Dutch Waffle in WWIII

“WE WHO ARE VITALLY INTERESTED IN THE SECURITY OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC AREA HENCEFORTH STAND UNITED IN OUR RESOLVE TO REPEL AGGRESSION, JUST AS WE STAND UNITED IN OUR RESOLVE NOT TO ATTACK OTHERS.”

Dirk Stikker, Foreign Minister,
speaking at the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty Washington, D.C., 4 April 1949

With the impending latest iteration of WWIII; Team Yankee on the horizon I’ve been looking at creating some diversity in my forces. I’ve got tonnes of T-72s and BMPs for the Warsaw Pact forces that are looming on the fringes of eastern Germany so I’ve been looking for something a bit different to oppose them in the NATO arsenal.

And what could be more different than the Dutch?

The relaxed appearance of the Royal Netherlands armed forces.

Going Dutch

Whilst not the largest member of NATO in the 1980s the Netherlands was prepared to join the other NATO nations in holding back the Warsaw Pact with all of its armed forces; the issue was as a relatively small nation those forces reflected that small population. 

YPR-765 APC

In the event of the Cold War going hot the main focus of the Netherlands, as a member of NATO, was to help in defence of West Europe and primarily West Germany and Norway. Their main contribution to this was the 1st Netherlands Corps stationed in West Germany as part of NORTHAG (Northern Army Group), and their marines which would be committed to the defence of Scandinavia. 

Dutch 1st Corps deployment at the foot of Denmark

In the event of war, in the most favourable conditions, the Dutch would have three full divisions deployed in West Germany, the 1st, 4th, and 5th:

  • 1e Divisie “7 December” (1 Div “7 Dec”). Deployed to the southern sector north of Celle, near Uelzen, directly west of the Elbe-Seitenkanal.
  • 4e Divisie (4 Div) – Would be sent to the northern sector just south of Hamburg, near Lüneburg, directly west of the Elbe-Seitenkanal.
  • 5e Divisie (5 Div) – Mobilization Unit – Corps Reserve – Would be deployed to the corps rear area east of the Weser river.

There would also be other units, like the 101 Infantry Brigade, whose role would be to secure the rear areas behind the front line. 

In relative terms, though this was aspirational.  A large proportion of this fighting power would not be ready to go from hour one and would need to be mustered. Not only that but the Dutch would need around 48 hours to reach its positions in the NORTHTAG lines! 

Scary red Warsaw Pact arrows

Clogging up the Warsaw Pact

So, now we understand a bit more about the deployment of the Dutch in the Team Yankee era we can look at pulling them together on the tabletop. 

I love starting with a historical formation and pulling it into the Battlefront world and even more than that I love cool names of units…  1e Divisie “7 December”. That’s cool. 

Old but not completely obsolete.

Named after the date of the speech of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands gave in London on 7 December 1942 the 1e Divisie “7 December” (Mechanized) was headquartered in Arnhem during this period and was made up of some fantastically named formations that just scream to be deployed on the 6 x 4 of battle. 

Dutch Mastering a Force

Additional Units to the 1e Divisie:

  • 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion “Huzaren van Boreel”,
    (18 x Leopard 1V, 48 x M113-Command & Reconnaissance)

The 1e Divisie “7 December” (Mechanized) was formed of the following units:

11e Pantserinfanteriebrigade

  • 101st Pantser Battalion “Regiment Huzaren Prins Alexander”,
    (61 x Leopard 1V, 12 x YPR-765)
  • 12th Pantserinfanterie Battalion “Garde Regiment Jagers”,
    (70 x YPR-765, 16 x YPR-765 PRAT)
  • 48th Pantserinfanterie Battalion “Regiment van Heutsz”,
    (70 x YPR-765, 16 x YPR-765 PRAT)
  • 11th Horse Artillery Battalion “Gele Rijders”,
    (20 x M109A3)
  • 11th Armored Anti-Tank Company,
    (AIFV|YPR-765 PRAT)

12e Pantserinfanteriebrigade

  • 59th Pantser Battalion “Regiment Huzaren Prins Oranje”,
    (61 x Leopard 1V, 12 x YPR-765)
  • 11th Pantserinfanterie Battalion “Garde Regiment Grenadiers”,
    (70 x YPR-765, 16 x YPR-765 PRAT)
  • 13th Pantserinfanterie Battalion “Garde Fusiliers Princess Irene”, Schalkhaar
    (70 x YPR-765, 16 x YPR-765 PRAT)
  • 14th Field Artillery Battalion (Reserve),
    (20 x M109A3)
  • 12th Armored Anti-Tank Company,
    (YPR-765 PRAT

13e Pantserbrigade

  • 11th Pantser Battalion “Huzaren van Sytzama”,
    (52 x Leopard 1V, 12 YPR-765)
  • 49th Pantser Battalion (Reserve) “Huzaren van Sytzama”,
    (52 x Leopard 1V, 12 x YPR-765)
  • 17th Pantserinfanterie Battalion “Regiment Infanterie Chasse”,
    (70 x YPR-765, 16 x YPR-765 PRAT)
  • 12th Field Artillery Battalion,
    (20 x M109A3)

As you can see this gives us plenty of scope and information about this wonderful unit – I’m going to focus on getting the 12e Pantserinfanteriebrigade ready to play.

Delft-ly Creating a List

So, the first thing I added was the recce from 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion “Huzaren van Boreel”. This is a super cheap formation that can be used to get your units forward if the game allows, and then scoot away and hide or harass softer targets. 

Next up is the Leopard 1 tanks from 101st Pantser Battalion “Regiment Huzaren Prins Alexander”. These tanks are nowhere near the cutting edge of the NATO spearhead but are still very handy assets to have. AT19 is solid, if not spectacular, and again they are well pointed and the cost of them means that even as a NATO player you can get a decent number of hulls on the table to start thinning down those blasted T-55s, T-64s and T-72s.

Next is the real staying power (I’m trying to be ironic here as this really is the fighting formation that needs to hang in there!) in the list the members of 13th Pantserinfanterie Battalion “Garde Fusiliers Princess Irene”.

9-stand units aren’t massive but are still chunky enough to do a job and with a full complement of M72 LAW, Carl Gustavs and M47 Dragon missiles they can hold their own against armour. My concern is getting pounded into dust by a sustained Warsaw Pack artillery park and/or getting swamped by hordes of angry infantry.

Integral mortars and the YPR-765 PRAT with its Hammerhead TOW missile bolster the formation and killing power and the Leopard 1 peloton adds more high AT into the mix. If left unharassed the YPR-765 transports can put down 6 dice each of anti-personal fire so I’ll need to keep them as close to the infantry as possible and also operational for as long as possible.

Finally rounding out my 100pts is some support from the West Germans to the south of the Dutch positions in the form of a full-strength flight of Tornados and also the M109s from 14th Field Artillery Battalion (Reserve).

I know that this isn’t exactly the Gucci kit that you can normally include from a NATO force perspective but I am genuinely surprised at the amount of kit that you can get in your list for 100pts. Yes, it is Skill 4+, Courage 4+; Yes, it only has FA9 as the highest in the force and the 3 PRTL peloton is going to be hard-pressed if someone brings a HIND and Frogfoot list… actually I might have a play and try and include the Stingers too… but it is all decent kit and all well costed. 

Even in just plain green, it is still a lovely looking tank.

I’m not sure when the Leopard 2 entered service for the Dutch but that might be an option for the future and would allow you to customise your force for your games offering you something completely different to what we have already included. Even if the Dutch aren’t packing the best NATO tank in WW3 in the list you can pack the best gaming snack and be content. 

I was going to call these a biscuit but I think that is a disservice.

So until the Swedes join the fray, I’m very happy to pop some wonderfully named Dutch on the battlefield and do my part to halt the thrust of the Warsaw Pact towards the Low Countries. 

Genoeg van mijn wafel – tot de volgende keer
– Dunc

Category: Free NationsTeam Yankee

5 comments

  1. Great Article on a great gaming potential force.
    We call the Tank battalions, ‘Tank Bataljon’ , although the Armour or ‘Cavalerie’ is called the ‘Pantserwapen’ . I’d be interested wher you found the 20 gun Artillerie Afdelingen?
    The Leopard 2 was introduced in 1983 in seizable numbers 4th Division 41st Armoured Brigade and 43rd Armoured Infantry Brigade). 104 Armoured Recce Battalion was the active Recce battalion, alongside the ‘active’ reserve 102 Armoured Rece Battalion.

  2. The Dutch where the first outside of Germany to put the leopard 2 into service. They ordered theirs back in 78-79 IIRC. Basically around the same time as the first hand full of leopard 2s entered service within the Bundeswehr.

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Article by: Duncan Gosling