Unofficial Dutch Army List for popular wargame Rules
These unofficial Army Lists are for use with popular rules such as Cold War Gamer and the Team Yankee modern Waragames Rules. They should add an interesting selection and mix of new NATO forces to the game.
10th August 1985
West Germany – Somewhere East of Bremen
Jen sat atop the turret of his tank. He took a deep drag of his cigarette, exhaled, closed his eyes and relaxed. Opening his eyes he looked up into the canopy of the trees. It was warm, not hot. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and insects darted to and fro around the wild flowers. It was idyllic. Was there really a war on? What the hell was he doing here?
It was simple; Jen was a Reservist Lieutenant in the Royal Dutch Army, The platoon commander of the 3rd Platoon, 102nd Recon. They had dashed over 300 kilometres from Holland to get here. But Jen was remembering his father who had escaped Holland in 1939 making his way to England. He enlisted in the British army, volunteered for the Tank Corps and fought his way through North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Wounded twice he returned to his unit and finished the war as a tank commander. Once demobbed he returned to Holland and settled with his British wife in the countryside just North of Amsterdam. He worried about his mum and dad.
Snapping back to the present, he took another drag of his cigarette; his students, he was a maths teacher in real life he told himself, had informed him he would die of cancer if he continued to smoke. It seemed irrelevant at this time. He lifted his field glasses and scanned the terrain in front of him. In front of the copse his platoon were occupying was a rolling pasture, in the valley below 1500 metres ahead was a road running North to south, the road was lined with a privet hedge on both sides. To the north was a small hamlet, an orchard close by. The pasture was bordered by two dried out drainage ditches approximately 1000 metres to the North and South, the 1st and 2nd platoons were hidden in them. His Battalion commander was hoping to set a trap for the East Germans. To the East, the other side of the road was a low hill. The enemy would be somewhere in that direction.
Stubbing his cigarette out on the hatch he once again relaxed and closed his eyes. His mind turned to his older Brother. Frank was the religious one of the Family, a true Jew. At 18 he decided to travel to Israel and live on a Kibbutz for 6 months. Within weeks he had meet the love of his Life, Hannah. He married and became an Israeli citizen. He was called up and like dad joined the tank Corps. After a year as a conscript he was demobbed and became a reservist. He was called back up in the Yom Kippur War; he was deployed on the Golan Heights, he commanded a Sho’t, an Israeli Centurion facing the Syrians manning T55 Soviet MBT’s. His tank was hit on the second day, he was wounded and his military career was over. Like Jen, he too was a maths Teacher. Now Jen was commanding Centurion Tanks facing the East Germans crewing T55’s, my God was this Deja Vu?
Static in his headphones brought him back to the present once again. ‘Sir, Battalion on the line.’ His gunner Clarence advised. ‘OK, Thanks H’, he answered using his nickname. He switched to the Squadron Net, ‘Alpha Three Zero, here. ‘he acknowledged, ‘Jen’ his battalion commander, ‘Recon advises forty T55 are bearing down on us. They are heading directly towards you.’ He paused. ’Plan B, fire and move. Three rounds each, don’t engage until they are at 1200 to 1000 metres and then get out of there Ok just as we trained. Zero One Alpha, Out.’ Jen replied, ‘Understood Sir!
Jen’s heart started to pound, he realised he was now sweating. He switched to the platoon net, ‘Guys you hearing this.’ Jen was now having doubts. Would he perform under fire, would their training be good enough? He lifted his field glasses looking to the east trying to find the enemy. It was still peaceful. ‘Go ahead sir.’ H informed him. ‘Guys, sorry Alpha Three Zero, Here! This is it. East German tanks heading our way. Fire and move. Three rounds only. Understood.’ His earphones acknowledged his orders, ‘Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Yes Sir.’ Was the replies. He wondered if his men were as worried and scared as he was.
Gun Fire. Gun Fire in the distance. It must be the recon platoon. Jen lowered his field glasses and slid back into the turret and his command position. He continued to look east. Two M113C&V came into view racing at speed, one of the recon sections, their auto cannons spitting fire eastwards. They sped towards the road; four East German BT scout vehicles following. Crashing through the privet hedge they accelerated north towards the hamlet, the East Germans pursuing them. Then the T55’s crested the hill.
Green monster after green monster moved towards the road, they were in arrow formation not even trying to conceal their movement. Lifting his field glasses once again, he focused on the lead tank and the East German Commander could be clearly seen. He looked just like any other German or even a Dutch young man; he had blond hair, a pale complexion and Jen betted Blue eyes. The Tank horde was certainly heading directly for his platoon.
Jen took a deep breath, calming himself. ‘Guys’ he realised he should be using call signs, ‘Third Platoon, I’ll take the Commander, Pig, take the tank to his right, Ape the tank to his left and Racer the 2nd tank to the left, OK.’ He realised he had used their nick names. Pig, he never stopped eating, Ape, everyone said he was too big to be a tanker and racer; well he was from money and liked his fast cars. ’10 four,’ Sir they all replied.
The T55’s broke through the first hedge, then the second. They started to climb up the slope, had they seen them in the copse? Were they well camouflaged. Four Centurion turrets moved slowly locking on their targets, 1400 metres, 1300 metres, 1250 metres, they kept coming. Jen touched the Star of David hanging from the chain around his neck, a gift from his father. Jen prayed, first time in years. The lead T55 with the Commander reached the 1200 metre marker they had set, Jen waited. Sweat trickled down his brow. Eleven hundred metres, ‘FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!’ Jen heard himself shout into his mike.
Four 105mm L7A1 barrels recoiled under the force of the projectiles screaming towards their targets. In an explosion of Red and White the East German commander disappeared as his tank shot into flames, two other T55’s were also crippled. ‘New targets’ Jen demanded and four more shots rang out as two more T55 tanks were put out of action. The third volley, more burning East German tanks but they kept coming and T55 turrets were now turning towards them along with their 100mm D-10 guns. ‘Move, Retire.’ Jen ordered. Centurion engines burst into life and the 4 Centurions began to reverse, 100mm shells streaked passed Jen’s head and Racers tank then exploded sending white hot fragments of metal and flame into the trees. ‘KEEP MOVING.’ Jen shouted and the remaining Centurions did. They disappeared into the foliage.
Birds were flying away in all directions and then Jen heard the volleys of 105mm guns, more explosions and tank engines at full throttle. Four minutes later, it stopped. The silence was deafening. God, had we won, had we lost. He strained to listen for news through his headset. Then it came, ‘Great job 102nd. Retire to the MLR 5 kilometres west.’ It was Peter the Squadron Commander. ‘The wounded will be picked up by the Meds, Zero One Alpha, Out.’ Jen breathed a sigh of relief, he hoped Racer and his crew had survived but gave the order, ‘3rd Platoon, retire, back towards Bremen.’
As they retired Jen had time to reflect on his and his platoon’s performance. It had gone according to training. Were they brave, he thought so. He really must use call signs next time. The copse they had defended was now a few kilometres behind them. Soviet jets screamed in dropping HE that shattered the trees and undergrowth there. The East Germans would not give up that easily. They may have retired but they would come again. The squadron had lost two tanks; the trap was a great success. Jen had survived his first action. Maybe his students were wrong, cancer would not be what killed him after all he thought as he lit another cigarette.
The Royal Netherlands Land Army – 1985
The 1st Division, the Netherlands 1st Corps
The 1st Division was an Armoured or Mechanised Infantry Division of the 1st Corps Royal Netherlands Land Army. It was a complete fighting organisation with its own Signals, Infantry, Tank, Reconnaissance, Artillery, Anti-Tank, Air-Aircraft and Engineering assets. Like the 1st Corps, It was only a paper force unless a full mobilisation was to be approved by the Dutch Parliament. Approximately a third of the Division were Regular Soldiers, the remainder were Reservists. The Division was based in the Netherlands or Holland 350 kilometres from its defensive positions assigned it in West Germany.
The Regulars had a further third of their forces on leave from the army. It was planned that they could be called up within 24hours by the Minister of Defence without reference to Parliament should war be threatened. The reservists could be mobilised within 72 hours once Parliament had approved it. Once mobilised the Regulars would move immediately to their start lines in Germany, the rest of the Division following as soon as they were ready.
Above is the organisation of the 1st Division in 1985. It was an Armoured or Mechanised Division of Two Mechanised Infantry Brigades and one Tank Brigade. Like the other Division’s within the Corps they could call upon Corps Assets and support from the German Air Force and Land Army. It was planned that the Dutch would face the highly rated East Germans backed up by the Polish. They would occupy a position between the Danish and the West German 1st Corps and reported to the British who commanded their sector. Dutch forces like those of other NATO commands trained to operate in Battlegroups from Platoon to Brigade level depending on the objective given to them. Each Brigade could operate as part of the Division or independently. All were considered combat worthy.
The Dutch like other NATO partners, their Regular Army units were equipped with Modern weaponry, Reservists and 2nd line formations were still using in part obsolete equipment and weaponry. The Dutch were equipped mainly with Dutch manufactured small arms and Uniforms, helmets and webbing based on the British pattern. Vehicles were of home manufacture, with others supplied by Britain, Germany, the USA and some obsolete vehicles supplied by the French. In 1985 the Dutch did not use camouflage on their vehicles or uniforms. Both uniforms and vehicles were painted or dyed Olive Drab. Mechanised Infantry platoons also followed the British organisation. The Dutch were considered by fellow NATO partners as both professional and competent soldiers. The biggest issue would be if they could mobilise and reach their defensive positions in time if a shooting war started.
The lists allow for Regular and Reservist forces. You can field a Reconnaissance, a Tank or a Mechanised Infantry Formation or a combination of these forces. Each is shown below and is to be used in conjunction with the unofficial cards shown online. You may not mix Regular and Reservist forces within a single formation unless shown as allowed within it. However an army may have a mix of Regular and Reservist formations. Tank Types may not be mixed within the same squadron’s or companies.
The 101st RECONNASSIANCE BATTALION
The 101st Reconnaissance Battalion was a part of the Divisional HQ. The Squadrons or Companies of the Battalion would be allocated to the Brigades as required. Only one Reconnaissance Squadron or Company may be used in any army. The Tank Squadron and Mechanised Companies are detailed here.
Depending on the Division selected, the Tank Squadron could be Regular or Reservists. In 1985 just two battalions of the 1st Corps was equipped with Leopard 2 tanks. The Leopard 1 was replacing the Centurion as the MBT of the Dutch Army but the Centurion remained in Reservist Tank Battalions. This formation allows you use any one of these formations. Leopard 2, Leopard 1 and or Centurions may not be used together in this formation. The HQ and two Tank Platoons are compulsory; with the remainder available as options within the formation. Where more than one box is shown below the main box such as the Anti-Tank section, two may be selected in the formation. Each section acts as independent platoon for deployment and loses during a game. If regulars are used for the compulsory platoons, all the support units must also be Regular, if Reservists are chosen for the compulsory platoons, the support units must also be reservist.
Tanks in the Recon Squadron are not scouts, only the recon and Recce Platoons are.
The mechanised Companies of the 101st or other Reconnaissance Battalions in the 1st Corps were as well equipped as any other Mechanised Companies in the army. As the Battalion title suggests the Companies were Recce and scouted ahead of the main army to find, shield and in some cases engage the enemy forward columns to gain time for the fighting brigades to deploy.
When the Infantry platoons were mounted in their transports, they acted as scouts and will be classed as scouts in this formation. Once the Infantry are debussed, the transports become a separate platoon. The Infantry and their transports when held in reserve or for deployment where no reserves are specified in the scenario during a game, they count as only one platoon and they deploy on table as one platoon.
Both the tank Squadron and Mechanised Companies were more lightly armed then the main fighting Brigades Tank and Mechanised Battalions. Both the Regular and Reservist formations are shown below. The main difference is the Vehicles the formations used and their abilities shown on the unit cards. Like the Tank Squadron, where a box is shown below the main box, more than one section may be chosen. Each section acts as independent platoon for deployment and loses during a game.
The reservist mortar platoons are towed or transported in M113 transports. The OP M113 may only spot for the mortar platoon and no other artillery asset used in an army of more than one formation. The platoons in the organisation chart are shown at full strength. The reduced platoon strength and points cost shown on the cards may be selected when fielding a Recon Tank Squadron or Mechanised company.
The Tank Battalions in the Land Army in 1985 could follow three different formations. The most modern tanks in the Royal Dutch Land Amy was the Leopard 2, equal to if not superior to any Warsaw Pact Armour of the day. The Battalions equipped with the Leopard 2 tanks were using the new formation. They had only three squadrons of 13 tanks each with a HQ of 1 tank. They were all Regular Army. Like the Leopard 2 formations, Leopard 1 Battalions in the Tank Brigades followed the same formation. C Squadron in each Battalion was on leave. The Battalions of the Armoured or Mechanised Brigades Had 4 Squadrons, A and B Squadrons contained 4 Platoons each, for a total of 17 tanks, C and D Squadrons had only 3 Platoons for a total tank strength of 13 tanks each. C and D Squadrons in active units would be on leave. Some Reservist Tank Battalions followed the old formation of 3 Platoons of 5 tanks each with a HQ of two tanks. These Squadrons would always be equipped with Centurion 5/2 NL Tanks. A Battalion HQ of new or old formations would also have 3 AVRE Tanks within their complement.
The formation charts show the standard Platoon strengths. The Cards show the reduced or increased strengths for each type of tank. If using a Centurion Squadron with 5 tanks per Platoon, only three platoons may be used in that formation and the HQ must contain two MBT’s. When choosing a Squadron on leave, C or D Squadrons, again only 3 platoons may be used in a Squadron.
The Centurions of the 1st Division were 5/2 NL, Centurions in other Dutch formations 5/2 in 1985 and were highly modified to cope with the Soviet threat. Like the Leopard 1 tank they were equipped with the 105mm L7A1 gun. This 105mm gun proved its worth in the Israeli Army during the Yom Kippur War and was considered superior to the D-10 100mm used by the T55 MBT of most Warsaw Pact Nations in 1985. Unlike the Danes they had not fitted advanced stabilisers but 5/2 NL were fitted with laser range finders, the remainder all had ranging machine guns and all standard stabilisers. By 1985 the Centurions had been in service for almost 30 years and were considered ready for replacement. However when faced with the East German T72M and T55 Tanks they were still considered fit for combat. One Tank in a Squadron may be fitted with a ‘Dozer Blade’. If fitted the tank has no stabiliser, there being no room for both mechanisms within the tank. The ROF of the main gun is reduced to 1 when moving or halted. The extra protection of the dozer blade increases the front armour rating to 14. No extra points are paid for this conversation. Unlike the Dutch, the Swedes deployed at least one dozer tank in each Platoon.
Shown below are the Dutch Tank Formations available in these lists.
Mechanised Battalions of Armoured or Infantry and Tank Brigades, Regular or Reservists followed the same organisation. The only difference was the vehicles available to the formations. Each Company was a self contained fighting unit capable of both taking and holding ground. Like the British Army a platoon was well equipped with Anti-Tank Weapons and automatic weapons if faced by enemy infantry. The HQ of all Mechanised Companies consisted of 2 Automatic Rifles (AR) or Machine Gun (MG) Teams and a Carl Gustav Team. Each Platoon had 4 AR/MG teams also armed with LAW/M72 LAW AT weapons. The platoon was also armed with 2 Dragon missile teams and two Carl Gustav S.550MAW teams. A Stinger AAGW team could also be attached. Reserve platoons had 4 Carl Gustav teams instead of 2 Dragon and 2 Carl Gustav Teams. The Mechanised Brigades were well supported by Brigade and Corps assets. Once dug in they would be hard to move from their positions.
A Platoon was made up 8 combat Sections. The Four main Platoon transports were the YPR765, the YP408 wheeled and the M113 battle taxis each carried a HQ or two combat section in each. The YPR765 was equipped with a turret armed with a 25mm Auto Cannon, a 7.62mm AA MG and Co-ax 7.62mm MG, the YP408 was armed with a .50 cal AA MG as was the M113. These vehicles gave the platoon extra fire-power if faced by enemy infantry or as Anti-Helicopter cover.
With mortar Artillery support, recon, Anti-Tank and Anti-Helicopter support units the Company was a fearsome fighting formation. Battalion Artillery, Brigade Artillery, Tanks and Air support was also available to them. These support units in a Mechanised Company gave the company the fire-power needed to either advance or hold ground. If faced by infantry or tanks they were well equipped to face the threat.
Where the main boxin the organisation chart has shaded boxes underneath more than one section can be selected. Each section operates as an independent unit during a game for deployment or as reserves and as losses.
Special thanks to Ian Crosby for the creation of this list. Its really briliant work and its the sort of thing that got me into this hobby. I hope this inspires you to run your own army lists! If you do and youd like to share them Im happy to post them up here ,so long as I wont get into trouble with any IP police:) These are purely here for your enjoyment