Royal Bavarian Infantry Lifeguards Regiment
The Royal Bavarian Infantry Lifeguards Regiment was a household
Household Division
Household Division is a term used principally in the Commonwealth of Nations to describe a country’s most elite or historically senior military units, or those military units that provide ceremonial or protective functions associated directly with the head of state.-Historical Development:In...

A bodyguard is a type of security operative or government agent who protects a person—usually a famous, wealthy, or politically important figure—from assault, kidnapping, assassination, stalking, loss of confidential information, terrorist attack or other threats.Most important public figures such...

 regiment of the Bavarian kings
Kingdom of Bavaria
The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that existed from 1806 to 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1806 as Maximilian I Joseph. The monarchy would remain held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom's dissolution in 1918...

 from the end of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 until the fall of the Wittelsbach monarchy and the related resolution of the Bavarian army
Bavarian army
The Bavarian Army was the army of the Electorate and then Kingdom of Bavaria. It existed from 1682 as the standing army of Bavaria until the merger of the military sovereignty of Bavaria into that of the German State in 1919...



Before the actual Lifeguards Regiment, two infantry regiments in Bavaria held this name:
  • from 1684 to 1778 the later Royal Bavarian Infantry Regiment "König Ludwig" Nr. 10
  • from 1778 to 1811 the later Royal Bavarian Infantry Regiment "König" Nr. 1


The regiment was created by Royal Decree on 16 July 1814 as the "Grenadier-Garde-Regiment" from the grenadier companies of the Bavarian line infantry regiments. The tallest men were transferred to the Grenadier Guards Regiment, the rest to the "Royal Bavarian Infantry Regiment "König" Nr. 1". The regiment consisted of 3 battalions of 6 companies each. The first Colonel-Commandant (after 1872, the term "commander" was used) was Franz Freiherr von Hertling, who was in command until 11 February 1824. On 13 April 1815 the regiment received its flags in Munich.

A field battalion was established from all battalions on 14 April 1815 and deployed for guard duties under the 6th Royal Bavarian Reserve Infantry Brigade in Mannheim
Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

 and Auxerre
Auxerre is a commune in the Bourgogne region in north-central France, between Paris and Dijon. It is the capital of the Yonne department.Auxerre's population today is about 45,000...

. After the armistice, the 2nd and 3rd battalion were transferred to Auxerre. On 22 September 1815 the flags were blessed in the cathedral of Auxerres.

The Regiment's garrison city was generally Munich, at times individual battalions of the Regiment were stationed elsewhere (1st battalion 1851-1853 in Germersheim
Germersheim is a town in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, of around 20,000 inhabitants. It is also the seat of the Germersheim district. The neighboring towns and cities are Speyer, Landau, Philippsburg, Karlsruhe and Wörth.-Coat of arms:...

, 1862 in Landau; 2nd battalion 1853 in Landau, 1859 in Landsberg
Landsberg am Lech
Landsberg am Lech is a town in southwest Bavaria, Germany, about 65 kilometers west of Munich and 35 kilometers south of Augsburg. It is the capital of the district of Landsberg am Lech....

, 1871 in Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

; 3rd battalion 1873 in Fürstenfeldbruck
Fürstenfeldbruck is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Fürstenfeldbruck. it has a population of 35,494. Since the 1930s, Fürstenfeldbruck has had an air force base....


Immediately after the death of Maximilian I Joseph, his son and heir Ludwig I
Ludwig I of Bavaria
Ludwig I was a German king of Bavaria from 1825 until the 1848 revolutions in the German states.-Crown prince:...

 decreed the abolition of the expensive Guard regiments. The Regiment from 6 December 1825 held the name "Line Infantry Lifeguard Regiment", consisting of 2 battalions of 6 companies each (20 to 30 soldiers to a company). From 28 October 1835 it was named the "Infantry Lifeguard Regiment", without a Regiment number, it stood at the head of the infantry in the order of precedence. In practice, however, it maintained its "Guard" status. Quickly, "Leiber" ("Lifeguards") became a nickname for members of the Regiment.

In 1848 the 3rd battalion was re-established. The Regiment was placed on high alert on 4 April 1848 during the confusion of the Revolution, and took up positions in front of the ruler's residence. On 30 June 1848, the first commoner, Jakob Ermarth, was appointed Colonel-Commandant. The 1st and 2nd battalions were transferred on 5 October 1848 to Sigmaringen
Sigmaringen is a town in southern Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Situated on the upper Danube, it is the capital of the Sigmaringen district....

 in Marsch, to protect Charles, Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Charles, Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Charles, Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen from 1831 to 1848.In 1833 Karl called a constitutional assembly together and created a constitutional charter that would be the law in his lands...

 and to depose the provisional government there. After similar deployments under an "observation corps" in the area of Ulm
Ulm is a city in the federal German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the River Danube. The city, whose population is estimated at 120,000 , forms an urban district of its own and is the administrative seat of the Alb-Donau district. Ulm, founded around 850, is rich in history and...

 and Günzburg
Günzburg is a Große Kreisstadt and capital of the district of Günzburg in Swabia, Bavaria. This district was constituted in 1972 by combining the city of Günzburg—which had not previously been assigned to a Kreis —with the district of Günzburg and the district of Krumbach.Günzburg lies...

, the battalions returned by 31 December 1849 to Munich. For the Regiment's 50th anniversary on 16 July 1864, its officers and the Colonel-Commandant Karl Graf von Spreti held a banquet in the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten
Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski
Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten Munich is a luxury five-star hotel in Munich, Germany. It was built in 1858 and belongs to the Kempinski chain of hotels. Also it is in chain The Leading Small Hotels of the World...

 in Munich, and its non-commissioned officers and enlisted ranks received an allowance of 500 guilders from King Ludwig II, and 100 guilders from Prince Otto.

War against Prussia

In 1866 in the Austro-Prussian War
Austro-Prussian War
The Austro-Prussian War was a war fought in 1866 between the German Confederation under the leadership of the Austrian Empire and its German allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia with its German allies and Italy on the...

, with Bavaria fighting on the Austrian side, the Regiment was not deployed as a whole; the I battalion was stationed in the fortress of Mainz, whilst the II and III battalions, under Colonel Siegmund von Pranckh
Siegmund von Pranckh
Siegmund Freiherr von Pranckh was a Bavarian general and Minister of War. Pranckh joined the army in Munich in 1840 from the cadet corps and in 1849 worked on the staff of the Generalquartiermeister...

, were assigned to the 1st Royal Bavarian Infantry Brigade. After 4 battles, the Regiment counted 17 dead and 136 wounded, with the Colonel having been replaced, unusually, by the non-aristocratic Adalbert Högenstaller already after the first of these battles (at Nüdlingen).

Franco-Prussian War

In the Franco-Prussian War the whole Regiment was assigned to the 1st Brigade, and thus to the 1st Division. At Lechfeld, it counted 66 officers and 2879 men ready for action. In the battles of Wörth on 6 August 1870 and Sedan on 1 September the Regiment was at the centre of the fighting and suffered a few casualties. For the actions at Sedan the commander of the III battalion, Major Joseph Graf von Ioner-Tettenweiß, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph
Military Order of Max Joseph
The Military Order of Max Joseph was the highest purely military order of the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was founded on 1 January 1806 by Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, the first king of Bavaria...

. After the battle at Artenay on 10 October 1870 the Regiment occupied Orléans on 11 October, but had to give it up again on 9 November 1870 in the face of far superior French forces, the Armée de la Loire
Armée de la Loire
The Armée de la Loire was a French army of the Franco-Prussian War. It was formed in October 1870 by Léon Gambetta, interior minister and minister for war in the Government of National Defence, then taking refuge in Tours after the French defeat at Sedan on 2 September 1870...

. The cautious but brave actions of Captain Karl Hoffmann, head of the 9th Company of the Regiment, in the Battle of Villepion
Battle of Villepion
The Battle of Villepion was a battle between the French XVI Corps under General Chanzy and the I. Bayerischen Armee-Korps during the Franco-Prussian War...

 on 1 December 1870 prevented a breakthrough by superior French units, and held the endangered position until the end of that day. He was also awarded the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph. On 2 December 1870 the Regiment proved itself in the bloody Battle of Loigny-Poupry
Battle of Loigny-Poupry
The Battle of Loigny-Poupry was a battle of the Franco-Prussian War. It took place on 2 December 1870 during the Loire Campaign near the town of Loigny...

, for which First Lieutenant Hermann Ehrne von Melchthal (8th Company) received a Knight's Cross for bravery in the face of the enemy. The Regiment recaptured Orléans the following day. On 7 December 1870 Second Lieutenant Friedrich Krieger, head of the 11th Company, repelled an attack by superior French forces on an artillery unit at Lemons (near Meung) and engaged in a counter-attack on his own initiative. He pursued and captured numerous French soldiers and an enemy artillery battery; for this he received a Knight's Cross. On the same day Second Lieutenant Alfred Meyer distinguished himself through his brave actions in a battle at Le Bardon (north-west of Meung), resulting in the award of a Knight's Cross on 24 May 1871. In the Battle of Beaugency
Battle of Beaugency (1870)
The Battle of Beaugency was a battle of the Franco-Prussian War contested between the army group of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, and the French Armée de la Loire, won by the Prussians. It lasted from 8 to 10 December 1870 and occurred on the left bank of the Loire River to the northwest of the...

 on 8 December 1870 the Regiment held its positions against the French attacks. The Regiment was kept on alert during the siege of Paris, but did not have to intervene in the fighting.

The Regiment had officially fielded 66 officers and 2879 men at the start of the war; 54 officers and 2193 men were present at the victory parade in Munich on 16 July 1871.

In 8 transports, 34 officers and 2333 men had been sent as reinforcements, so that the Regiment had suffered a total loss in terms of dead, wounded and diseased, of 46 officers and 3019 men, that is, 100 more men than had originally belonged to the Regiment at the start of the war.

Commanding officers

The commander was always the King himself, but the military and administrative leadership of the regiment lay with the Colonel-Commandants, or after 1872, with the commanders.
Commander Time in office
Franz Freiherr von Hertling (* 28 June 1780; † 13 September 1844) 16 July 1814 - 11 February 1824
Friedrich von Greis (* 27 May 1779; † 6 February 1847) 11 February 1824 - 22 May 1836
Johann Ritter von Fleischmann (* 24 March 1771; † 27 December 1855) 22 May 1836 - 27 April 1841
Hugo von Bosch (* 1 January 1782; † 7 August 1865) 27 April 1841 - 18 October 1844
Wilhelm Freiherr von Jeetze 18 October 1844 - 7 April 1847
Ludwig Graf von Deroy (* 15 January 1786; † 11 February 1864) 7 April 1847 - 30 June 1848
Jakob Ermarth 30 June 1848 - 19 January 1851
August Freiherr von Frays (* 15 April 1790; † 24 October 1863) 19 January 1851 - 19 September 1851
Caspar von Hagens (* 22 December 1800; † 6 January 1877) 19 September 1851 - 9 May 1859
Karl Graf von Speti 9 May 1859 - 11 January 1865
Siegmund Freiherr von Pranckh (* 5 December 1821; † 8 May 1888) 11 January 1865 - 13 July 1866
Adalbert Högenstaller (* 8 August 1813; † 11 September 1880) 13 July 1866 - 14 April 1867
Anton Ritter von Täuffenbach (* 17 August 1817; † 25 February 1880) 14 April 1867 - 27 March 1871
Rudolf Freiherr von Gumppenberg 27 March 1871 - 3 November 1872
Heinrich von Wirthmann (* 1818; † 13 November 1893) 3 November 1872 - 15 December 1875
Otto von Parseval 15 December 1875 - 7 July 1881
Prinz Arnulf von Bayern (* 6 July 1862; † 12 November 1906) 7 July 1881 - 20 March 1884
Hugo von Helvig 20 March 1884 - 11 May 1888
Moriz von Bomhard (* 20 December 1836; † 17 June 1907) 11 May 1888 - 8 March 1889
Wilhelm Gemmingen Freiherr von Massenbach 8 March 1889 - 25 November 1891
Ludwig Edler von Grauvogl 25 November 1891 - 15 January 1895
Theophil Freiherr Reichlin von Meldegg 15 January 1895 - 9 November 1895
Karl Freiherr von Horn
Carl von Horn
Carl Graf von Horn was a Bavarian Colonel General and War Minister from April 4, 1905 to February 16, 1912. He was born in Würzburg and died in Munich., House of the Bavarian history...

 (* 16 February 1847; † 5 June 1923)
9 November 1895 - 10 May 1896
Maximilian von Malaisé 10 May 1896 - 17 March 1897
Alfred Graf Eckbrett von Dürckheim-Montmartin 17 March 1897 - 14 August 1901
Felix Graf von Bothmer
Felix Graf von Bothmer
Felix Graf von Bothmer was a German general of the Brusilov offensive. His father was army general and belonged to the German nobility. In 1871 Bothmer joined the Bavarian Army...

 (* 10 December 1852; † 18 March 1937)
14 August 1901 - 18 May 1903
Friedrich Freiherr Kreß von Kressenstein 18 May 1903 - 17 October 1905
Karl von Brug (* 18 June 1855; † 25 March 1923) 17 October 1905 - 11 September 1906
Maximilian Graf von Montgelas (* 23 May 1860; † 4 February 1938) 11 September 1906 - 18 September 1908
Alexander Freiherr von Harsdorf auf Enderndorf 18 November 1908 - 24 January 1910
Bernhard von Hartz 24 January 1910 - 1 October 1912
Friedrich Freiherr von Pechmann (* 28 July 1862; † 6 December 1919) 1 October 1912 - 24 December 1914
Franz Ritter von Epp (* 16 October 1868; † 31 December 1946) 24 December 1914 - Kriegsende

Pour le Mérite awards 1914-1918

  • 5 December 1917 Lieutenant of the Reserve Ferdinand Schörner
    Ferdinand Schörner
    Ferdinand Schörner was a General and later Field Marshal in the German Army during World War II.-Early life:Schörner was born in Munich, Bavaria...

  • 29 May 1918 Colonel Franz Ritter von Epp

Military Order of Max Joseph Knight's Cross awards 1914-1918

  • 15 November 1915 First Lieutenant Hans Freiherr von Speidel (killed 28 December 1916)
  • 25 June 1916 Prince Heinrich of Bavaria
    Prince Heinrich of Bavaria
    Prince Heinrich of Bavaria was a member of the Bavarian Royal House of Wittelsbach and a highly decorated Army officer in the First World War.-Early life:...

     (killed 8 November 1916)
  • 23 June 1916 Lieutenant Colonel Franz Ritter von Epp
  • 11 July 1916 Captain Emmerich Freiherr von Godin
  • 24 June 1916 Captain of the Reserve Günther Freiherr von Pechmann
  • 20 July 1916 Lieutenant of the Reserve Wilhelm Meng
  • 6 January 1917 Major Robert Graf von Bothmer (killed 28 September 1918)
  • 6 January 1917 First Lieutenant Ludwig Graf von Bothmer
  • 10 August 1917 Lieutenant of the Reserve Hans von Ruckteschell
  • 27 October 1917 Lieutenant of the Reserve Karl Ritter von Halt
    Karl Ritter von Halt
    Dr Karl Ritter von Halt, born Karl Ferdinand Halt was a sport official in Nazi Germany and in the German Federal Republic. He was born and died in Munich.-Biography:...

  • 28 May 1918 Lieutenant of the Reserve Franz Wimmer
  • 18 September 1918 Captain Hans von Pranckh
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