Dutch Blue Guards

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The Dutch Blue Guard (Dutch: Blauwe Garde) was an elite infantry unit of the army of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. Notable campaigns where they fought included the Nine Years' War (1688–97), where they distinguished themselves at the battle of the Boyne, battle of Fleurus and the siege of Limerick (1690).

From 1688 to 1699 they served as William III of Orange's Guards regiment. Under King William III, the regiment served in England as his personal guard. After the death of William III in 1702, the regiment went back to the Netherlands and during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702–1712) was the backbone of the Dutch army. In this war the Dutch army was the second largest in Europe. In particular, the Dutch pioneered the development of platoon fire, which allowed infantry formations to fire continuously - giving the Dutch an advantage in firepower over armies not using the platoon fire system. The 4th Regiment (The Blaauwe Garde, named after the color of their uniforms) distinguished itself in the battles of Blenheim (Hochstadt), Malplaquet and Oudenaarde.

The Dutch Blue Guards in the War of Spanish Succession[edit]

During the war of Spanish Succession, the 4th regiment, The Blue Guards, saw action on many battlefields in Europe. It was part of the Allied armies under the command of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, a British general. Armies of Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Austria, Prussia, Hanover, Portugal, the German Empire and Savoy were united in an alliance. They fought against Louis XIV of France, who had the support of Bavaria and Cologne. The Blue Guards were not present at the Allied victory of Blenheim, but greatly distinguished themselves at the Battle of Ramillies, under the command of Colonel Wertmuller, storming two French held villages on the Allied left. They also fought bravely and suffered heavy losses at Malplaquet, fighting under the command of the Prince of Orange on the Allied left flank.

The Allied forces achieved a number of victories over the French, including at Hochstadt, Ramillies, Turin, and Oudenaerde Malplaquet. Only in 1713 began talks that eventually led to a peace agreement. In 1714, Baden in Rastatt and the peace treaties signed.

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