On this day in Dutch history
On the 10th of December 1665, the Dutch Marine Corps was founded. This was initiated by Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt and Admiral Michiel de Ruyter.
There was infantry on ships of the Dutch fleet before, to fight off enemy ships or capture them, but it wasn’t until 1663 that the navy requested a regiment of trained sea infantry. This request was denied and the navy was given regular infantry.
But in 1665 De Witt and De Ruyter founded the Dutch Marine Corps. The first commander was Willem Joseph van Ghent, after whom the Van Ghentkazerne (Van Ghentbarracks) in Rotterdam were named.
The new Marine Corps members were mostly stationed in the Dutch fleet at first, and later also worked in the colonies.
The Marine Corps celebrates its founding every year on the 10th of December in Rotterdam, and there is also a moment of remembrances for marines who have died.
The official motto is ‘Qua Patet Orbis’ (the world extends).
(Above: Official emblem of the Marine Corps.)