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Dutch troops marching under German flags?

Article about: I may be wrong, but these look like Dutch troops marching under German nazi and imperial flags somewhere in the Netherlands. There is no info on the photo. Are they Dutch troops, and was thi

  1. #1

    Default Dutch troops marching under German flags?

    I may be wrong, but these look like Dutch troops marching under the German nazi flag somewhere in the Netherlands. There is no info on the photo. Are they Dutch troops, and was this type of display common in the Netherlands? The non-nazi flag I assume is the Dutch flag and not an imperial German flag.

    --Kevin

    Dutch troops marching under German flags?

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  3. #2

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    Looks like they are carrying Enfield rifles, which the Dutch used, but I'm still not 100% certain they are Dutch, nor do I have a good idea of what's going on here.

  4. #3

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    Quote by norwest View Post
    I may be wrong, but these look like Dutch troops marching under the German nazi flag somewhere in the Netherlands. There is no info on the photo. Are they Dutch troops, and was this type of display common in the Netherlands? The non-nazi flag I assume is the Dutch flag and not an imperial German flag.

    --Kevin

    Dutch troops marching under German flags?
    That's an interesting one and to be honest I don't have a firm answer. The picture unfortunately, is not clear enough to allow positive identification of crucial features such as the cap badges for instance.

    However, to get the ball rolling here's a bit of conjecture based on what I can see;

    Yes, I believe you are correct and that is the unmistakable shape of the SMLE .303" rifle.

    No, I don't believe those are Dutch troops. The uniforms look to me to be British. Note the British (and Commonwealth) style of rank chevrons and the apparent special to arm or "trade" badge on the lower left sleeve of the corporal at the very left of the frame. Note the two colour bearers and the soldier who appears to be the officer commanding at the head of the column, appear to have dark cap badges as opposed to the bright ones of the rank and file. Officers cap badges were (still are in many cases) often dark bronze whilst the other ranks badges would be white metal and or light coloured brass.

    Whoever and wherever this is they are not actually "on parade" as the colours are cased and shouldered. If they were actually marching in parade formation the colours would be uncased and "at the carry" ie held vertical with the staff of the colour supported in the cup at the bottom of the white cross-belt.

    It's difficult to tell in black and white which flag is hung between the two swastika flags but it does seem to be a tri-colour so maybe Dutch or perhaps Belgian.
    The only other clue I can see is the word "Saapgas" (??) over the gateway to the row of buildings with some kind of sign/device above it. That could be Dutch or Belgian I suppose or maybe another similar national language. Could that be some sort of fuel? (?Sap Gas? is that a tree derived fuel?).

    One thing stands out to me is the bearing of the men. They don't look to be in a particularly high state of morale for whatever reason. Note how they are carrying themselves and the apparent disinterest in the way they are "looking about".

    I don't think it has anything to do with the withdrawal from the occupied Rhineland as that came about in 1930 before the NS Swastika flag became as prevalent as it did.

    As I say, this is just random thoughts based on what I can see. Hopefully someone else might have specific knowledge.

    I am keen to know just what is the scenario here.

    Regards

    Mark
    PS I believe the Netherlands forces didn't use the Enfield until 1941 by which time they were the British equipped forces in exile and the Belgians used Enfields post-war before taking up the FN FAL.
    Last edited by Watchdog; 09-04-2022 at 10:54 AM. Reason: ps
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  5. #4

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    This has to be pre-WW2. The men are wearing the pattern 1922 tunic, and all appear to be wearing the WW1 style puttees which reached up to the knee. These were phased out in 1938 after the introduction of the battledress uniform. There are no German troops in view, and the standard bearers are carrying their flags furled and sheathed over their shoulder rather than using their Baldric. This might suggest that they are a detachment of soldiers that have taken part - or are going to take part in some kind of ceremonial parade in pre-war Germany.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  6. #5

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    This has to be pre-WW2. The men are wearing the pattern 1922 tunic, and all appear to be wearing the WW1 style puttees which reached up to the knee. These were phased out in 1938 after the introduction of the battledress uniform. There are no German troops in view, and the standard bearers are carrying their flags furled and sheathed over their shoulder rather than using their Baldric. This might suggest that they are a detachment of soldiers that have taken part - or are going to take part in some kind of ceremonial parade in pre-war Germany.

    Cheers,
    Steve

    Hi Steve,
    that's pretty much my thinking but what I find most puzzling is that if this is outside Germany which it appears to be, unless the other flag is in fact the older imperial German flag, the presence of the NS Swastika flag would tie it down to a narrow timeframe. I imagine it would have been some time after the earliest (1920 I think) use of it inside Germany that it became prevalent elsewhere.
    Unless of course, the Dutch/Belgian sounding name on the wall is a complete red-herring and this is inside Germany (Rhineland) taken circa 1930 with the troops being part of the withdrawal from the Rhineland occupation?

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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    I suppose there is a chance that the image depicts British troops withdrawing from the Territory of the Saar Basin (Saarland) which was occupied from 1920 to 1935. The flag was a tricolour of blue, white, and black. The name on the building might be a name given to a Gasthause - that object over the arch looks like a bottle.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  8. #7

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    Just a thought guys, wonder if that wording is Saar, the Saarland was returned to Germany in 1935 after the plebiscite, maybe this picture might be tied in with that event, could explain the british uniforms & the flag combination ?
    Cheers
    Paul

  9. #8

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    The british soldiers are from the Essex regiment ! Found this video Saar Troops Return (1935) - YouTube showing them return in 1935, if you look closely enough you can see the flag bearers (who are in the photograph) on their parade through London & you can discern the shape of the Essex Regt badge on their caps......my Grandad was in the Essex Regiment (1941-43) & I still have his badge !
    Cheers
    Paul

  10. #9

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    Having had another look, I think the word is SAARGAS... This is the name of a German gas supplier who still operates out of Saarlouis, Saarland.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  11. #10

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    Quote by Pauls1970 View Post
    The british soldiers are from the Essex regiment ! Found this video Saar Troops Return (1935) - YouTube showing them return in 1935, if you look closely enough you can see the flag bearers (who are in the photograph) on their parade through London & you can discern the shape of the Essex Regt badge on their caps......my Grandad was in the Essex Regiment (1941-43) & I still have his badge !
    Cheers
    Paul
    Well done Paul

    It was always going to be easier to say which badge it wasn't unless you had an idea of "likely suspects" as several others have similar appearance in a picture like that but I think you are spot on!

    Forum members combined thoughts, can't beat it. It's like the old "Vulcan mind-meld"

    Fore reference here are the officers bronze service dress and the other ranks bi-metal badges;

    Dutch troops marching under German flags?Dutch troops marching under German flags?

    Regards
    Mark
    Last edited by Watchdog; 09-04-2022 at 05:10 PM. Reason: typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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