This is a cast iron memorial war plaque that commemorates the Deutsche Legion (Kings German Legion [KGL]), which was formed in 1803 to fight in the Napoleonic Wars. It measures 7″ x 4 5/16,” and is shaped like a squared-off shield. The cast iron has been blackened, and sports a high-relief sculpture of a horse rearing above a defeated enemy. The fallen man has his shield lifted to protect himself from the horse’s hooves. The two are situated on a base that displays the Legion’s motto, “Nec Aspera Terrent” (Afraid of No Hardships) above 1803-1816. High-relief figures of some Legion members appear in a rectangular cutout beneath the lettering.
The plaque is signed H. Wedemeyer on the plaque’s lower right side. The KGL was formed after the Electorate of Hannover was dissolved in 1803, the state having been taken over by Napoleon Bonaparte’s conquering French Army. Many Hanoverian Army officers and soldiers fled to England, since George III, Hannover’s deposed Elector, was England’s King. Soon after, the KGL was formed from these expatriate troops to become a mixed corps by 1803’s end. (A mixed corps includes all arms: mounted, infantry, and artillery). The KGL never fought as an autonomous unit, remaining under British Army command throughout the Napoleonic Wars (1804–15). It played a vital role in several campaigns, particularly the Walcheren Campaign, the Peninsular War, and the Hundred Days (1815).[It is now obvious that the rearing horse on this plaque represents the White Horse of Hannover]. The KGL was disbanded in 1816. Several of its units were incorporated into the Kingdom of Hannover’s Army. Following the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, they became part of the Prussian Army when Hannover was absorbed by Prussia. This handsome memorial plaque has an attachment on its reverse by which it can be hung on the wall.