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Soldiers host General during Minden Day

02 August 2017

Army Chief promotes Soldiers in Germany at Minden Day Parade.

General Sir Nicholas Carter, Chief of the General Staff (CGS) visited units based in Germany, where his first call was to a Field Breakfast with RSMs from 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade, before visiting commander 20 Armd Inf Bde, Brigadier Mike Elviss MBE.

He then attended a Minden Day Parade at Barker Barracks, where he was presented with a Minden Rose from the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) before conducting promotions to Soldiers on parade.

After which he returned to Sennelager Training Area to a joint fuelling demonstration by The Queen's Royal Hussars (QRH) and Panzerbataillon 203 of the German Bundeswehr.

The Battle of Minden

The Seven Years War took place from 1756 to 1763. England and Prussia were allied against France and Austria. On the 1st August 1759 the allied Forces of some 41,000 men under the command of Prince Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, assembled in the vicinity of Minden. The British contingent of 10,000 was under the command of Lieutenant General Lord George Sackville. The French had a Force of 51 000 men and were under command of Marshal Contades.

Prince Ferdinand had previously divided his army in an attempt to encourage the French to attack, but by the early hours of 1st August 1759 he had concentrated his troops in a position North West of the town of Minden extending from Minderheide to Petershagen. The fields and hedgerows were full of wild red and yellow roses and the British soldiers picked these and placed them on their hats.

Due to a misunderstanding in the transmission of orders. the British infantry brigades, under their Commanders Waldegrave and Kingsley, began to march towards the French. To the surprise of everyone, including Prince Ferdinand and his staff and the French Commanders, the British Infantry marched forwards into a hail of fire and attacked the French cavalry - the first recorded incident of this kind in military history. Despite very heavy losses, the Infantry, supported by two batteries of Artillery, continued their attack and forced the French to retreat.

Lord George Sackville was ordered to attack with the British cavalry to rout the French but failed to do so. After the decisive attack by the British infantry the Allied Force advanced and drove the French off the battlefield. Of the 4,434 men who went into battle with 6 British infantry regiments. 78 officers and 1,252 soldiers were killed or wounded. All the regiments still celebrate the 1st August and have the word "Minden" embroidered on their Colours and Battle Honour.

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