Guard Hussar Regiment (Denmark)

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Guard Hussar Regiment
Gardehusarregimentet
Gardehusar.jpg
Cap badge of the Guard Hussars
Active November 17, 1614–present
Country Denmark
Branch Royal Danish Army
Type Cavalry
Role 1st Battalion – Armoured Infantry
2nd Battalion – Armoured Infantry
3rd Battalion – Reconnaissance
4th Battalion – Armoured Infantry
5th Battalion - Basic Training
Size Five battalions
Part of Hærens Operative Kommando
Garrison/HQ I.Bataljon – Slagelse
II.Bataljon – Slagelse
III.Bataljon – Bornholm
IV.Bataljon – Slagelse
V.Bataljon – Slagelse
Nickname GHR
Patron Crown Prince Frederick
Motto In Actis Esto Volucris (Be swift in action)
Regimental belt Stable belt GHR
March Garderhusarregimentets Signalmarch
Mascot Aramis (Shetland's pony)
Anniversaries 17 November 1614
10 February 1762
Engagements Thirty Years War
Torstenson War
Second Nordic War
Scanian War
Nine Years' War
War of the Spanish Succession
Great Nordic War
Napoleonic Wars
First Schleswig War
Second Schleswig War
Operation Weserübung
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Post-invasion Iraq (2003–2011)
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Tommy M. Paulsen
Ceremonial chief HM The Queen of Denmark
Notable
commanders
Peder Aalborg

The Guard Hussar Regiment (Danish: Gardehusarregimentet, GHR) is a special cavalry unit of the Royal Danish Army, the primary tasks of which are to provide mounted escorts and commando forces, and to train the Guard Hussars for various functions in the mobilisation force.[1] The Guard Hussars are one of two active cavalry regiments of the Danish Army, and was formed in 2001 through the amalgamation of the original Guard Hussars with two infantry regiments: Zealand Life Regiment and Danish Life Regiment

History[edit]

Although the Guard Hussars themselves date from 10 February 1762, the Danish Army takes the date of the founding of a regiment from its oldest part, in this case the Zealand Life Regiment, which was founded in 1614. This makes the Guard Hussars the oldest regiment of hussars in the world still operational, it is also the only hussars in mounted parade uniform to still wear the slung and braided pelisse which was formerly characteristic of this class of cavalry. In addition to its operational role, the Guard Hussar Regiment is one of two regiments in the Danish Army (along with the Den Kongelige Livgarde) to be classed as 'Guards'; in this case, the Guard Hussars perform the same role as the Household Cavalry do in the British Army.

The motto of the regiment is in Latin: In actis esto volucris, which translates to Be swift in action.

From 1961 to 1972 the regiment was responsible for two armoured battalions, one recon battalion and three infantry battalions. From 1972–2000 the regiment was responsible for one armoured, one mechanised infantry, one reconnaissance and two infantry battalions. From 2000–2004 the regiment was responsible for two armoured, two mechanised infantry, one reconnaissance and two infantry battalions. From 1992–2004 the regiment also had to form two light Reconnaissance Squadrons assigned to the Brigades.

A Guard Hussar soldier interacts with the local population in Helmand, Afghanistan.

Today the Gardehusarregiment is classed as a cavalry regiment, it is in fact a mixed armoured and infantry unit, with four battalions:

  • 1st Battalion – Armoured Infantry (part of 2nd Brigade)
  • 2nd Battalion – Armoured Infantry (part of 2nd Brigade)
  • 3rd Battalion – Reconnaissance (part of 1st Brigade)
  • 4th Battalion – INTOPS Training (in active)
  • 5th Battalion – Basic Training (part of 2nd Brigade)


Mounted Squadron[edit]

Overview[edit]

The Gardehusarregiment also commands a 'Mounted Squadron' (Danish: Hesteskadronen, HESK). The purpose of the squadron is to provide mounted escorts for the Royal family and carry ceremonial services for the Royal Danish Army. The squadron commands 75 horses, 18 officers and NCOs, and 75-100 conscripts. It furthermore has a saddler, music-teacher, veterinarian and a farrier.[2]

History[edit]

In 1762, there was a possibility of war between Denmark and Russia. The general staff was weary of the coming battle, due to the Cossacks, and Denmarks inability to counter the light cavalry. Using the Austro-Hungarian hussars as a frame of base, Denmark created their own hussar regiment, copying the hussar uniform.[3]

Conscription[edit]

The conscripts serve 1 year of service, the longest time for a conscript in Denmark. It is also the only place where conscripts are issued silver monograms, all others regiments being issued brass monograms, of either the Queen or the Prince Consort. They will normally have 3-4 months of basic military training, before moving on to stable duty, where they learn basic stable duty, basic horseback riding, escort and show training, and music lessons.

Uniform[edit]

A Guard Hussar in mounted parade uniform, including the red pelisse, sabretache and shabraque

The current ceremonial uniform of the Guard Hussar Regiment dates from 1870. It contains:

  • A Blue Dolman: The original dolman was replaced in 1870, with a simplified version, having fewer braids across the chest.
  • A Red Pelisse (jacket): The pelisse was introduced in 1762. With the introduction of the new dolman in 1870, the pelisse was removed from the uniform, it was however possible to wear the old ones until they were worn out. Edward VII of England suggested to reintroduce the pelisse, but only for officers who had to buy them privately in either case. The pelisse for NCOs and privates from before 1870, are said to still being "worn out" and are therefore still used today. Both versions of the pelisse are provided with lanyards used for holding the pelisse in place, when worn from the left shoulder. These lanyards are called mantequets. Officers wear Cardinal red, where NCOs and enlisted wear Crimson red. It is the only hussar regiment in the world to still use it. [4]
  • Blue Riding Breeches: The current light blue breeches with a white stripe along the outseam were introduced in 1822. The original pants in 1762 were also light blue, but between 1774-1822 different colors were used, yellow were however most common.[5]
  • A sabretache (pouch): In the colors of the regiment, with the royal monogram. It is the only uniform in the world to still use it, and has been in use since Frederick V. [6]
  • A shako with a cordon and pompom made of tail hairs for NCOs and enlisted, officers have white buffalohair. There are two colours for pompoms, red for the Bugle Corps while the rest have white.
  • A shabraque (saddlecloth): In the colors of the regiment, with the royal monogram. It remains mostly unchanged since 1762.
  • A Bridle: The bridle has cowries woven into it. It was meant to make the horse look like a skeleton, but also to protect the horse from saber cuts and to signify wealth. It was first introduces in 1787.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Guard Hussars". Retrieved July 25, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Official Website" (in Danish). Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Forsvaret Gallauniform" (in Danish). Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Forsvaret Gallauniform" (in Danish). Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Forsvaret Gallauniform" (in Danish). Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Kongehuset/Kronprinsparrets-bryllup/Gardehusarregimentet" (in Danish). Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Kongehuset/Kronprinsparrets-bryllup/Gardehusarregimentet" (in Danish). Retrieved October 30, 2014.