• :):):)! The fellow on the right is dangerously close to flooding his waders. All it would take is a little too much forward movement to send that water down the wrong way.

    • Thanks, Eric — I think you are right about them being MP’s, which would explain the spit-and-polish, and the smart and formal uniforms ( rather than field uniforms ). Pillsbury Doughboy’s Wikipedia link below bears this out.

  1. Ze Germans clearly didn’t mind getting wet feet though, because their battle for Holland was over in five days.

    Mind you, some of that was probably politics.

    • the war was over because we did not want to loose entire cities. They went ahead and bombed rotterdam flat anyway. Also, the flooding was not implemented on full scale.

      it was a short but quite costly war for Germany, they expected 2 days, 3 at most. They also lost 543 planes over the Netherlands, al lot of them transports. this hindered german paratroop actions for quite some time.

      Also, the province of zee land kept on fighting on the french side. The dutch navy stayed active for the rest of the war.

      (sorry, just wanted to note we tried not to roll over)


      • Aye, but alot of the Dutch were also Nazis.

        Which at the time was probably understandable, in away.

        • Not only the Dutch, also, for instance, many Swiss.
          And, to put the matter bluntly, many of the English (at least of the elites). If Britain had been Nazi occupied, the numbers would have surprised everybody (even discounting mere opportunists).
          People interested in the Second World War, may have come across the name of SOE/Special Operations Executives, the organization initiated by Churchill to “set Europe on fire”(that is, the Nazi-occuped part). Recent research has uncovered many unknown/kept secret/ aspects of the SOE (definitely, its record in Holland was disastrous). However, one thing is to be granted to the Old Winnie – he simply could not rely on the regular miilitary intellligence and counterintelligence, if its British head was a Nazi sympathazier.
          Regards, Andrzej

      • I’m not accusing the non Nazis of rolling over, because they didn’t.

        And suffered, bad times, war, no winners.

  2. Not everybody is so well equipped. From ‘The Guardian’ 11th February 2014:

    ‘Floods: soldiers deployed to Wraysbury forget their wellies and waders

    Trumpeted by the prime minister as proof that the flooding crisis was under control, the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was ill-equipped to leave its vehicles
    Military boots hit the ground in the flood-hit village of Wraysbury on Tuesday, but it quickly transpired they were the wrong kind of boots.
    As more than a hundred soldiers from the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers marched through the Berkshire village that has become the latest frontline in Britain’s battle against rising water, there were neither wellies nor waders in sight.
    Here were the men from the military trumpeted by the prime minister as proof the flooding crisis was under control, but residents in the Thameside town complained that when the water got deep, some of them couldn’t even get out of their trucks.
    One platoon – supposed to be checking on flooded residents on the embankment – couldn’t get down because the water was so deep. They ended up just sitting in the back of the lorry while locals went about in hip-high rubber boots.
    “They were not allowed in the water,” said Ian Yorke, 50, an operations manager at British Airways who lives on the flooded street. “They had no waders, nothing. They didn’t come prepared. It is all window-dressing.’

    • This is with regard to the recent torrential rain that inundated much of the U.K. as a result of Atlantic winter storms, correct?

      • Yeah the flooding was pretty bad, everything on the Atlantic coast took a battering, (there is currently no rail link between my county and the rest of the UK after the waves washed it into the sea) and the Somerset levels have gone back to the state they were in before the Marshes were drained in the 1600’s
        To be honest I wouldn’t put too much stock in articles like that. In my opinion despite the occasional hiccup the army has been doing a fine job along with the rest of the emergency services. The problem is journo’s having a moan and not looking at the bigger picture (like how the Q.M is supposed to magic up a battalions worth of hip waders overnight)
        It’s just that there was really nothing anyone could do here, on the coast if the sea wants to get in its getting in and further inland the sad fact is they had to let a lot of the countryside flood in order to save the towns. It makes sense from a practical standpoint (fewer homes flooded, less disruption to regional economy etc.) but that’s no consolation to the people who live in the flood zones.
        In that village there was nothing that the army could really do, from the sounds of things they were not brought in to stop the village flooding as that had already happened. Its most likely they were there as a contingency in case the situation really got worse (Hurricane Katrina New Orleans worse) and some form of mass evacuation was needed. As it stands the water rose too slowly for that, vulnerable people such as the elderly were evacuated by the emergency services where necessary, you can bet that if there was an immediate risk to life a lack of suitable footwear wouldn’t have stopped the soldiers from getting stuck in.
        In that situation the soldiers were sitting around waiting for an incident that required their services, sitting in the back of a truck makes a lot more sense than having the men standing around in waist deep filthy water. Even if they had waders it would still be damp, miserable and achive nothing.
        Sorry if it seems like I’m having a go here. A fair few papers have been trying to score political points by unfairly denigrating the work of the emergency and armed services so I am just trying to set the record straight in that area. The environmental agency senior management however, they deserve every bit of criticism they get.

        • Thanks very much for the clarification and additional first-hand news. I’m really sorry to hear ( and see ) how the flooding has affected so many people’s lives and livelihoods. Still, I’m grateful to read about the small blessings in the midst of all this, eg., the slow rising of the flood waters that enabled a timely evacuation of the elderly. Next will come the rebuilding, and there will be much work to do for all.

          You are right about the soldiers sitting in the lorries while waiting to respond as needed — why be unnecessarily miserable and be exposed to possible contaminants and bacteria in the flood water while on standby? Best to be practical and reserve one’s energy and well-being for the real tasks ahead.

          As for newspapers and politicians trying to score points, we all know that’s part of the old rabble-rousing shell game. The sad thing is that this form of “crying wolf” masks objective and truthful journalism by proxy, leading to a sweeping dismissal of all news that denigrates the value of the latter.

          Hope all will be well with you and yours.

          • Earl Liew, cheers for the reply and kind words about the whole flooding situation.
            The rains letting off a bit now so the flood waters are dropping, some places are clear while in other regions it’s going to take the water a fair while to drain away. As you said the priority is now going to be on rebuilding, for instance it’s vital the rail link I mentioned is up and running before tourist season.
            That’s a very good point about how that kind of Journalism just damages the reputation of the whole profession; it leads to the good journalists being lumped together with the tabloid hacks. I’m just hoping that the investigation into how to better control any future flooding doesn’t get hijacked by the political blame game. Needless to say I’m not holding my breath; some papers are trying to tie the debate on river dredging to the debate on EU membership of all things.

    • Not to be a total word-wonk, but “neither wellies nor waders” is some pretty decent onomatopoeia. Say it out loud… it sounds like splashing through ankle-deep water. Ghenghis McCann is clever word-play as well… reminds me of a lady friend of mine who spent years driving around in a car named Attila the Hyundia. As for British flooding, permit me to paraphrase my favorite Irish writer “There is no human situation so miserable that it cannot be made worse by the mere presence of the US Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA.”

    • Sorry I reply as late – I have been busy all the past two (at least) years on a major project.
      1. If you are interested in the Warsaw Uprising, I may provide you with a point of view, at least, if you are interested.
      2. Referring to the photo.
      2.1. I was in Holland once – and then I had to deal with the people wearing the service badges “Koninglijke Marechausse” in the function equivalent to Immigration officers in Britain, and UD, and Border guards in other countries. Later I realized that the name must have been the result of Napoleonic wars, and being the development of the French (Marechal).
      2.2 This is not related to to the primary topic of the post; however, I was always interested in the way the characteristically Dutch helmet worn by the soldiers in the photo was developed (to my best knowledge, only Romania introduced it – before the WWII, and after the
      Regards, Andrzej

  3. The Germans can forget about deploying tanks if the water is this high. Only a Schwimmwagen can get through that! And in this case, had it not been for the politics and German air superiority, the Netherlands might not have been occupied. By the way, if the French had night-bombed Germany during this time (yes, the French did have the capability to do that! Their somewhat outdated bombers could actually have dodged air defenses at night, since German radar and night-fighting capability weren’t too good), history would have changed for the better.

    And if you guys want to know how all those Junkers 52 transports got shot down, I can say that many were gunned down by Fokker D.XXI fighters. The Fokker D.XXI was supposed to be exported and also sent to the Dutch East Indies, given its simple nature. It wasn’t much of a match for the Messerschmitt Bf-109, unless you count better maneuverability, cockpit visibility, and a jettison-able cockpit canopy (there was a dogfight in which a Dutch pilot jettisoned his canopy to bail out and inadvertently caused it to smack into the starboard engine of a pursuing Bf-110 heavy fighter-you can guess how the recipient of the glass canopy ended up). And the D.XXI could stay with a Stuka during a dive and kill it.

  4. S.S, government, all round.

    So don’t accuse me of being a troll, read a book.

    It’s all there, in black and white.

  5. I even met the relative of one, in Arnhem. Were we used to go for a drink from Germany, with his mates who’s relatives weren’t. But I could see it in his face, during a war conversation. And I thought, ah there’s one. Not as simplistic as it seems all this jingoistic flag waving lark, for popularity against ze Germans. Who’s country I lived in at the time, and were very nice. And hey, history is written by the victors etc. So there we are, but I am not a troll.

    • That rabbit hole is deep and has many dark passages leading off it.

      Friederich Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” published in England, when the war was still being fought, pointed to many (fully referenced) examples of mainstream proposals to enact almost exact copies of Nazi policies in Britain when the war finished.

      Hayek managed to both trash his academic career by pointing out the source of the policy proposals and where they would inevitably lead to

      and to trash the book, by inserting his own preferences (effectively for a Swedish or Danish level of state sector provision) when his reasoned arguments clearly did not support that. Bearing that in mind, it is still well worth reading, to understand just how enamoured Britain’s politicians and policy makers were with Hitlerite policies, even while bankrupting the nation to fight the direct results of those policies.

      There are clearer, more consistent and better reasoned wartime examinations of Fascism and Nazi-ism than Hayek, for example;
      von Mises “Omnipotent government”
      Flynn “As we go marching”
      and several works by Wilhelm Röpke
      But it is Hayek who draws critical attention to the similarities with British policies proposed during the war, and enacted after it.

  6. I’ve been resisting buying a Dutch carbine that is at a LGS for the last few weeks.

    This picture and yesterday’s blog is making it harder to resist that purchase.

    • Years ago, there was an odd little gun store here who had a couple of Dutch Mannlichers (a rifle and carbine, I think). I considered buying it, but was deterred by the likely availability of ammunition. As it turns out, I was right on that score, since the ONLY ammunition I’ve seen in any quantity was when a small batch of Mannlichers came in in the ’90s (Century?) along with original Berdan primed ammunition. That store had the ONLY Dutch Mannlichers I’ve EVER seen in a store in the U.S.. They had, to put it charitably, “casual” hours which rarely coincided with those posted on the door. This was during the Clinton campaign to eliminate as many licensed dealers as possible. I imagine the BATF[E] drove them out of business.

      • The easy way for ammo on these is to make the case from either 30/40 Krag or .303 Brit.

        I never let ammo being available for an old rifle be the reason to not buy it. It comes down to how bad I want it vs the money.

        But I must say I don’t buy rifles like this with the plan of them being main shooting rifles. So 40-200 cases are enough to have.

      • as far as ammo is concerned, any advancced (or even a casual) reloader can form a 6.5 mannlichner out of .303 brass which is plentiful

    • I often wonder what happened to the bayonets and cleaning rods for old military rifles. The M95 at the LGS doesn’t have either item.

  7. This foto was taken during the mobilisation of 1939 -1940
    in the city of Deventer on the banks of the river IJSSEL
    These are members of the KORPS POLITIEFROEPEN not of the MARECHAUSSEE but also a sort of MP. One of there dutie,s was border patrol
    The weapons are a pistol M25 and a carabine No 4
    There was a very small percentage of the Dutch who were colaborating with the Nazi,s as in other country,s , even in the US. But the most where strong against the Nazi,s
    Ezcusses for my poor Englisch

    • My understanding is the MARECHAUSSEE was/is separate from the military. Is that correct?

      As for the KORPS POLITIEFROEPEN, was/is it part of the military or a separate organization? Also what are/is the duties the KORPS POLITIEFROEPEN have besides border patrol?

    • “There was a very small percentage of the Dutch who were colaborating with the Nazi,s as in other country,s , even in the US.”

      Of course all of the Mussert types here ended up in prison. As I recall Mussert was executed after the war. Today, he’d have been “condemned” to spending the rest of his life watching “The Real Housewives of Arnhem” at public expense…

      Both the Dutch and French fielded SS formations, with the latter forming a particularly large one, the Charlemagne Division, which was wiped out defending the Reichskanzlerei in 1945.

      The truth is that there were significant numbers of Nazis sympathizers in a number of European countries, including the Netherlands, France, and Belgium.

      • I will never under stand why the Nazi Government didn’t use these Sympathizer troops to police and control their respective countries. It would seem to me that they would know their homeland better and thus would be better at rooting out insurgencies, would also free up german troops for combat positions in the east or factory work.

        • “I will never under stand why the Nazi Government didn’t use these Sympathizer troops to police and control their respective countries.”

          They did. As I understand it, Erma produced a suppressed version of the EMP just for the French, for use against partisans, etc.

          A lot of the lower level security apparatus was composed of locals.

  8. The only other soldier I’d seen wearing hip-waders was a WWI-era British hand grenade instructor. I’m told some British officers privately acquired them for Flanders, however. Certainly for a good many trenches they’d make a lot of sense!

    Thanks all around for the interesting and informative discussion. The “New Dutch Waterline” provided by eric is very interesting… Hopefully it might be translated from the Dutch someplace. Reminds one of the “80 years War” against Spain, no?

  9. The vast variety of Dutch M 95 carbines can be a collection in itself. Bayonets are very hard to find. They are really nice shooters. Brass can be made from 303 British brass.

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