In the past the Netherlands reigned supreme at sea, and dominated global commerce. They drove the British and Portuguese from Indonesia, Malaya, and Ceylon, and arrogated to itself the fabulous trade of the Spice Islands. The merchant spirit of the Dutch made the United Netherlands the most powerful trading country of the world in the 17th century.
During the 17th century the Dutch were involved in countless wars, many of them at sea. Dutch fleet destroyed the main part of the entire Spanish navy at Gibraltar in 1607. Dutch wealth and maritime expansion was the source of much envy across Europe. When the British announced the act of navigation, which damaged Dutch traders in London, tensions became high. There were several wars between the two countries. In the second British-Dutch War several major battles took place, nearly all of them on English territory. It was during this period that the battle of Chatham (1667) took place, arguably the worst naval defeat in English history until this very day. However, many of Netherlands' colonies were swiftly annexed by Britain when the metropole succumbed to French conquest in 1795-1814.
British rivalry with the Netherlands, and Britain's jealousy of Dutch's wealth gave rise to several phrases including Dutch that promote certain negative stereotypes, incl. "Double Dutch" (meaning: gibberish or nonsense) and "Dutch courage" (drinking to cover up fear before combat). (By the way, many times the British, Russian, Polish, and French soldiers also enjoyed alcohol before combat. Edward Costello of British 95th Rifles wrote: "After having received a double allowance of grog, we fell in about 8 o'clock in the evening, 6th April 1812. The stormers were composed of men from the different regiments of the Light Division.")
In 1815, the allied army commanded by Wellington incl. 2 infantry divisions and 3 cavalry brigades of the Netherlands (or 'Dutch-Belgian') army. The British however believed that the Dutch and Belgians in general were pro French. Had Wellington lost at Waterloo, no doubt he would have had to reluctantly and bluffly point out that the failure was all the fault of the Dutch and Belgians.
Some British writers played down the role of any troops except their own. The Dutch and Belgians are conveniently forgotten except, of course, where blame is imparted. These accounts tend to be shallow and superficial works that repeat selected myths without bothering to refer to other accounts. These authors overly rellies on British memoirs and dispatches. It is due to either nonunderstending any other language but English, or intellectual lazyness. For a serious researcher any work on the Waterloo Campaign which does not refer in detail to Dutch, Belgian, German or French sources is essentially one-sided and unreliable.You would almost have to be drunk in order to march in formation to your death and not give in to the urge to turn and run. Anything to steady the nerves.
Anyway, here's a post-script:
In the years following Waterloo the British were further annoyed with the Dutch/Belgians for King Willem Orange had a giant mound erected on the Waterloo battlefield, exactly on the spot where Prince Orange received his wound. (But It was King Willem's land and not British, so he could do what he wanted to.)