Yup, that’s possum

Here we see a busby for officers in the 2nd Life Hussar Regiment “Königin Viktoria von Preußen” No. 2. The regiment was garrisoned in Danzig-Langfuhr and was part of the XVII. Army Corps in Danzig under General August von Mackensen in August 1914, though they were rushed to the Western Front in the opening stages of the Great War to fight at the Battle of the Marne.

“The body covered with possum skin. Silvered skull emblem, eyes backed with black velvet, fatherland scroll. Convex, leather lined brass chinscales (leather strap torn at centre, leather lining repaired, traces of gold plating), cockade of lacquered sheet metal, silvered officer’s insignia with black velvet. White cloth bag (new stitches) with silver ring. Silver cap line with black stripes. Champagne coloured silk lining (new stitches), light brown leather sweatband. Partially slightly damaged, signs of age. Overall good condition. Very rare. Chief of the regiment was Princess Viktoria Louise of Prussia.”

Transferred to the Eastern Front in autumn 1914, the Hussar brigade (made up of the 1st and 2nd regiments) fought first in Galicia and in the Battle of Riga and were involved in the occupation of the islands Oesel and Dago. After the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia on 3 March 1918, the units remained as occupation forces in Russia.

Returning in January 1919 to Danzig, they were disbanded after 178 years service– though their lineage, flags, and trophies were retained in the 2nd Squadron of the 5th (Prussian) Reiter (Mounted) Regiment in the Reichswehr stationed at Stolpe throughout the 1920s and early 30s.

Princess Viktoria Luise, only daughter and the last child of Wilhelm II, and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, as noted from the unit’s title was the honorary colonel of the regiment and regularly inspected the hussars, complete in her uniform.

The House of Hohenzollern visiting the Leib-Husaren Regiment, date unknown

The unit dated back to 1741 when Fredrick III founded it as Husaren-Regiment (H 5).


Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia wears the uniform of the Leib Husaren Regt Nr. 2. in these photos from around 1910

Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia wears the uniform of the Leib Husaren Regt Nr. 2. in these photos from around 1910

The final Regimentschefin und Oberst à la suite of the Regiment, she passed away in 1980 in Hanover, reportedly still quite an equestrian even late into her life.

The busby is one of the items that will be auctioned by Herman Historica next month.


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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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