Raiding the German trenches was a regular part of many Scottish regiments on the Western Front during the First World War. Soldiers used to blacken their faces and hands to avoid the shine of their white skin attracting the attention of an alert German look-out as they made their way across No-Man’s Land. The raiders from the Highland regiments had to be issued with extra blacking material – for their knees.
At first, the surrendering Germans seeing the kilted Highlanders with their skin blackened thought they were African troops and would shout out as they put their hands up “Kamerad Kaffir, Kamerad Kaffir”.
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