Tag Archives: Korps Mariniers

NATO’s From the Sea Option

NATO recently released a decent little 10-minute sizzle reel highlighting the alliance’s sea soldiers. It includes Dutch Korps Mariniers and the newly-reformed German Seebataillon Marines in Scotland, the Portuguese Corpo de Fuzileiros on the rivers of Lithuania (still keeping it old school with HK G3 battle rifles and Zodiacs), Royal Marine Commandos training in Norway with their interesting 32-foot ORC (Offshore Raiding Craft) jetboats, and the U.S. Marine Corps, which exercises across the European continent.

So whether you call them Devil Dogs, Bootnecks, Schwarzen Teufel, or Fuzos, odds are, some of your favorite guys who operate from 10 fathoms inward are covered.

And, in a companion piece, the USMC themselves just put out a 10-minute hype video on the future Fleet Marine Force.



Chicago Typewriters, Java edition

While the Dutch military in metropolitan Holland didn’t typically use submachine guns (“pistool-mitrailleur” in Dutch vernacular) prior to WWII other than the occasional Erma EMP, on the opposite side of the globe in the Dutch East Indies the colonial KNIL in the late 1930s purchased nearly 2,500 MP28 II Schmeissers for issue to NCOs and specialists. Of these, at least 700 fell into Japanese hands in 1942 and would appear in curious photos throughout the rest of the conflict.

Kplmarn Jan van Doorne, Dutch Marines (Korps Mariniers), circa 1941, with a Thompson SMG M1. NIMH 2158_049636

KNIL troops in Australia after the fall of Java. Note the M1928 as well as an M1917 Enfield while the colonial troops are wearing USMC HBT uniforms and American Dutch webbing. 

The colony’s government, independent from occupied Holland, also ordered 2,000 Thompson M1928s (with about 1,500 delivered before the Japanese invasion) and a stock of Reising M50 SMGs. While the Reisings (and a batch of Johnson M1941s) by and large went on to be used by the U.S. Marines, the “Free Dutch” forces in the Pacific still held on to a batch of M1928s, primarily from a 100-unit delivery that was diverted to Australia after Java and points North had been overrun by the Emperor’s troops.

KNIL soldier training at Camp Victory, Australia, 1945. Note the M1928 Thompson SMG and Barang– useful against both brush and the enemy– as well as USMC “frogskin” camo. AKL022854

The Dutch, however, picked up an appreciation of SMGs after the war, using both U.S. (simplified M1 Thompsons, M3 Grease guns) and Australian (Owen, STEN) supplied, as well as German-inherited (MP38, MP40) guns, then switched to the Israeli-made UZI in the 1960s.

Used by NCOs, vehicle crews, and gunners (both anti-tank and machine), the Dutch went Uzi-does-it into the early 1990s.

Vrijwilligers van het Korps Nationale Reserve op oefening in Overijssel in november 1980. De soldaat op de voorgrond is zwaar bewapend met de pistool-mitrailleur UZI met aan 2 elkaar gehechte magazijnen en de lichte mitrailleur Brengun. 11.16.1980 NIMH AKL061671

Vrijwilligers van het Korps Nationale Reserve op oefening in Overijssel in november 1980. De tweede soldaat is bewapend met de pistool-mitrailleur UZI. 11.16.1980 NIMH AKL061670

New Battle Streamer for Marines

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

95 Years Ago: Jan Hollander on the Szechnen Road

As with all Western navies of the day, the Dutch had special marching order equipment to supply sailors for landing divisions in a sort of light infantry (Matrozen van de Landingsdivisie), and a great example of which are these series of shots of sailors from the Java-class light cruiser Hr.Ms. Sumatra alongside Dutch Marines (Korps Mariniers) on post in war-torn 1927 Shanghai overlooking the Szechnen Road on the bridge over Soochow Creek near the Main Post Office.

Five sailors in marching order including cartridge pouches on leather webbing and puttees, with a Marine and a local “mascot” who may have been brought with the ship from the Dutch East Indies. As the Royal Navy and U.S. Navy did with ships stationed in the Far East, as much as a fifth of the personnel aboard Dutch ships in the region at the time were drawn from local recruits. Note the Geweer M. 95 6.5mm Dutch Mannlichers with their distinctive early model (pre-1905) 19-inch OEWG hooked quillon bayonets. NIMH 2173-224-044

NIMH 2173-224-132

Mugging for the camera, with two Marines and two sailors. Note the Lewis gun and mass of rickshaws in the background. NIMH 2158_061470

The Dutch, along with other European, Japanese, and American forces, were active in the city during the panic that saw the rebellious Reds of the Shanghai Commune crushed by Chiang Kai-shek’s KMT troops. Sumatra’s sailors were ashore and on post from 19 February to 12 May 1927.

Talk About Recruiting Posters…

Recruiting propaganda, likely going back to the Romans, has always been replete with snazzy uniforms, exotic climes, and sweet gear.

Speaking of which, the Dutch Korps Mariniers were recently in Norway undertaking regular ops in the snow, a task they have held along with their allied British Royal Marines of 3 Commando for well over 40 years.

And man, did they make a recruiting poster-worthy moto photo.

Incidentally, the Dutch Marines have a long combat history, especially in the Dutch East Indies in the 1940s after being trained and equipped by the U.S. Marines for late 1945 landings in Japan that didn’t happen.

Dutch Marines heading for the beach at Pasir Putih during the police actions in Indonesia, 1947. Note the USMC-issue gear and the PBY in the distance. 

Historically tasked with staffing far-off outposts in places such as in the Dutch West Indies (Aruba, Curaçao Sint Maarten, et. al) they used to run the more old-school snazzy uniform posters back in the day. You know, to get the kids out of the tulip fields and into the barracks.

Pickelhaube-wearing Royal Netherlands Marine Corps recruitment poster (c.1902), showing European and tropical uniforms, via the Nationaal Archief Den Haag