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View Full Version : Dutch Army & Airforce 1939-40 (warning - big pictures)



Man of Stoat
07-03-2005, 07:15 AM
Unprepared for war and equipped with obsolete weapons and equipment, the Dutch were rolled over in a few weeks.

http://www.leger1939-1940.nl/Uniform/Infanterist/infanterist_vz.jpghttp://www.leger1939-1940.nl/Uniform/Infanterist/infanterist_az.jpg

The main rifle was the obsolete 6.5mm Mannlicher M1895 turnbolt, which came in a long rifle & several carbine versions:

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/gfx/m95-001.gif

The 6.5mm ammunition itself had been obsolete since the introduction of the spitzer (pointed) bullet in the 1st decade of the 20th century.

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/gfx/DSC_3734s.jpg

Their machine guns were also obsolete - the Madsen in 6.5mm (similar to this one):

http://www.ima-usa.com/images/GG1103.jpg

The Lewis M20 in 6.5mm:

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/gfx/nl_foto_002.jpg

The Schwarzlose in 7.92x57R:

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/foto/gfx/normal/kroes_02.jpg

The Vickers in 7.92x57R and .303":

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/foto/gfx/normal/4mc_foto3.jpg

The Maxim in 7.92x57R:

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/projecten/gfx/DSCN3797.jpg

Their aircraft were Fokker designs (Fokker was a Dutchman, not a German, although his name is usually associated with them due to their adoption of many of his WW1 biplane designs), and all were obsolete in 1940:

Fokker C.V observation / light bomber:
http://www.grebbeberg.nl/ereveld/gfx/vdv_023.jpg

Fokker C.X observation / light bomber:
http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/gfx/fc10_002.jpg

Fokker D.XVII fighter:

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/gfx/fokker_d17.jpg

Fokker D.XXI fighter (note the fixed undercarriage), armed with an unimpressive 2 7.9mm FN machineguns:

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/gfx/fd21_005.jpg

Fokker C.1 "fighter-cruiser" (jachtkruiser), a similar concept to the Bf110:

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/gfx/fokker_g1.jpg

As for "tanks", this is it:

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/gfx/landsverk_artikel_008.jpg

It did have a 37mm semi-auto Bofors cannon at a time when 20mm in tanks were common, although there were only 26 of these vehicles in total for a country of 16,000 square miles. Armour was 9mm on the turret & 5mm on the rest.

They also had some old Vickers Cardon-Lloyd vehicles, which are similar to the Bren gun carrier:

http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/gfx/landsverk_artikel_001.jpg

In effect, the Dutch did not have a hope in hell of holding back the Germans - they did well to last as long as they did.

Most of the images are from http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/

South African Military
07-03-2005, 08:45 AM
I feel sorry for the dutch in WW2. Fokker D.XVII fighter?? Would not like to fly that thing agaisnt the Luftwaffe! Their other planes are a bit more resonable.

More info on Fokker. Dutchman, founded his company in Berlin. Supplied the German Airforce during WW1 (Fokker Triplane). Then left Germany and returned to the Netherlands, continued on the aviation industry. Company went bankrupt in 1996.

Walther
07-03-2005, 10:06 AM
Stoatman,

I know the guys with the Maxim. They belong to a group (VHM) that does a lot of living history displays (both about the Dutch military in WW2, 1940 and the exile Prinses Irene Brigade as well as about life in the Netherlands under German occupation) in cooperation with the National War and Resistance Museum at Overloon. They also acted as extras in several History Channel and Discovery Channel productions. They are very serious about what they are doing.
The Maxim does either belong to the Museum or has been rented form a movie prop company called ANTA. In the later case it has been converted to blank firing.

Jan

Firefly
07-03-2005, 10:54 AM
Nice photos mate, I can see why they wouldnt last long in May 1940 with such poor equipment. I think many here see the Germans as invincible, but they were merely the first to implement the new theories of mobile warfare on a grand scale, all the others were left playing catchup.

Natxo
07-03-2005, 11:13 AM
Well, in fact they fought hard against the paratroopers. General Student him self was wounded by a dutch sniper almost at the end of the struggle.

Man of Stoat
07-03-2005, 02:25 PM
Well, in fact they fought hard against the paratroopers. General Student him self was wounded by a dutch sniper almost at the end of the struggle.

Yes, they fought hard against the FJ - but fighting small groups of paratroopers with obsolete kit is a different matter to fighting the main thrust of the invasion with obsolete kit.

Griffin
07-03-2005, 03:04 PM
Those planes wouldn't stand a chance agaisnt messerchsmits !
Poor pilots !





p.s. ; I must say the first chap looks like a jovial fellow; he musn't seen much action...

South African Military
07-03-2005, 10:06 PM
p.s. ; I must say the first chap looks like a jovial fellow; he musn't seen much action...

Id say he has seen combat, and just gone a bit crazy in the head. Whats the bet he flew the Fokker D.XVII and just couldnt take it any more!

As for those poor pilots who flew the Fokker D.XVII, I have more info!

Only 7 of those planes were in service when Germany attacked the Netherlands. They where actually used as fighter training, but went back into service because of the lack of fighters. The seven planes where numbered, 202,203,204,205,207,209,and 210. On May 11 (war started in 10 May 1940) the planes where ordered to escort reconnaissance/ground attack aircraft. No. 204 stayed behind, and was destroyed by German Aircraft the following day. The rest of planes had to fly over a dutch naval base to get to their destination. The Dutch naval base was told that no Dutch aircraft remained and the AA opened fire on the planes. No. 202 was destroyed in a crash landing. Badly damaged 203 made it to another airfield, the rest of the Fokker D.XVII made it to their destination.

12 May, No. 203 joined the rest of the fighters after being repaired. (5 Fokker D.XVII left). While landing on some airfield No. 203, and No. 207 crashed.

The remaining three was ordered to attack German troops. No German fighters were met but there was AA fire. No. 209, and 210 were badly damaged and left behind. They where destroyed the following day. The other plane (No. 205) managed to escape and flew back to a Dutch airfield, where it was destroyed on the ground after the surrender of the Dutch army.

The Fokker D.XVIIs had a sad and unpleasent life.

07-03-2005, 11:08 PM
those are sweet pictures! Thanks for sharing!

festamus
07-04-2005, 07:10 AM
That Fokker C.1 distinctly reminds me of another aircraft, although at this point in time I can't for the life of me think what!!! Maybe the Northrop P-61.

Dani
07-04-2005, 07:15 AM
Dutch WW2 subs (fromhttp://www.dutchsubmarines.com/)

O-24 (in 1944):
http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/6851/boato24xusax3sep194412cw.jpg

K-XV (in 1943):
http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/6092/boatkxvnorthatlantic194323ew.jpg

Unknown (in 1944):
http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/3991/boatzeehond1stornoway19442md.jpg

South African Military
07-04-2005, 08:31 AM
That Fokker C.1 distinctly reminds me of another aircraft, although at this point in time I can't for the life of me think what!!! Maybe the Northrop P-61.

yep same thing crossed my mind at first I thougth it looked very similar to the P-38.
http://www.cobuck.ang.af.mil/Historic_Aircraft/images/Aircraft%20P-38.jpg

But then after looking at the P-61 I was like :shock: :shock:
http://usaaf.com/aircraft/classes/images/p61.gif

Compare the Dutch C.1 to the P-61, it is almost the same!

Sturmtruppen
07-04-2005, 01:20 PM
excuse me man of stoat,are you dutch?.(i think yes,so,i feel like a stupid).

Man of Stoat
07-04-2005, 03:31 PM
excuse me man of stoat,are you dutch?.(i think yes,so,i feel like a stupid).

nee, hoor, ik ben geen Nederlander - ik ben engelsman, maar ik woon in Nederland sinds bijna 2 jaar.

(or in English, "No, I'm not Dutch - I'm English but I've been living in Holland for almost 2 years")

Tubbyboy
07-04-2005, 05:52 PM
excuse me man of stoat,are you dutch?.(i think yes,so,i feel like a stupid).

nee, hoor, ik ben geen Nederlander - ik ben engelsman, maar ik woon in Nederland sinds bijna 2 jaar.

(or in English, "No, I'm not Dutch - I'm English but I've been living in Holland for almost 2 years")

Off topic but:

Isn't it weird how, when you speak German and English, you can read Dutch pretty much completely correctly? I don't speak it at all but I can understand it very well when written....




BTW, shouldn't it be "Engelsman"? :D :D

Man of Stoat
07-05-2005, 02:21 AM
excuse me man of stoat,are you dutch?.(i think yes,so,i feel like a stupid).

nee, hoor, ik ben geen Nederlander - ik ben engelsman, maar ik woon in Nederland sinds bijna 2 jaar.

(or in English, "No, I'm not Dutch - I'm English but I've been living in Holland for almost 2 years")

Off topic but:

Isn't it weird how, when you speak German and English, you can read Dutch pretty much completely correctly? I don't speak it at all but I can understand it very well when written....

BTW, shouldn't it be "Engelsman"? :D :D

Yeah, it should be really. My bad!

Dutch sits about equidistant from German & English - so many words sound the same or similar as one language or the other although the spelling is usually very different.

Ever wondered why school is pronounced "skool" & not "shool"? Cos "school" is a Dutch word, & "sch" is hard in Dutch.

George Eller
12-03-2005, 06:10 PM
KNIL (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger or Royal Netherlands Indies Army), the Dutch colonial army in the Netherlands East Indies (present day Indonesia).

Following are photos of some weapons used in the NEI by the KNIL during the early stages of World War II in the Pacific.

http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/9628/knil1pw.jpg
KNIL Infantry Training in Netherlands East Indies
KNIL infantry training in the Netherlands East Indies prior to World War II. The Madsen can be seen in the middle foreground. Behind are troops armed with Mannlicher M95 bolt-action rifles. Photo from website: Het KNIL - Een Historisch Document, Hendrik Engelen (1914 - 1984) Soldaat in het Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger http://home.wish.net/~mmann/fotos3.htm

http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/3797/madsen10ad.jpg
Madsen Light Machine Gun
This is the version as used in the Netherlands East Indies. Photo provided by Mr. Eric Nuyt

http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/4853/madsen23sm.jpg
Madsen Light Machine Gun
A close up of the type used in the Netherlands East Indies. Photo provided by Mr. Eric Nuyt.

http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/5205/solothurns1810002hz.jpg
Solothurn S18-1000 Anti-Tank Rifle 2
---

John
02-08-2006, 10:41 AM
greetings,
Im new to the forum, i was led to the site by my very fustrating search for images of the standard Dutch M95 turnbolt rifle (shown on the figure).
By the way where does this rather grand looking fellow live? Delft military museum or is it a sideshow figure??

I have trawled the web and can only find the 'caracano' and the other variants of the M95, does anyone have an idea where I could find some clear colour images of the particular rifle used by the figure/mannequin posted by 'Man of Stoat'?

My main interest is primarily Irish military affairs and anything connected with irish soldiers abroad in particular, the wars of Louis XIV and Spanish/Dutch wars. So the Dutch cross into the sphere of Irish military history frequently. But Im starting to look at the 19th-20th centuries aswell.

So as you'll guess i am new to the WWII, so I hope youll make some allowances for me :)

My connection like lots of people of my generation with WWII is through my family.

I had two grand uncles killed in WWII one was killed in Hong Kong while in the 1st Middlesex Regt. on 19-12-1941 and the other (no details) died at home (Ireland) from injuries received in Italy serving i think with the British, both where Southern Irish citizens.

Their father my 'great grand father' was in WWI (no info on him) due to the troubles in Ireland medals and documents of ex-soldiers where destroyed by the families out of fear republican reprisal.

But if I can help in anyone with any Irish military questions/queries, i will be glad to help if i can.

All the best
John

George Eller
02-08-2006, 12:50 PM
greetings,
Im new to the forum, i was led to the site by my very fustrating search for images of the standard Dutch M95 turnbolt rifle (shown on the figure).
By the way where does this rather grand looking fellow live? Delft military museum or is it a sideshow figure??

I have trawled the web and can only find the 'caracano' and the other variants of the M95, does anyone have an idea where I could find some clear colour images of the particular rifle used by the figure/mannequin posted by 'Man of Stoat'?

My main interest is primarily Irish military affairs and anything connected with irish soldiers abroad in particular, the wars of Louis XIV and Spanish/Dutch wars. So the Dutch cross into the sphere of Irish military history frequently. But Im starting to look at the 19th-20th centuries aswell.

So as you'll guess i am new to the WWII, so I hope youll make some allowances for me :)

My connection like lots of people of my generation with WWII is through my family.

I had two grand uncles killed in WWII one was killed in Hong Kong while in the 1st Middlesex Regt. on 19-12-1941 and the other (no details) died at home (Ireland) from injuries received in Italy serving i think with the British, both where Southern Irish citizens.

Their father my 'great grand father' was in WWI (no info on him) due to the troubles in Ireland medals and documents of ex-soldiers where destroyed by the families out of fear republican reprisal.

But if I can help in anyone with any Irish military questions/queries, i will be glad to help if i can.

All the best
John
-

Color images here (just click on thumbnails for larger images):
http://www.collectie.legermuseum.nl/strategion/strategion/i004797.html

-

B/W images here:

http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/772/mannlicher18mc.jpg

http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/169/mannlicher20ar.jpg

Anti
09-17-2006, 01:50 PM
I'd like to change the somewhat black-white view of this discussion. The tendency of this discussion seems to be that the weak Dutch were rolled over by the Germans and therefore we were a sorry lot. I'm a born Dutchman and this topic therefore is of great interest to me. More over because my grand father would 've been sent to the Grebbeberg (the main line of resistance of the Dutch Army in those days) if he hadn't switched with somebody else and ended up in Doesburg (a dutch city).

The Germans judged that the Netherlands would be run over in 1 day. This proved to be a very poor judgement. We were forced to surrender after 4 days of bitter fighting because the Germans threatened to bomb Rotterdam (the actual bombing took place AFTER the Dutch surrendered because the Luftwaffe wasn't called back). The fact that the Germans resided to such fierce methods speaks for itself, in my honest opinion.

About our weaponry; the Schwarzlose may have been somewhat obsolete, but the Germans were very impressed by it's specs. And Man of Stoat, you forgot the prime anti-tank weapon of the Dutch; the Böhler 4.7 cm PAG (Pantser Afweer Geschut (Anti-tank Gun in plain English)). In those days, this baby was a hypermodern weapon which actually made the Germans decide to attack the Grebbeberg WITHOUT armor support since the weapon was frequently seen there. Here are some small pictures of it:
http://www.grebbeberg.nl/bibliotheek/bewapening/gfx/pag_005.jpg

The Dutch airforce shot down a considerable number of German planes. Figures are unknown, but between 35 and 40 planes were shot down in dogfights. This number is higher than the number of Dutch planes lost during air-combat. The combined Dutch air-defences and ground forces proved to be highly effective against the massive German air armada that was sent into battle over the Netherlands. In total over 525 crashed or emergency landed German planes have been accounted for during the entire May War in 1940. Of the 525 planes on the list probably about 200 were recovered and repaired, or used to assemble new planes from their intact parts. The German loss of planes was in many ways easy to overcome, but the loss of more than half their transport fleet would remain a burden throughout the war. Amongst others in the impending operation to invade Britain...

Also - the Dutch managed to capture many well trained air-crews from the crashed and landed planes in the west. Amongst the 1.350 POW's that were later [13 and 14 May] shipped to England, many hundreds were highly trained Luftwaffe personnel that were harder to replace than the lost planes. It is unknown how many men of the Luftwaffe actually perished due to Dutch doing, but the most reliable German registry provides us with 198 names of aircrew that died in the period 10-18 May 1940 over Holland and that were actually buried.

I'd like to conclude by saying the Dutch army may have been undertrained (most mobilized soldiers weren't even trained; all they did was digging fortifications), but they did give the Germans one hell of a fight! More than they expected...

Part of my reply came from this site: http://www.waroverholland.nl/. It's a great site in English for those of you that are more interested in the Dutch struggle in May 1940.

jeroen
10-02-2006, 01:45 PM
@john
here's a pic
http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/557/geweergrootei9.jpg
http://www.leger1939-1940.nl/Uniform/start_uniform.htm

hope it helps

I believe the dutch were one of the few/ or only ones, who managed to recapture the airfields captured by the germans.

Nickdfresh
10-02-2006, 03:57 PM
Those planes wouldn't stand a chance agaisnt messerchsmits !
Poor pilots !





p.s. ; I must say the first chap looks like a jovial fellow; he musn't seen much action...


Neither would Rotterdam unfortunately...

George Eller
10-02-2006, 08:33 PM
@john
here's a pic
http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/557/geweergrootei9.jpg
http://www.leger1939-1940.nl/Uniform/start_uniform.htm

hope it helps

I believe the dutch were one of the few/ or only ones, who managed to recapture the airfields captured by the germans.

-

Dordt in Stoom 2006
http://www.livinghistory.nl/component/option,com_zoom/Itemid,32/catid,8/

http://www.livinghistory.nl/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

http://www.livinghistory.nl/images/zoom/stoom2006/viewsize/dordt_21-5-2005_003.jpg

http://www.livinghistory.nl/images/zoom/stoom2006/viewsize/dordt_21-5-2005_006.jpg

http://www.livinghistory.nl/images/zoom/stoom2006/viewsize/dordt_21-5-2005_018.jpg

-

Anti
10-10-2006, 05:49 PM
The pictures by George Eller do point out a detail I'm not sure it was mentioned before, so here it goes! Check the feature on the front side of the Dutch helmets. Engraved in it is the Dutch weapon; a lion. It was added purely because the designer thought it made the simple helmet more special.
Unfortunately, what the man (of woman) didn't know was that by adding this feature the helmet would richochet a lot less bullets. A lot of Dutch soldiers died instantly of a headshot to the front side of the helmet. Degrading it's protection, the lion feature often ended up in a bullet hole...

George Eller
10-11-2006, 11:50 PM
The pictures by George Eller do point out a detail I'm not sure it was mentioned before, so here it goes! Check the feature on the front side of the Dutch helmets. Engraved in it is the Dutch weapon; a lion. It was added purely because the designer thought it made the simple helmet more special.
Unfortunately, what the man (of woman) didn't know was that by adding this feature the helmet would richochet a lot less bullets. A lot of Dutch soldiers died instantly of a headshot to the front side of the helmet. Degrading it's protection, the lion feature often ended up in a bullet hole...

-

Hi Anti,

That reminds me of a story I read from Frank Fujita's wartime experiences as a member of Battery "E" of the the "Lost Battalion" - 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery Regiment, 61st Field Artillery Brigade, 36th Division (Texas National Guard) in the Dutch East Indies in 1942.

"The front trench was filled with Dutch and native soldiers, with their green uniforms on, steel helmets, American hand grenades and what appeared to be .30-caliber ammo. There were army, navy and marine officers milling around the trenches in their whites. When I saw these soldiers in their steel helmets, I could not help but recall an amusing incident with some Dutch soldiers back in Singosari [Java]. One day we were commenting about the simplistic design of their helmets, and they all bragged on them and said that they were the safest military helmets yet designed and could not be penetrated with a bullet. I had some 1903 A-3 .30-caliber armor-piercing bullets for my BARs, and got up a bet with them that I could shoot through a helmet. There was excitement while the bets were being placed and speculation was rampant, both pro and con. The Dutch hung the Helmet on the side of one of their armored cars. Everyone watched with bated breath as I drew a bead with one of my men's rifles, and then I fired. The armor-piercing round not only went through the helmet, but went through the armored car as well. We had left behind some mighty shook up Dutch that day."

Foo : A Japanese-American Prisoner of the Rising Sun : The Secret Prison Diary of Frank 'Foo' Fujita (War and the Southwest Series, No 1) (Hardcover), University of North Texas Press, 1993, p 75.
http://www.amazon.com/Foo-Japanese-American-Prisoner-Rising-Southwest/dp/0929398467/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product/104-0361313-2089526?ie=UTF8

The armored car was probably an "Overvalwagen" - built locally in the Dutch East Indies.
SEE ALSO:
Overvalwagens!
http://www.overvalwagen.com/

-

Lancer44
10-12-2006, 05:00 AM
The pictures by George Eller do point out a detail I'm not sure it was mentioned before, so here it goes! Check the feature on the front side of the Dutch helmets. Engraved in it is the Dutch weapon; a lion. It was added purely because the designer thought it made the simple helmet more special.
Unfortunately, what the man (of woman) didn't know was that by adding this feature the helmet would richochet a lot less bullets. A lot of Dutch soldiers died instantly of a headshot to the front side of the helmet. Degrading it's protection, the lion feature often ended up in a bullet hole...

Dear Anti,

This is a sort of urban legend. Nice but absolutely not true.
No WWII helmet of any army was giving any protection against small arms fire from reasonable distance.
And distances were considered as such:
- 200m for submachine guns
- 400m for rifles

It mean that majority of fire fights were within these distances.
Being in the army in 70's, I remember trial shooting. We used soviet PPS and soviet SKS. On 200m PPS bullet went right through front of the helmet and dented back side. On 100m went right through both sides.
SKS was doing the same on distance of 200 and 400m.

I can guess that guns like Mauser, Lee Enfield, Mosin and semis - Garand, SVS would perform even better than SKS, due to better ballistics of the bullet.
AKMS was going through helmets as knife through butter on any distance between 100 and 400m.

So, conclusion is - before kevlar era helmets were good only against bricks falling from no more than 5 metres.

Any etchings would make no or minor difference. Almost as much as water decal on the helmet.

Cheers,

Lancer44

Nickdfresh
10-12-2006, 01:10 PM
I wore the Kevlar while in basic combat training for the U.S. Army, then I wore the "steel pot" in AIT. And I can tell you just by visual evidence, and the weight I felt at the end of the day, there was no way that steel pot was stopping a bullet. It might deflect a bullet hitting at an angle, but a direct head shot is going through.

The kevlar might protect at distant ranges, but I suspect they aren't "bullet proof" either.

royal744
04-25-2007, 12:46 PM
Actually, the sch sound in Dutch is not "hard" as in "sk", but it is like a "sg" and very difficult for anyone but Germans to pronounce properly.

Man of Stoat
04-27-2007, 02:02 AM
The Germans have such great difficulty with the "sch” that the test to see if someone was German or not was to get them to pronounce "Scheveningen". the sch at the start of a word in Dutch is extremely hard. I know this, because I speak Dutch. Confusingly, if it comes later in a word it is pronounced like a long "s". Listening to a German speaking Dutch is almost painful (although saying that I speak Dutch with an English accent, although not a strong one)

Rising Sun*
04-29-2007, 09:27 AM
I wore the Kevlar while in basic combat training for the U.S. Army, then I wore the "steel pot" in AIT. And I can tell you just by visual evidence, and the weight I felt at the end of the day, there was no way that steel pot was stopping a bullet. It might deflect a bullet hitting at an angle, but a direct head shot is going through.

The kevlar might protect at distant ranges, but I suspect they aren't "bullet proof" either.

No helmet, steel or kevlar, is protection against any military rifle round at full velocity within a reasonable range, being some hundreds of metres at a mimimum.

Helmets protect against spent rounds and, more importantly, shrapnel which generally is of lower velocity than rounds.

Battle experience from WWI showed that many troops who would die without helmets under artillery would survive with them.

Australian troops almost never used helmets in Vietnam and often weren't even issued with them. They were hot, heavy, noisy (against scrub etc) and regarded as more trouble than they were worth in aggressive and silent patrolling, which is what the Australians mainly did.

I was never issued with one as part of my kit around 1970 and never saw any Australian soldier wearing one.

There is a picture somewhere of Australians in Vietnam wearing helmets in the field under fire or under potential fire. I'll post it if I can find it.

George Eller
04-29-2007, 07:39 PM
No helmet, steel or kevlar, is protection against any military rifle round at full velocity within a reasonable range, being some hundreds of metres at a mimimum.

Helmets protect against spent rounds and, more importantly, shrapnel which generally is of lower velocity than rounds.

Battle experience from WWI showed that many troops who would die without helmets under artillery would survive with them.

Australian troops almost never used helmets in Vietnam and often weren't even issued with them. They were hot, heavy, noisy (against scrub etc) and regarded as more trouble than they were worth in aggressive and silent patrolling, which is what the Australians mainly did.

I was never issued with one as part of my kit around 1970 and never saw any Australian soldier wearing one.

There is a picture somewhere of Australians in Vietnam wearing helmets in the field under fire or under potential fire. I'll post it if I can find it.

-

I saw a program on the Military Channel (cable TV) the other day showing the effects of pistol and rifle bullets fired at close range at both the modern kevlar and the WWII era steel pot helmets.

First the 9mm pistol round at each at close range. The 9mm round was deflected off the kevlar helmet, but managed to penetrate the WWII era steel pot.

Next came a Mauser k98 bolt-action rifle firing 7.92mm round at close range. The bullet went straight through both helmets - nice neat hole in front and back.

-

Rising Sun*
04-29-2007, 08:21 PM
No helmet, steel or kevlar, is protection against any military rifle round at full velocity within a reasonable range, being some hundreds of metres at a mimimum.

I should have said 'any military rifle of around .30'.

I don't know about 5.56mm, although I expect it would do the job at close range.

Rising Sun*
04-29-2007, 08:38 PM
The penetration results obtained by the NSMATCC with the
5.56mm SS109 cartridge are impressive. The SS109 can penetrate
the 3.45mm standard NATO steel plate to 640 meters, while the
7.62mm ball can only penetrate it to 620 meters. The U. S. steel
helmet penetration results are even more impressive as the SS109
can penetrate it up to 1,300 meters, while the 7.62mm ball cannot
penetrate it beyond 800 meters. These comparisons however, do
not consider the fact that the SS109 uses a semi-armor piercing,
steel-cored projectile, while the 7.62mm ball uses a relatively
soft anti-personnel, lead-cored projectile. A semi-armor
piercing 7.62mm caliber projectile, using second generation
technology as the SS109, would easily out-perform the smaller
SS109 projectile in penetration tests at all ranges. With
respect to barrier and fortification penetration tests, the
7.62mm ball projectile can consistently penetrate two test
building blocks, while the SS109 semi-armor piercing projectile
cannot penetrate a single block.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1986/MVT.htm

royal744
05-20-2007, 12:56 AM
[QUOTE=Anti;87939] The Dutch airforce shot down a considerable number of German planes. Figures are unknown, but between 35 and 40 planes were shot down in dogfights. This number is higher than the number of Dutch planes lost during air-combat. The combined Dutch air-defences and ground forces proved to be highly effective against the massive German air armada that was sent into battle over the Netherlands. In total over 525 crashed or emergency landed German planes have been accounted for during the entire May War in 1940. Of the 525 planes on the list probably about 200 were recovered and repaired, or used to assemble new planes from their intact parts. The German loss of planes was in many ways easy to overcome, but the loss of more than half their transport fleet would remain a burden throughout the war. Amongst others in the impending operation to invade Britain...

I'd like to conclude by saying the Dutch army may have been undertrained (most mobilized soldiers weren't even trained; all they did was digging fortifications), but they did give the Germans one hell of a fight! More than they expected...(QUOTE}

I have read the same thing regarding the Dutch air force. It acquitted itself very well and shot down numerous ubermensch flieger on the other side.

Let's get real, when a country with a relatively large population ruled by a certifiably crazed individual who has sold a militaristic but very gullible people into believing that they are "defending" instead of merely murdering and killing to steal and pillage and that's been working on armored warfare theory and practice for a number of years and is mobilized for war, they can take little pride in crowing and boasting about defeating an enemy that had no intention of being attacked or expectation that they would be - a country I might remind those writing on this topic, that is smaller than the King Ranch here in south Texas.

If I planned on beating up my neighbor by wearing body armor and arming myself to the teeth and walked though his open door and found him half-dressed lying on the couch watching TV, what do you think the result would be?

So the Dutch did as well as they could against a barbarian invader who actually boasts about his prowess in having attacked a friendly neighbor. Shame on that country.

A couple of words about the great armored panzers: they were impressive from a tactical and even a strategic point of view, but what is surprising is that the German army relied very heavily on horses. Where the theory ended, horsemeat began. Even at this early stage of the war, the British army was more motorized than the German one, Later, the Americans would come in with internal combustion engines attached to everything but their backsides. Blitzkrieg worked for a brief time. Surprising an enemy works a couple of times, but after that others learn the same lesson and take it to the next level- fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Also, the vaunted Luftwaffe was fundamentally designed to serve as ground attack aircraft in support of infantry and to that extent they performed very well. But this is a highly tactical and ultimately short-sighted point of view. When it came time to attack England, they simply had the wrong air force with little to zero strategic capacity. In other words, the Germans depended on meeting enemies who were not on equal terms. It's not much of a trick to defeat a 10 lb weakling. It's a great trick to defeat someone who is as strong or stronger than you are. The minute they encountered an air force on equal or better terms, they came to decisive grief - witness the Battle of Britain. THe only time that the Germans sent a luflotte of Stukas from Scandinavia to England at the onset of the Battle of Britain, they were slaughtered by real fighters - the Hurricane and Spitfire.

As for the "invasion" of Britain, it was nothing short of a joke. Aside from the real panic and consternation and fear that the "invincible" German army raised among the British populace, the Germans simply had no capacity for carrying out amphibious warfare. The Kriegsmarine couldn't even guarantee a corridor two miles wide. No assault ships, no Landing Ships specially designed for the mission, no amphibious tanks, the list goes on and on. Sea Lion was an operation written entirely in the subjective tense and not a serious document.

Rising Sun*
05-20-2007, 05:55 AM
A couple of words about the great armored panzers: they were impressive from a tactical and even a strategic point of view, but what is surprising is that the German army relied very heavily on horses. Where the theory ended, horsemeat began.

Yes.

Good summary here http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/germanhorse/

I can't find my source for details, but I seem to recall that supplying horses with feed created severe logisitical problems at times and especially in the Russian campaign.

Rising Sun*
05-20-2007, 06:31 AM
The Dutch contribution in the Pacific should also be noted. It was substantial, particularly in the crucial early days in 1941-42 when every Allied man, ship and plane really counted. It is largely overlooked in the dominant English-language centred histories.

A good site covering the Dutch in the Pacific is http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastindies/

That site includes details on the important naval contributions made by Dutch surface ships http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastindies/war_sea.html and submarines http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastindies/war_sea.html

After the fall of Holland the Dutch, unlike the French after France fell, did not meekly allow the Japanese into their Pacific colony but maintained their opposition to the Axis powers. After the NEI fell they transferred their army, navy and air forces to bases in Australia where they, primarily the navy and air force, continued under Allied command to make a contribution for the remainder of the war in the Pacific.

Queen Wilhelmina stiffened the resistance of the Dutch government in exile in Britain, ignoring constitutional etiquette and stepping in when her Prime Minister sought to negotiate peace terms with the Nazis in the dark early days in Europe when Germany seemed unstoppable. She realised that, for purely strategic reasons related to the future conduct of the war by the Allies rather than selfish Dutch concerns, Japan could not be allowed to take the NEI, which was then the third largest oil producer in the world. Churchill once called her "the only real man in the Dutch government".

royal744
05-20-2007, 11:24 AM
Great post, Rising Sun. I have been contributing on sites dealing with the doomed KNIL in Indonosiea and have always been fascinated by the forlorn defense offered up by the Perth, the Houston and the Dutch fleet under Admiraal Helfrich. I doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the real point and purpose of the southern movement of the Japanese had but one singular objective: Indonesian oil. They desperately needed it and would do anything to get it, including starting wars with Great Britain, Australia, Holland and, fatally, the Americans. I have written a lot on the utter folly of the Japanese in attacking Pearl Harbor which if they had wanted a limited war, they never needed to have done, but which was the guarantor of Japanese defeat in the Pacific.

Thank God we had Australia and New Zealand to anchor our forces to the South!

I have an old photoghraph taken by my father in the 1930s of the USS Astoria when it called on Batavia - the exact port escapes me, because it might have been Surabya. A Dutch naval web site identified this ship for me. The Astoria, along with two others of her Class, lies at the bottom of the strait around Savo Island where it sank from Japanese naval gunfire in the First Battle of Savo Island. It's a big world out there, but a lot smaller than we even thought then. I don't think Papa ever knew what happened to that ship he photographed.

Rising Sun*
05-21-2007, 01:26 AM
Thank God we had Australia and New Zealand to anchor our forces to the South!

The bold part is a crucial comment in understanding the situation in the Pacific.

Japan's idea of a ribbon defence through the South Pacific had a basic flaw: it had no southern anchor. They could advance all the way to Chile, but there wasn't a point around which the Allies couldn't go, nor anywhere they couldn't get through by sea. It was a doomed idea from the outset. And doubly doomed, because the ribbon had a front and a back, and was vulnerable to attack from either side.

The only anchor in the south east was Australia, which Japan couldn't take. Even if it took New Zealand it still didn't fully anchor its defence as it was just another far flung link in the chain of islands while Australia remained in Allied hands.

Conversely, Australia anchored the Allied attack nortwards and westwards, and was an anchor Japan couldn't get around.

If Japan had stopped in the NEI or Timor it might have had a chance of achieving its aim of holding its conquests until the Allies treated the situation as a fait accompli. It would have been better off concentrating its navy in Singapore and the NEI and its land and air forces there to protect the land and its sea lanes from the NEI, Malaya the Philippines and Burma, rather than pressing on to Rabaul to support Truk to try to control the central Pacific, and bogging itself down fatally in Papua New Guinea, New Britain and Bougainville, not to mention getting mauled on Guadalcanal which was the beginning of the end of the ribbon defence.

I think Japan really had to attack Pearl, fatal and foolish though it was, because it had to take the Philippines to avoid having the potentially hostile Americans with a decent air force sitting right in the middle of their other conquests and astride their shipping lanes. If Japan took the Philippines and left Pearl alone, it was only a matter of time before the US fleet came over the horizon, so it had to attack Pearl. Destroying the fleet at anchor in Pearl gave Japan a far better chance of holding the Philippines. Although, given the longstanding Japanese concept of the decisive naval battle with America for dominance in the Pacific, to which Yamamoto subscribed and which he tried to engineer at Midway, it would have made sense to entice the USN towards the Philippines at the outset and have that decisive battle, particularly with the advantage of land based Japanese aircraft in the Philippines. Assuming, of course, that they could do conquer the Philippines quickly enough which, as it turned out, they couldn't. So hitting Pearl was the right military decision. In the short term. But it demonstrated just how little the Japanese understood what the American reaction would be to the attack on Pearl.

Had the Netherlands allowed Japan in to the NEI, as France did in Indo-China, at any stage before the end of November 1941, it would have alarmed America and Britain, and Australia and New Zealand more so, but it would not necessarily have led to war. In some ways it was a consequence of Queen Wilhelmina's determination to keep the NEI's oil out of Japanese hands, particularly once the British and Americans imposed oil embargoes on Japan, that forced Japan to embark on armed conquest in a way which brought the US into the war, to the eventual defeat of all Axis powers.

marloes
10-11-2007, 07:51 PM
Here is a video we made with the Dutch 1940 living history group;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ua7PWXkQOg