19. Saint Sylvester´s cannon with Ostrach participation

Traditionally, the Saint Sylvester´s cannon of the “Badische Böllerschützen Nußdorf” took place on 31.12.2022.

More than 300 spectators watched the cannons being loaded and fired in Überlingen Altbirnau. The cannoneers of the Dragoon Regiment Ostrach 1799 e.V. Matthias and Michael Kunze as well as Uli Schuler took part with the muzzle-loading cannon, calibre 95 millimetres.

Remembrance Day in Ostrach

On Sunday, 13.11.2022, the nationwide day of remembrance for the victims of violence, terror and war took place in Ostrach. The Dragoon Regiment No.11 zu Ostrach 1799 e.V. also took part.

Originally, the Remembrance Day was introduced by the “Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge” (German War Graves Commission) to commemorate the many millions of victims of the First World War. Especially in the current time, the day is not only a day of mourning, but also a sign for peace and reconciliation, especially for the victims of the terrible war in Ukraine.

The flag delegations of the associations and comradeships solemnly entered the church in Ostrach. The churchgoers, associations and comradeships then marched to the Ostrach cemetery with musical accompaniment.

The official commemoration ceremony then took place at the war memorial. Texts and poems were recited by pupils and Mayor Christoph Schulz gave a speech. While the music band played the song “vom guten Kameraden” (of the good comrade), the gunners of our dragoon regiment fired three salutes.

The subsequent lunch was a nice conclusion for all participants.

Memorial Mass for the Fallen

On Sunday, 13 November 2022, the traditional memorial mass for the fallen of the two World Wars took place in the Prandtauer Church in St. Pölten at the invitation of the church rector DDr. Knittel.

After two years of interruption due to corona, delegations of the Kameradschaftsbund, the Hesser Garde and the Radetzky-Orden followed the invitation. The UEHMG was represented by its President Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, and the Deputy President Lieutenant Colonel iTR Michael Joannidis.

After a short prayer service and a salute at the Hesser Monument, the delegations marched together into the church, where the fallen and missing of the World Wars were commemorated in a dignified manner, but also the victims of the current war on the border of Europe.

Afterwards, the rector of the church, DDr. Knittel, invited the participants to the sacristy for a communal ending. A big “Thank you” for this event, which we hope will be attended more by the traditional delegations in the future.

Expression about condolences about Schützenmajor Josef Kaser

Josef Kaser

With great sadness we have the duty to announce that Schützenmajor Josef “Sepp” Kaser, liaison officer for South and Welsh Tyrol of the Association of Traditional Associations of Central Europe, was taken from life by a tragic accident on November 2, 2022.

The President of the Union of European Historical Military Groups, Major General iTR Michael Blaha, the Board, the Presidium and all comrades of the UEHMG express their deep sympathy to the bereaved for this heavy loss.

The UEHMG will keep an honorable memory of Schützenmajor Josef Kaser .

Commemoration for Emperor Karl I.

On Sunday, October 23, 2022, a memorial event for the Blessed Emperor Karl I. took place in the palace garden of Laxenburg near Vienna on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death.

The President of the Cavalry Association, Colonel of Cavalry Franz Prandstätter, had the honour to welcome HIRH Eilika von Habsburg as representative of her husband HIRH Georg von Habsburg, as well as the President of the UEHMG, Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, and the Adjutant General, Major General iTR Peter Pritz.

Many delegations accepted the invitation and were able to watch the dragoons and infantrymen in impressive drill demonstrations, which ended with a general de charge and a defile.

Afterwards, a field service commemorated the Blessed Emperor Karl I., whose official day of remembrance falls on October 21. This touching part of the event ended with a blessing of the horses.

Last but not least, the participants had the opportunity to enjoy food and drinks in the best imperial weather and to exchange ideas in a friendly atmosphere before the successful event came to an end. Below are many impressions provided by the Cavalry Association.

General Rapport 2022

We all looked forward with great anticipation to the General Rapport 2022 in Schwaz in Tyrol. It was already clear during the preparations that a committed and professional team was at work here and that Schwaz itself is a good place for the preservation of tradition.

A large number of comrades had already arrived on Thursday to get in the mood for the next few days over a convivial dinner. It hardly needs to be mentioned that this first evening in companionable surroundings already turned out to be a long one.

On Friday, a wreath-laying ceremony took place at St. Martin’s Cemetery, where a commemorative plaque for the deceased of the 1st World War was presented. With great attention to detail, research had been done on all the persons mentioned and an exact assignment of origin, dates of life and religion had been made. The weather was also mild and the morning rain had even given way to sunshine. With humorous words from the pastor, dignified musical accompaniment and a large number of participants, this commemoration of the dead was a truly respectful start to the General Rapport.

This was continued with its large meeting in the rooms of the Franciscan monastery. As the reports were mostly very brief due to the limited possibilities of the previous year, the meeting could be held in just under three hours. The new admission of the Dragoon Regiment No.11 Maximilian Graf Baillet de Latour zu Ostrach 1799 and the Bürgerwehr Wolfach 1827 should be emphasised. For the accompanying persons, a guided tour of the beautiful little town of Schwaz took place during the meeting.

In the evening – and this is always a matter of concern to us at the UEHMG – a joint dinner for all participants was on the agenda. Almost 100 uniformed members and their accompanying persons took part and enjoyed the camaraderie. This exchange continued in small groups in various pubs until the early hours of the morning – understandable, since we had not met on such a large scale since last year.

On Saturday morning there was the opportunity to visit the Schwaz mine and Freundsberg Castle – both interesting sites with a lot of history and significance for the region. In the afternoon, the actual ceremony took place on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the k.u.k. Tiroler Kaiserjäger Schwaz, 1st Regiment, which was held entirely in the Franciscan Church due to the weather conditions. A dignified mass introduced the ceremony, followed by honourable speeches, a ramble through history and, last but not least, the handing over of command and some well-deserved honours.

The event ended with good food and drink in the inner courtyard of the monastery, although due to the temperatures, the already tried and tested localities nearby were quickly sought out again. It goes without saying that the General Rapport and the anniversary event of the Kaiserjäger ended on a convivial note until midnight.

On behalf of the UEHMG we thank all participants for their presence, the organiser for the truly excellent organisation and sincerely congratulate on the 100th anniversary.

Imperial Ball 2022

For the first time we scheduled the traditional Imperial Ball in September – in the hope that Corona would not throw a spanner in the works again. At the beginning of summer, with the summer wave of the pandemic, we were still worried that it might not turn out after all. But the number 13 has brought us luck, even if it is said otherwise, and we were able to hold the 13th Imperial Ball like in the good old days.

But the preparations were more challenging than usual. Before the summer, many people do not want to plan a visit to an event and advance sales were quite slow at the beginning. We were all the more pleased that the historic town hall in Korneuburg was sold out again and that a wonderful event with many highlights could take place.

Among the many guests of honour, HIRH Gloria von Habsburg must be mentioned first and foremost. The great-granddaughter of Emperor Karl I, to whom the Imperial Ball is dedicated, signed the Golden Book of the City of Korneuburg in the early evening at a champagne reception in the City Hall. With this invitation, Mayor Christian Gepp, MSc, continued a tradition that is an honour for us year after year.

It is not possible to list the many representatives of the traditional regiments here, but we are happy to let the numerous pictures on the website of the Imperial Ball speak for themselves. In any case, we are very pleased that the ball of the traditional regiments – organised and hosted by Infantry Regiment 49 and Dragoon Regiment 2 together with the UEHMG – is so well received by the uniformed traditional environment.

One of the first highlights was already the dance opening by a top couple of HSV Wien. Dancing at this high level is a joy to behold and obviously encouraged the ball guests in the further. The soprano Jowita Sip enchanted the audience throughout the hall with her voice as part of her artistic interlude. She deliberately underlined the internationality of the UEHMG with a selection of songs in different languages. And of course, the ball guests did not let her go without an encore, which, in addition, musically made everyone dream.

As a novelty, the „Club Charles“ was presented for the first time this year – a discotheque powered by Radio Arabella. Cult hits from the past and present for all generations were played and those who did not want to dance visited the premises out of curiosity and for the sake of the good bar. We would like to keep this programme item in the future.

As every year, we also put together 13 main prizes for the tombola at the 13th Imperial Ball. High-quality gifts from supporters of the ball were handed over to surprised and delighted ball guests, above all VIP tickets for a boxing event with multiple Austrian champion Marcel Meinl, who also personally handed over the ball gifts at the beginning.

The catering was once again provided by our k.u.k. Court kitchen with à la carte specialities. Those who also wanted to enjoy a good glass of wine could take a break at the Habsburg Wine Bar with wines from the vineyard of Maximilian von Habsburg or retire to the smokers‘ lounge in the entrance area.

With the midnight quadrille and midnight snack, the official part of the ball ended, and for the organisers and many guests the communal entertainment really began. The hard core, of course, lasted until the taps at 4 am. All guests enjoyed a few hours of light-heartedness and regardless of whether it will be, February or September, one thing is certain: the 14th Imperial Ball will take place in 2023!

> Click here for impressions of the 13th Imperial Ball

25 years Glasenapp Hussars 1762

The battle for Holtmühle Castle in Tegelen (Netherlands)

Actually, the festival of the Glasenapp Hussars was supposed to take place already in 2021, but as with so many things, the festival had to be postponed to 2022 due to Corona. Together with the German Friends of Regiment No 6, of Hardenberg Hannover, the Glasenapp Hussars 1762 organised a wonderful International Historical Meeting in Tegelen from 25 to 29 August 2022.

A historical camp with military and civilian life was shown at the Schützenverein Sankt Martinus near the castle. On Saturday and Sunday, a battle was planned near our garrison, at Holtmühe Castle.

Most of the groups arrived on Thursday. On Friday at noon there was a guided tour of the special exhibition in the Schützenmuseum at Steyl (Tegelen). In addition to an original uniform, a horse with equipment from the Glasenapp Hussars and a uniform from the Hardenberg regiment, thousands of figures from various manufacturers such as Elastolin and Heyde were on display.

On Friday evening, in the historic courtyard of Holtmühle Castle, Obrist Poeth and Baroness Daniëlle Poeth von der Heijden warmly welcomed His Excellency General Noordzij of the Guards Fusiliers of the Dutch Army, the Lord Mayor as well as the guests of honour and all regiments and participants.

In his speech, the Colonel said that 26 years ago, on 4 February 1996, he had founded the Hussar Regiment together with his son Major Rik Poeth and Major Ton Gubbels, who had unfortunately already passed away. In the years that followed, the regiment experienced wonderful things. Not only did they make very good friends, but they also experienced many honourable deeds, such as accompanying His Holiness the Pope in Mariazell (Austria) for 8 hours in the pouring rain. He also mentioned the welcome of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix in 2007, who gave the Hussar Regiment of Glasenapp, the highest honour to receive a regiment in the Netherlands and to walk through her standard.

In his speech, he pointed out that this day tries to represent a part of history in the 18th century and thus pass on this knowledge.

Because our goal is to keep the history alive. This is not to glorify war and death, on the contrary, we want to show under what hard conditions our ancestors had to live, work and fight. However, we want to remember that it was precisely at this time that people achieved feats that we still marvel at and enjoy as a matter of course today. There was not only war and poverty during this time, but also great achievements were made, e.g. in the fields of architecture, music, painting, theatre, medicine, philosophy, religion. It was also the time of colourful clothes and uniforms and this sight should be marvelled at and enjoyed. In this spirit, all guests and friends were wished a very pleasant time in Tegelen.

His Excellency General Noordzij of the Guard then inspected and welcomed the fusiliers, the flags and the regiments.

Sandwiches and drinks were served every morning.

On Saturday and Sunday, “the battle for Holtmühle Castle” took place at 2 pm. And although there was never a battle for the castle, Matthias Mechella explained to the visitors how such a battle went on in 1762.

After the battle, many things were explained in the camp for the visitors. In the evening, all the tables were put together and General Noordzij donated a large meal and the colonel two barrels of beer. At 10 pm, an atmospheric torchlight parade was held, during which the deceased friends were honoured with music and singing.

On Sunday morning, the auxiliary bishop, field preacher Major Dautzenberg from Maastricht conducted a field mass. At noon, the second battle took place. At the end, all participants received a certificate and a special commemorative coin. For many it was a very touching farewell. They promised to meet again soon.

This time everything went like clockwork for the Hussars von Glasenapp. The weather, the programme, the friendship, everything was perfect. It was a meeting with their German friends in Tegelen that will not soon be forgotten.

Author: Colonel Frank Poeth, Frei-Husaren von Glasenapp 1762
Photos: Court painter Ari Verbruggen

Swearing-in ceremony of the AAB3

On Friday, July 22, 2022, the recruits of AAB3 (Reconnaissance and Artillery Battalion 3) were sworn in in Großschweinbarth, Lower Austria. Recruits from the Reconnaissance and Artillery Battalion 4 (AAB4) were also there and were able to meet the battalion commander, Colonel Michael Vitovec.

The ceremony took place in an exceptionally beautiful setting, namely in the park of Großschweinbarth Castle, with the participation of Federal Minister Mag. Klaudia Tanner. The participants of the Riding Artillery Division No. 2, RAD2, were: Hptm iTR W. Huttarsch, Lt iTR W. Billing, StbFwk iTR Michael Klammer and Obstlt iTR Michael Joannidis.

After the recruits had sworn in and the standards had been raised, three gun salutes were fired: the first shot in honor of Saint Barbara, the second shot in honor of the recruits and the third shot in honor of the Federal Minister and the guests of honor. The RAD2’s salute was commanded by Hptm iTR Huttarsch.

The very precise and interesting process led to Federal Minister Tanner personally thanking Obstlt iTR Joannidis and his comrades after the ceremony. She also pointed out the importance of maintaining tradition and encouraged RAD2 to continue to provide this support to the Austrian Armed Forces.

The RAD2 also received great praise from Brigadier Jawurek, Military Commander of Lower Austria, Colonel Hohlweg, AAB3, and Colonel Vitovec, AAB4.

Comradeship evening in Villingen

On May 7, 2022, Hajo Böhm, one of the four Vice-Presidents, invited members of the UEHMG to a meeting in Villingen.

Co-organiser was Corporal Bruno Unter of the VBO Südwest. Numerous groups from southern Germany accepted the invitation. Colonel Hajo Böhm, who is also the State Commander of the Baden-Südhessen Civic Guards and Militias and Honorary Commander of the Historischen Bürgerwehr und Trachtengruppe, welcomed representatives from the following groups:

The Stadtgarde zu Pferd Stuttgart with their honorary riding master Werner Frick with wife Cathrin, the Bürgermiliz Sipplingen with the deputy state commander Adrian Staiger, the Bürgerwehr Hüfingen with their newly elected commander Herbert Vogel, the Hohenzollern-Kürassiere Sigmaringen with the Union Liaison Officer Corporal Bruno Herunter, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Corporal Roland Ott with his wife Uschi, the Dragoner Ostrach and the Bürgerwehr Reutlingen under Commander Armin Schlachter with his wife.

The friendly get-together started in bright sunshine with a guided tour of the town of Villingen with the leader of the Villingen traditional costume group, Ingrid Beck. Many beautiful corners of Villingen were explored with “history and stories”.

The guests were served by the Historische Bürgerwehr und Trachtengruppe Villingen in their clubhouse. Chairman Karl-Heinz Schwert and his team provided food and drink to round off the event.

In his welcoming remarks, Hajo Böhm particularly emphasised the importance of cross-border friendship between associations and people. These contacts would make it easier to overcome possible conflicts and to awaken understanding for each other.

Bruno Unter thanked all participants and helpers for organising this meeting and pointed out the importance of the UEHMG, which has 90 members from 20 nations.

Everyone parted with the wish for another social gathering soon to complement the usual formal events.

Text: Ingrid Beck, Historische Bürgerwehr und Trachtengruppe Villingen
Photos: Cathrin Frick