Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Military Modelling October 17, 1997

The newly formed state of the Netherlands sent its army into the field for the first time as allies to the Duke of Wellington in the Waterloo campaign of 1815. Many of its personnel were experienced campaigners, but their experience had mostly been gained fighting for the French, rather than against them! It must also be admitted that many of them could not be said to embrace the Allied cause with much enthusiasm. Whereas in Germany there had been great popular uprising in many areas against French domination, in the Netherlands French rule appeared to be accepted and acceptable to many. With this background it is, perhaps, not surprising that the performance of the Netherlands army during the campaign has attracted a certain amount of criticism down the years. Although the troops in the Netherlands army are usually divided into 'Dutch' and 'Belgian' types, they all belonged to the same organisation and command, and in fact those national terms are modern ones, the areas at the time being known as 'North Netherlands' (Holland) and 'South Netherlands' (Belgium). The numbering of the different regiments of infantry and cavalry took no account of recruitment area, that is, the Belgian and Dutch units were not in separate numerical groupings. However, in some arms of the service, including the Karabiniers which are to be dealt with in this article, there were uniform differences between the troops of the two nations.