The Netherlands

The Great War

The Netherlands was a neutral power during the Great War; however, it did request authorisation, from the British War Office, to purchase 1,000 Mk. I guns in 1918. This was granted and the Netherlands adopted the Vickers as the M-18.

Inter-war Period

During the inter-war period, the Netherlands began to purchase commercial Vickers Machine Guns to arm its forces.

In 1920 they produced a manual for the Vickers-Mitrailleur, which was a re-purposed Mk I gun. A copy of it is available for download from Other Official Publications. The image in the manual shows the gun in use with the No. 8 belt box.

Second World War

The Netherlands were a member of the Allied Forces during the Second World War. They served alongside British forces and used Vickers Machine Guns retained from their inter-war commercial purchases, as well as British supplied Mk. I guns.

Prinses Irene Brigade

Photos of them training prior to Operation OVERLORD show them in denim uniforms and some of the photos included tripods made by Colt for the M1915 guns.

Another series of photographs, presumably around 1943, shows them in 1937 pattern equipment, battledress and helmets. They are then using 15-cwt trucks to transport the Vickers.

The Prinses Irene Brigade served in North West Europe as part of the 21st Army Group and had a Machine Gun Platoon armed with Vickers MGs. They were equipped with Universal Carriers.

Post-Second World War

During the Indonesian War of Independent (1946-1949) the Dutch Army fought using the Vickers machine guns with which they had been supplied in the Second World War. They were supported by the colonial troops of the Netherlands East Indies.