06 February 2017

"Gott mitt uns"

Military leaders have always told their cannonfodder that God is on their side.
Gott mit uns ("God with us") is a phrase commonly used in heraldry in Prussia (from 1701) and later by the German military from the period spanning the German Empire (1871 to 1918) to the end of the Third Reich in 1945.

The Imperial Russian motto, "Съ нами Богъ!" ("S nami Bog!"), also translates the same.

Nobiscum Deus in Latin, Μεθ ημων ο Θεος (Meth imon o Theos) in Greek, С Hами Бог (S Nami Bog) in Church Slavonic, or God with us in English, was a battle cry of the late Roman Empire and of the Eastern Roman Empire. It is also a popular hymn of the Eastern Orthodox Church, sung during the service of Great Compline (Μεγα Αποδειπνον).

It was used for the first time in German by the Teutonic Order. In the 17th century, the phrase Gott mit uns was used as a 'field word', a means of recognition akin to a password, by the army of Gustavus Adolphus... In 1701, Frederick I of Prussia changed his coat of arms as Prince-Elector of Brandenburg. The electoral scepter had its own shield under the electoral cap. Below, the motto Gott mit uns appeared on the pedestal.
Blogged in order to mention a lighter aspect I heard on a podcast of No Such Thing As A Fish.  During the Christmas Truce of WWI, German soldiers erected a sign displaying the motto.  Their English counterparts put up another, which said "We've got mittens too."


  1. Thank you for making me laugh out loud. With all of the recent warmongering, I thought this was going to end with something crazy Trump did to make the world less stable. Instead I'm reminded how a good joke can keep us from taking ourselves too seriously.

  2. 'in god we trust' is seen on american currency.


  3. "America prays for God to destroy our enemies. Our enemies pray for God to destroy us. Somebody's gonna be disappointed! Somebody's wasting their time! Could it be.. everyone?"

    -- George Carlin

  4. From Bob Dylan:

    "The Second World War
    Came to an end
    We forgave the Germans
    And then we were friends
    Though they murdered six million
    In the ovens they fried
    The Germans now, too
    Have God on their side"

    Nothing against the Germans (except the Holocaust) but people seem to do the darnedest things when they think "God is on THEIR side." Maybe they ought to remember that the xtian god is omnipresent and therefore is, literally, on ALL sides...


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