As the readers of 1infanteriedivision.wordpress.com will have noticed I am a World War 2 person. The Second World War has been the centre of my interest for the last 20 years. As I get to handle a lot of World War 1 photos aswell and as my readers and friends on twitter and Facebook have demanded it, I decided to set up a small, second blog to present some interesting World War 1 photos when they turn up. I will try to realize at least one post a week, but please show patience if I continue to put most of my spare time and energy into 1infanteriedivision.wordpress.com.
GOD WITH US – Nobiscum deus (Gott mit uns) was a battle cry of the late Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Empire, used for the first time in German by theTeutonic Order. In the 17th century, the phrase Gott mit uns was used as a ‘field word’, a means of recognition akin to a password, by the army of Gustavus Adolphus at the battles of Breitenfeld (1631), Lützen (1632) and Wittstock (1636) in the Thirty Years’ War. In 1701, Frederick I of Prussia changed his coat of arms as Prince-Elector of Brandenburg. The electoral scepter had its own shield under the electoral cap. Below, the motto Gott mit uns appeared on the pedestal.
The Prussian Order of the Crown was Prussia’s lowest ranking order of chivalry, and was instituted in 1861. The obverse gilt central disc bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto of the German Empire Gott Mit Uns.
At the time of the completion of German unification in 1871, the imperial standard bore the motto Gott mit uns on the arms of an Iron Cross. Imperial German 3 and 5 mark silver and 20 mark gold coins had Gott mit uns inscribed on their edge.
In the First World War (and the second). German soldiers had Gott mit uns inscribed on their Belt Buckles. To the Germans it was a rallying cry, “a Protestant as well as an Imperial motto, the expression of German religious, political and ethnic single-mindedness, or the numerous unity of altar, throne and Volk”.