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Royal Marines

"Pride of the King's navy you are."
Jack Sparrow[src]

Royal Marines, also known as Redcoats, were British soldiers who were part of the British Royal Navy. As their name indicates, they were trained for combat operations at both sea and land. The East India Trading Company employed many of these soldiers for the sake of protecting their goods.


"We're being attacked!"
"Redcoats and Black Cloaks!
Pintel and Ragetti[src]

Two Marines attack Jack Sparrow

The Royal Marines are a part of the Royal Navy, (although they're a seperate entity and not sailors as such) and not members of the British Army as the uniform would suggest. Marines were attached to the crew of almost every British Royal Navy ship. Many of the garrisons of fortresses in the Caribbean also consisted of Royal Marines.

Most Royal Navy ships carried a company of Royal Marines aboard; They were used by the Admiralty to rig ships before they were placed in commission and supported the navy sailors with gunfire during battles and could man the cannons. Royal Marines formed the core of boarding and landing teams and served as a kind of police force aboard the ship to enforce discipline and prevent mutinies. The Marines serve under Royal Navy officers, but would typically be commanded by a Marine officer. There were no Marine officers in Fort Charles or aboard the HMS Dauntless.

Will Turner and Jack Sparrow surrounded by Marines.

A large number of Marines were stationed at Fort Charles, under the command of Commodore James Norrington, where they manned the Fort's cannons, guarded the prison and maintained order throughout Port Royal.[1]

A group of these soldiers followed Commodore Norrington and Lieutenant Gillette to the Port Royal harbor to rescue Governor Weatherby Swann's daughter, Elizabeth. However, once they came to the harbor, they ran into notorious pirate Jack Sparrow. However, through threatening Elizabeth, Sparrow was able to escape. The Marines searched the streets of Port Royal until they finally found the pirate knocked out in John Brown's smithy and took him into custody.[1]

The Marines later helped defend Port Royal when it was attacked by the Black Pearl as well as Hector Barbossa's pirate crew.[1]

A considerable number of Marines were stationed onboard the HMS Dauntless, where they participated in the search for Governor Swann's missing daughter, Elizabeth, who was kidnapped during the pirate raid the previous night. They later fought in a battle against Barbossa's cursed crew. The Marines suffered heavy casualties but managed to arrest the pirates after their curse was lifted.[1]

"Lower your weapons... For goodness' sake, put them down!"
Weatherby Swann to Royal Marines[src]

After the battle, they returned to Port Royal and resumed their normal duties. A large group of Marines were present guarding the fort when Jack Sparrow's hanging was taking place. Will Turner freed Jack from the gallows and managed to knock out several Marines who attempted to stop them. Eventually, they surrounded the duo with muskets pointed but were later forced to lower them when Elizabeth Swann came to Will's aid. At James Norrington's order, the Marines allowed Jack to escape to the Black Pearl.[1]

A large contingent of Royal Marines was under Lord Cutler Beckett's command during the War Against Piracy.[2]


Being the amphibious infantry of the British Navy, Marines were equipped with the standard British Army muskets, which was often outfitted with bayonets, and cutlasses. Sergeants made use of spontoons, instead of muskets. Marine officers utilized small swords and pistols.


A Royal Marine.

Royal Marines wore red sleeved-uniforms with white cuffs and facings, accompanied by white pants, black boots and gaiters as well as a tricorne hat. In combat situations, the Marines would don themselves with black sling bags, meant to contain their musket ammunition. In contrast, sailors and officers of the Royal Navy wore blue uniforms.

The marines who served in the East India Trading Company sported red coats until Lord Cutler Beckett obtained the Heart of Davy Jones during the War Against Piracy. The EITC marines would later wear blue and red colored Company-styled uniforms. These Marines were known as Blue Coats, due to the colors of the clothing they wore.

James Sterling fights with two Marines.

Notable Marines[]

Behind the scenes[]

"Now you shall see what painful steel a British soldier is made of!"
―Red Coat[src]
  • Historically, the unit was named Royal Marines by King George III in 1802 at the instigation of Admiral John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent. During the golden age of piracy the soldiers were known simply as Marines.
  • In the At World's End video game, the red coats worked with the black cloaks. However, such alignment and attire was not in real-world history.


External links[]

Notes and references[]