The Military => Dutch Army: past and present => Topic started by: stoffel on 29 April 2009, 20:53:00

Title: History of Dutch regiment Stoottroepen.
Post by: stoffel on 29 April 2009, 20:53:00
I have served my draft time in the 41st armored infantry batallion during 1986-1988 period.
Below you find a history about this unit of the Dutch army.

The unit was founded on september 21st 1944 by orders from Prins Bernhard.
The unit was formed from local resistance people from Brabant and Limburg province, their leader was Peter Borghouts.
These fighters were organized in Knokploegen (shocktroops) they were responsible for actions against the German occupationalforces.
These first units lacked weapons and equipment and were not trained as combatunits, but they were fanatic and were willing to give their lives for the liberation of the Netherlands.
Often the English and American soldiers laughed about the men.
During the war over 100 men died in combat against the Germans.
Queen mother Wilhelmina spoke famous words, "this batallion will always exist".

In 1945 the regiment fielded 6000 men.
2000 men left the army after the war, the others remained in service.

In the former colonies tensions rose whene Dutch authorities came back.
In 1949 several police actions (dutch name instead of guerillawar) were conducted.
Their main base was in Venlo.
4 batallions of volunteers went to the Dutch indies to fight the guerillas there, later followed by 5 batallions of drafted men.
At the end of 1949, under pressure of the US, the Netherlands ended the fightings.
In 1950 the Korean war started and a large contingent of Dutch troops (mainly from Stoottroepen) joined the Dutch UN force.
Here too, several hundreds of men died in combat.

After this war ended the regiment was slowly reduced in size to 1 batallion.
This batallion was renamed 41st infantry batallion.
It fielded 3 companies (A,B & C) and it had a staff/support company.
This support company had .30 machineguns, 4.2 inch and 81 mm mortars and 6 recoilles rifles (106mm) on jeeps.
The staff company had a recon, supply, medical and a maintenance platoon.

In 1957 the unit moved to Ermelo (generaal Spoor kazerne)
In 1962 the unit embarked to New Guinea to fight against Indonesians uprising.

In 1966 the Dutch army  restructured a second time, the infantrybatallions became motorized/armored.
The 81mm mortars, .30 mg sections and the recoiless rifle sections were abandoned from the OOB.
A part of the infantry received the AMX10 (french build) personel carrier with .50 cal mg.
The other batallions were issued DAF YP408 wheeled vehicles.
This had a lot to do with money, NATO wasn't to happy with the wheeled vehicles and rather saw the government buy more armored tracked carriers.
But lack of funding forced the Dutch government to make this decision.
This meant a total change of operations from regular infantry to armored infantry.
A new doctrine was written.

During this period the army also switched to the new 120mm towed mortars.
Personal weapons like the Garand, Lee Enfield and Brengun were replaced with MAG, FAL and UZI.
During the train hijackings in 1977 the batallion manned the first securityring around the train.

Another transformation for the unit came in the early 80's.

A new vehicle entered service, the YPR765 a modified M113.
4 versions were ordered, a command, a supply, an AFV (armed with 25mm gun) and an AntiTank version with a twin launcher for the TOW ATGW.
A specialized command vehicle based on the M113, the M577 was ordered to for company HQ's.
It was the first time the infantry received a tracked fighting-vehicle capable of keeping up with the Leopard tank.

Again a new doctrine and new rules of operations were issued.
In 1982 the unit received a new award for its flag.
The verzetherdenkingskruis (resistance-commemoration-cross) was permanently attached to the flag.


The Stoottroepen remained armored infantry till 1995.
41st infantry batallion now became airmobile infantry.
The YPRs were changed for Helicopters (Cougar)and the unit was renamed 13 airmobile batallion.
The batallion saw action in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Congo.
Recently a new contingent left for Afghanistan.
The batallion is now officially named "regiment Stoottroepen, Prins Bernhard".

The unit has a mascotte, this is a white (male) goat named Kees.
Its origine lays in the town of Beneden Leeuwen.
During the second world war 2 men, on patrol, heard sounds in that area and thought German troops where nearby, after investigation they found the goat.
Since that time the goat is the units mascotte, untill now 7 goats had the honour to be the mascotte.


Another remarkable person who meant a lot for the Stoottroepen was Moeders.
Moeders (mom or mother of the Stoottroepen) M.C.L. Cornelissen-Dijken was the widow of a former Lt.Col. named Cornelisse.
He commanded the 3rd batallion in Dutch indies, at his request his wife looked after the men of the batallion.
She always was around, supporting the soldiers, paying visits to wounded/handicapped soldiers and to relatives of KIA's.
By order of the queen she was promoted to knight in the order of Nassau.
When you had an exercise you could bet to find her somewhere in the dead of night with a can of hot soop, cake or chocalate.
She passed away in june 2000.
In Ermelo a square at the Generaal Spoor barracks is named after her.

In the middle you see Moeders, on the right is one of the batallioncommanders Ltcol Felius (retired)
felius,who was my batallioncommander wrote a book about his career.
Unfortunately its in Dutch only but its a good read.
Name of the book is: Einde oefening, infanterist tijdens de koude oorlog (endex, infantrysoldier during the cold war)

Every 2nd sunday in octobre the fallen soldiers are remembered at a ceremony in Beneden Leeuwen.
The name of each soldier KIA is read by the current commander of the batallion.
Their names are written on plaquettes which hang on the walls of the chapel.
On the picture below you see the guard at the entrence of the chapel.


the monument

Source: Bond oud stoottroepers, website at: (

The unit has a museum located at the Johan Willem Friso kazerne at Assen.

Title: Re: History of Dutch regiment Stoottroepen.
Post by: stoffel on 5 September 2010, 18:51:54
This year the rememberance day for the regiment is on October 10th 2010.
Veterans will form a line and march to the cemetary together with a delegation of the regiment.
At the chapel there will be a ceremony, an honouryguard is present.
The names of all fallen soldiers will be read from WWII untill the last conflict in Uruzgan.

The ceremony is in Beneden Leeuwen.
If you are in the area you really should visit the ceremony.


Title: Re: History of Dutch regiment Stoottroepen.
Post by: stoffel on 29 December 2011, 19:58:52
I have served in this great regiment from march 1986 untill june 1988.
Conscript drafted soldiers spent 14 to (16 months for NCO) in the last period towards the end of the cold war.
From 1990 on this dropped to 12 months and finally in 1994 the last conscripts were drafted.
In 1995 the army changed from a conscript based into a voluntary service military organization.
I joined A company, 2nd platoon commanded by lt Van Harskamp, the company was led by captain Bastin, the batallion was led by Ltcol Felius.
Felius wrote a book (Einde oefening,Infanterist tijdens de koude oorlog) about his career, it gives a very good example about the way the Dutch army trained its officers.
The Dutch army had 2 types of infantrybatallions at that time, 1 equiped with the tracked AFV YPR765 and the others equiped with the DAF YP408 wheeled AFV.
This had to do with budgetproblems, the wheeled vehicles were cheaper.
Standard weaponry carried by the men were the FAL rifle, Uzi, Browning 9mm pistol, MAG mg, Dragon ATGW and the M72 LAW.
We had 3 types of YPR, the infantry fighting vehicle armed with MAG coaxial gun and 25mm Oerlikon, the PRAT armed with a twin TOW launcher and the general purpose vehicle armed with a .50 cal mg.
Every vehicle also had AT-mines, barbed wire and standard handgrenades on board.
Firesupport was provided by a company of 120mm towed Mortars.

Here you see an old picture of me (17 years young) on board my vehicle the YPR675.

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My batallion was tasked with defending a small box in the NATO defensive line that ran throughout Germany.
Our area was located east of Seedorf near the Aller river.

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This is the map from that area, it was modelled for me by my friend Pi from Germany to be used in a Tacops battle.

Title: Re: History of Dutch regiment Stoottroepen.
Post by: stoffel on 3 April 2012, 16:30:07
Current emblem of the airmobile infantry brigade, which the Stoottroepen now are taking part in. (13th airmobile infantry batallion Prins Bernhard)
My reserve unit is now attached to this brigade so with proud I wear it to on my jacket.


The falcon was chosen as the symbol for the brigade, the letters stand for , Every man, every mission!

Title: Re: History of Dutch regiment Stoottroepen.
Post by: S-1 on 23 November 2014, 22:25:31
More pictures from author Stoottroepen 41 armored infantrybatallion 1986.

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