This book looks at the infantry of the Dutch Republic during a fairly obscure period in Dutch Military History. The Seventeenth Century is generally seen as the golden age of the Republic, and it’s military history in that period is well known. However after the Peace of Utrecht ended the War of the Austrian Succession the Dutch managed to stay out of most conflicts, didn’t enter the War of the Austrian Succession until two years after it had broken out and stayed out of the Seven Years War. The book finishes in 1772, not with any major military event, but with the issuing of new uniform regulations that end the period of obscurity.
The book falls into two very different sections. The first five chapters provide an overview of Dutch history in this period, starting with a brief history of the Republic from its foundation to the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession. This is followed by a look at the early years of the War, when the Dutch weren’t officially at war, but were still involved in the fighting in the Austrian Netherlands, where they held a series of ‘barrier towns’ close to the French frontier, to provide an extra level of security for the Republic. Chapter three looks at the first two years after the Republic officially entered the war. The rest of the war will be covered in the sequel to this book. The next two chapters provide an overview of the infantry during this period. This part of the book is a readable text, although it does end rather abruptly, and the end of the war and the years of peace that followed will be covered in volume two, looking at the cavalry. The early years of the War of the Austrian Succession emerge as a rather unusual conflict, with the Dutch actively involved in the Austrian Netherlands before actually being officially engaged in the conflict!
The remaining five chapters look at each of the Infantry regiments in Dutch service, and is much more of a reference section. For each regiment we get a list of commanders, what is known about the regiment’s uniform colours and a brief list of its battles. This will be of rather less interest to the general reader but useful for those with a more detailed interest in the Dutch army.
1 - Dutch Republic, 1713-1740
2 - Entering the War of the Austrian Succession, 1740-1744
3 - The Republic at War, 1745-1746
4 - Infantry Structure and Organisation
5 - The Infantry Regiments During the 18th Century
6 - Guard Regiments, Guard Companies, Life Guard Regiment and ‘Oranje’ Regiments
7 - National Regiments
8 - Swiss Regiments
9 - Scottish Regiments
10 - Walloon and German Regiments
Author: Marc Geerdink-Schaftgenaar