Memorial 117er Infantry-Leib-Regiment

The monument is dedicated to the men of the 117th Infantry-Leib-Regiment "Grand Duchess" (3rd Grand Ducal Hessian), a regiment formed in 1697 and based in Mainz from 1872 in barracks in the New Town district where the monument was built. It is in the form of a large rectangular sunken Court of Honour and was inaugurated on 1 July 1933. It’s main feature is thick red sandstone wall running almost the full length of the south side of the court. Inscribed on the wall are the battle honours of the regiment and it’s component units. The base of the wall consists of a bench facing into the paved court and a flight of steps beside the wall leads down to the court (about a metre below street level)..The monogram of the Grand Duchess Alice is carved on one end of the wall. On the west side stands a large bronze Hessian lion (the symbol of the regiment) by the artist Carl Moritz Hoffmann.

A tall black granite memorial for the 263rd Infantry Division was added to the east side of the court in July 1961, though it had no direct connection with Mainz apart from it being the state capital. The Division was formed in 1939 and disbanded in May 1945, after having served in the Invasion of France and Operation Barbarossa. The monument carries the inscription: "We were one in love to the homeland and have given everything. Brother how small is your strife". The units of the regiment and the battle honours along with the figures: Fallen 11000. Wounded 3500. Missing 2400.

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  • Text: Andy Pegler
  • Photos: Andy Pegler