men from the former Leib-Garde-Regiment in Wiesbaden.

Somewhere in the Stammtafel for GR 89, you will find the Schwerinsches Leib-Grenadier-Regiment and Leib-Garde zu Pferde, as well as the Strelitzsches Leibgarde zu Fuß. The 1. Kompanie of GR 89 became the Leibkompanie, but the 5. Kompanie, descended from the Leibgarde zu Fuß, was not designated a Leibkompanie.

HR 13 was formed in 1866 from several former Kurhessisch cavalry units (1. Kurhessisches Leib-Husaren-Regiment and the Leib-Eskadron of the Garde du Corps). On 25 August 1887, it was assigned the traditions of the Leib-Husaren-Regiment. Like FR 34, IR 79 and FR 80, in Prussian service, it did not carry the "Leib" name. 

 

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I am of course a big fan of the Bavarian Leib Regiment.

I have read arguments for it to be translated as "Body Regiment" ... but I think this is splitting hairs and trying too hard to make direct translations from German to English.

Maybe the thrust should not be an accurate translation, but rather the spirit of the unit?

The Bavarian Leib Regiment was a Guard Regiment. It guarded the Royal family and their residences... and the standard sentence on the Leib Regiment Reservist Beermugs is "The Regiment that calls itsef "the Garde"" .

As one German reference wrote, the Bavarians had a big enough army to justify a Garde Division but the King chose to limit the function to the Leib Regiment.

 

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Hello Chris ,  Its true, the Bavarian Army was big enough to have a Guard division . In 1914 was composed of Three Army Corps.with two Infantry Divisions each . It numbered 87214 men including 4087 officers ,doctors,veterinarians and officials . The Army was independent, their Corps ,Divisions, and Regiments or Bataillons ; Detachments etc numbered apart from the whole Imperial Army. Bavarian officers were not listed with the Prussians or Saxons or Wurttembergians. at least until 1914.regarding to the Leib Regiment i believe that Life Regiment is an adecuate translation . 

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Leibregiment, Leib-Eskadron and Leibkompanie are basically just German translations/adaptations of the French term "Garde du Corps".  The closest English equivalent is thus the Life Guards, the senior cavalry regiment of the British Army, although to an American, "Life Guard" is more likely to call to mind David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson rather than household cavalry.

I agree that a direct translation of the ILR into English makes little sense and does not capture the meaning, although "Infantry Life Guards Regiment" is probably a little better than "Body Regiment" (Wikipedia uses "Royal Bavarian Infantry Lifeguards Regiment"). I would normally not translate the Regiment der Garde du Corps into English either, although I suppose Regiment of Life Guards works for them.

They were all basically "Life Guards", whether they kept the French name as in the Regiment der Garde du Corps, used the full term as in the Leibgarde-Infanterie Regiment Nr. 115 or the Leib-Garde-Husaren-Regiment, used just the "Garde" part as in the other Prussian Guards regiments, the Saxon Garde-Reiter-Regiment or the Hessian Garde-Dragoner-Regiment Nr. 23, or used just the "Life" part as in the ILR, the Hessian Leib-Dragoner-Regiment Nr. 24, the Baden Leib-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 109, etc.

Bavaria also had the ceremonial Leibgarde der Hartschiere, which also does not lend itself to a particularly good English translation ("archer" or "archery" life guards sounds pretty awkward to me). 

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