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Author Topic: Dutch participation in Korea  (Read 2649 times)
stoffel
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« on: 28 December 2008, 22:44:20 »
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Dutch participation in Korea

In 1950 the Dutch government decided to go along with the UN resolution to send troops to Korea.
A detachement of 636 volunteers embarked the ship on october 26 and arrived at Pusan around november 23.
These volunteers were drafted from several infantry batallions, Stoottroepen delivered the biggest part.
Most of these soldiers had battlefield experience, (especially anti-geurillawarfare) from the figthings in the Dutch Indies.
The navy supplied 6 warships and a hospitalship.

At first the government wasn't to eager to send troops but pressure from the bigger countries in the securitycouncil led the Dutch to go along.

There were several reasons why the government hesitated:
1) Troops had been recently in a (costly)war and barely returned from the Dutch indies.
2) The country was still in ruins for a great part and rebuilding cost a lot of money.
3) The people didnt back up the fighting, most even didnt know where Korea was situated on the map, nor why the troops had to fight there.

The initial detachement was placed under command of the 38th regiment, 2nd Indianhead division (8th army)

Soon they were committed to the rearguard covering the retreat of the allied armies.
Heavy fighting was a daily experience.
The unit however was highly appreciated by the US commanders.
The men fought hard and were reliable, their knowledge about guerilla warfare was put to good use.

A well known anecdote from a US General:
A General payed a visit to the troops, he was angry about the dutch soldiers walking through the woods alongside a road and not on the road itself.
When called upon a sergeant replied to him: sir, did you take fire at the US sector?
The general confirmed that.
The sergeant smiled and said, did you take any fire here?
The general saluted and drove on.

Some memorable fights took place on February 12th 1951.
A group of Chinese soldiers infiltrated the US lines and attacked an  HQ-post.
In the darkness of night confusion ruled, but soon the men regained control of the situation.
They killed 60 Chinese but lost 15 men and 30 wounded.
Among the dead were the bn CO LtCol Den Ouden and the preacher of the bn.

Another succes was hill 325.
The Dutch were ordered to take the hill.
Chinese resistance was stubborn and fierce, only after 3 attacks they were destroyed.

In total the Dutch army sent 5.314 soldiers and 1.896 marines and sailors to Korea.
Of them 123 died, 559 got wounded and 3 were missing in action.

The unit was highly decorated.
They received a Distinguished unit citation, 2 presidential unit citations, 14 Silver stars and 102 Bronze stars from the US army.
The Dutch government awarded them with 3 x the Willemsorde, 5 times the Bronze lion (bronzen leeuw), 19 times the bronze cross (bronzen kruis) and 4 times the cross of honour (kruis der verdienste)

Several barracks were named after men who fought in Korea.
One of them is the Soldaat Ketting Olivier kazerne at Soesterberg.
This soldier took out an enemy machinegun position on his own and saved the lives of many of his comrades.

The unit was the most decorated one of the Dutch army until now.
However it also took the most casualties.
« Last Edit: 28 December 2008, 23:07:30 by Koen » Logged

My topics are about my personal opinion, my thoughts and what I think. They do not reflect the official opinion of the ministry of defense of the Netherlands.
the_13th_redneck
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« Reply #1 on: 15 March 2010, 01:32:11 »
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And eternal gratitude to those who volunteered!
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stoffel
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« Reply #2 on: 5 February 2017, 13:57:44 »
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Images from the War memorial museum at Seoul.
Pictures taken by colleague Patrick Balk!




Plaquette with the image of The Netherlands and the forces participating from the Royal Netherlands Armed forces.



Memorial statue to commemorate the commitment of the Dutch forces and their fallen comrades.


Honour roll to comemmorate all victims of the Korean war.




Hr Ms Van Galen Royal Netherlands Navy.

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My topics are about my personal opinion, my thoughts and what I think. They do not reflect the official opinion of the ministry of defense of the Netherlands.
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