When the First World War broke out in the summer of 1914, the Scottish regiments in the British army were still clad in kilts. These were not the tartan costumes of the previous years and the glamorous red coats had also gone. Military tactics demanded that they be replaced by drab khaki. In some instances, the Scots were still led into battle by their pipers playing wild and stirring music. The sheer ferocity of the Scots and their incredible fighting abilities greatly impressed the Germans. Because the Germans took the kilts to be skirts, they named the fierce Scots "the ladies from hell" (Damen von der Hölle).

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