Gun salute

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101 gun salutes on the occasion of the Luxembourg national holiday
Six shots from a 21 gun salute in celebration of the birth of Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway

The gun salute (also known as the salute of honor ) is a military tradition that is cultivated in many countries and that is sometimes used at festivities in civilian areas, for example gunfire .

In German and English-speaking countries, 21 cannon shots or gun salutes are fired on the occasion of state visits . 101 shots are fired to mark the birth of an heir to the throne. In some countries, 101 rounds are also fired on the monarch's birthday.

As a rule, gun salutes are fired from historical cannons. The ammunition used is blank cartridges filled with black powder .

Situation in individual countries

German Empire

The salute regulations for German warships at the beginning of the 20th century provided for the following number of shots:

All gun salutes from foreign ships were returned with the same number of shots. All German warships from the small cruiser upwards were capable of saluting .

German salute stations

Salute cannon in the Helgoland Museum

The salute stations on the German coast were in Wilhelmshaven , Cuxhaven , Friedrichsort , Helgoland , Swinemünde , Neufahrwasser ( Danzig ) and Pillau . In the colonies it was Dar es Salaam and Tsingtau .

Swedish salute stations

Even Sweden maintains the custom of Salut stations. Salute stations are located in:

Canadian salute stations

Canadian salute stations are located in:

British India

The protocol was regulated in particular detail in the Empire of India at the height of the Empire . Of the Indian princes 121 were entitled to salute. The sovereign ( Queen-Empress or King-Emperor ) was greeted with 101 rounds in person. The “royal salute” on the emperor's birthday, for anniversaries, for members of the royal family, the viceroy and a ship showing the royal standard was 31 rounds. The commander-in-chief of the British Army was entitled to 19 rounds if he was field marshal; a general received only 17. This also applied to the President of the Imperial Executive Council, the governors of the three presidencies and the governor of French and Portuguese India . Ordinary members of the Executive Council, lieutenant governors of individual provinces and the commandant of the Indian army received 15 rounds. The AGG of the Rajputana Agency , generals who commanded a division, chief commissioners and governors were entitled to 13 rounds, but only if they were in official capacity within their areas of responsibility. Agents for princely states, the Portuguese governors of Daman and Diu, and commanding brigadier generals received 11 rounds. The salute for officers was only given to the highest ranking person present when he was actually in command. The shooting dragged on for several days at the large meetings of the princes, such as those in Delhi in 1877, 1903 and 1911.

United States of America

In the United States, the generally applicable convention has been modified in recent decades. So is z. For example, in the United States, the number of shots depends on the importance of personality: the president is honored with 21 shots, the secretary of defense is honored with 19 shots, and generals are honored with between 17 and 11 shots.


In Switzerland, the number of shots was increased from 21 to 23 - one shot for each stand . The last two shots are fired together.

Salute at funerals

Salute at a funeral at the Heroes' Cemetery in Metinaro ( East Timor )

In many areas of Germany, it is common for fallen soldiers or reservists to shoot salutes at funerals. This was done either by a delegation of soldiers with rifles and blank cartridges or by firecrackers, standing firecrackers or firecrackers from local shooting associations or volunteers. As a rule, three shots, volleys, are fired.

The custom of honoring dead soldiers at funerals with three volleys of rifle shots also exists in the USA .

In Canada , deceased soldiers are honored with funeral salutes.

Web links

Commons : Gun Salute  - Collection of Images
Wiktionary: Gun salute  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Ground salute station. Bodens kommun, September 9, 2014, accessed February 5, 2015 (Swedish, Swedish salute stations).
  2. Chief of the Defense Staff (ed.): THE HONORS, FLAGS AND HERITAGE STRUCTURE OF THE CANADIAN FORCES . 2001, p. 462 ( PDF, English [accessed on February 5, 2015]).
  3. ^ Indian Biographical Dictionary; 1915, pp. Xiv-xvi ( full text ).
  4. SECNAV INSTRUCTION 5060.22. (PDF) Drill and Ceremonies Manual and Interior Guard Manual. Secretary of the Navy, May 26, 1981, p. 196 , archived from the original ; accessed on February 5, 2015 .
  5. Chief of the Defense Staff (ed.): THE HONORS, FLAGS AND HERITAGE STRUCTURE OF THE CANADIAN FORCES . 2001, p. 459, 463 ( PDF, English [accessed on February 5, 2015]).