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"Dutch Corps Israelieten - and a historical remark " Topic

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745 hits since 11 Nov 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2017 10:53 p.m. PST

"In 1808, King Louis Bonaparte, ruler of the Kingdom of Holland by the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte himself, made a decision to raise an infantry unit exclusively from the jewish population of 'his' country.

The unit raised up to regimental status, although it suffered from never getting enough recruits. It was dressed in the same uniform as the 2nd light infantry regiment – the only difference was the shako plate, showing the letters 'CI' for 'corps israeliten'…"



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Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 2:50 a.m. PST

That is a link well worth following to learn more about this obscure but fascinating unit.

Green fringed epaulettes on a green uniform seem odd.

Wonder how he discovered this unit. Anything in modern "Dutch" Military Museum records?

Brownand12 Nov 2017 3:57 a.m. PST

According to F. ten Raa/J. Hoynck van Papendrecht "Nederlandsche Zee- en landmacht" The Hague 1900 (well, modern), the Korps Israeliten was raised 8/7/1809 and disbanded 2/5/2010. Seen the short time of existance it is doubtfull a regiment or a even battalion was raised and uniformed. When disbandend troops were incorporated in the 1st Jagers.
When raised it was ordered they would wear the uniform of the disbanded 2nd Jagers which had green uniforms with skyblue facings and indeed green epaulettes (red for carabinier company) although it is in doubt if these jagers ever wore this uniform.
According to Geert van Uythoven the Korps Israeliten would receive the nr 10 as a line regiment when fully raised so it is doubtfull they would wear the jager uniform. Probably they never were uniformed just wore undress wear.

For Dutch jager green uniforms with green epaulettes look at:

As you can see, the jager uniforms were a mess combining old and new. The red colour were the old 1st and 4th batalion facing of 1805. And the new skyblue ordered in 1806 isn't seen

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 9:54 a.m. PST

Several very interesting points here. many thanks

Prince of Essling12 Nov 2017 12:29 p.m. PST

"Dutch Troops of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1810" by George Street & Karim van Overmeire confirm the above. just to add that the Unit was to consist of all Jewish soldiers currently serving in the army and Jewish volunteers. When 8 companies were raised it was to be formed into a battalion, and then into a regiment when 2 battalions were raised.

The book says that while they were to receive the uniform of the defunct 2e Regiment Jagers, it is doubtful that the light blue facings were worn and it is more likely that yellow was used.

rmaker12 Nov 2017 1:03 p.m. PST

Elting and Knoetel's Napoleonic Uniforms also shows this unit as well (Vol.IV, page 335). Elting speculates that it could have been formed to ease the supply problem of specialized dietary requirements. The plate shows light blue facings.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 3:30 p.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed the thread my friend!. (smile)

And many thanks to the fellow members for the good info.!


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 8:28 a.m. PST

Huge amount of "churn" in the army of the Kingdom of Holland. The trick is to remember that it has nothing to do with an effective army and everything to do with double-counting soldiers so His Imperial Majesty didn't realize how small the army was and demand conscription.

Brownand13 Nov 2017 1:00 p.m. PST


1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2017 12:19 p.m. PST

I grew in up New Jersey. Okay, Reformed, Conservative or Orthodox?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

I guess I thought something like that and how unique this unit seems, in concept…if not in actual execution. At risk of attracting the anti-Semitic nutters, was there any advantage in specifying Jewish membership?

OK, the oldest gag in the book, I know. "Well, there were no drawbacks". First told to me by a Jewish doctor who trained me.

Units raised on religious grounds.? Mamelukes is all I can think of.

Most armies seem to have incorporated Christians of every ilk, plus Jews, Mohammedans…..not sure too many Buddhists or Sikhs/Hindus in 52nd or 71st LI

Oh yes….what a conversion (awkward word actually) a 95th rifleman in a turban…..with a beard. Not a guy to mess with!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2017 10:52 p.m. PST



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