Well, the Dutch Marines, anyway.
We’ve talked much about the Dutch Korps Mariniers in the past, especially when it comes to their long combat history such as in the Dutch East Indies in the 1940s.
Much like the USMC’s Teufel Hunden/Devil Dog nickname, the Dutch marines’ earned their “Zwarte Duivels” moniker while fighting the Germans.
Some ~400 Dutch marines, fighting in small platoon-sized groups, held off the Germans in May 1940 at the key port of Rotterdam, putting up such stiff resistance against superior arms that the Germans, according to legend, called them Black Devils due to their dark uniforms.
The Germans termed them “Schwarzen Teufel” because of their dark blue overcoats, blackened faces, and courageous defiance in defense of the Maas bridges.
Founded 10 December 1665, the Korps Mariniers this week added a new battle streamer (Vaandelopschriften) to their flag. The new streamer, titled “Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan” recognizes the special and regular combat operations conducted by the service in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010, in which two marines were killed, 18 seriously wounded, and 12 decorated for valor.
A standing force of just under 2,000 Dutch troops had been deployed in central Uruzgan province between 2006 and 2010, with a large portion of them being Dutch Marines, who also served alongside the British in Helmand and Kandahar. All told, the Dutch lost 25 troops in Afghanistan.
Note the traditional 1890s elements to the Korps Mariniers’ dress uniforms, including pith helmets, dark blue (almost black) coats, and traditional Dutch orange banners.
Pith-helmeted Royal Netherlands Marine Corps recruitment poster (c.1902) Dutch via Nationaal Archief Den Haag