‘Going Dutch’: Building a Cold War Dutch Battlegroup (Part 4)

I’ve been side-tracked on other projects just lately and haven’t really progressed with my 15mm Cold War Cloggy army.  However, I recently found some spare models cluttering up space in my locker, so decided to paint them up as 1980s Dutch vehicles.  They don’t really fit with my battlegroup at the moment, but might at some point in the future if I decided to expand it.

First is an M106A1 107mm Mortar Carrier.  This vehicle was based on the ubiquitous M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier and was widely used by a number of NATO and other nations’ armies.  However, the Royal Netherlands Army only used a small number of them, as their standard mortar was the French towed 120mm MO-120-RT, which was towed by the YPR-765 PRMR variant.  M106A1 were only used by the Recce Battalions.

There were three Squadrons per Recce Battalion.  Squadrons had a headquarters consisting of 1x M113 C&V 25 recce vehicle, 1x M557 command vehicle and a pair of M113A1 APCs carrying ground-surveillance radar.  The Squadron then had three Platoons, each with a headquarters of 1x M113 C&V 25, another 4x M113 C&V 25 divided into two sections of two vehicles, a tank section of 2x MBTs, an infantry section (armed with an 84mm Carl Gustav) mounted in 1x M113A1 and a mortar section with 1x M106A1.  In total the Squadron therefore had 16x M113 C&V 25, 1x M577, 6x MBT, 5x M113A1 (two with GSR) and 3x M106A1.

I do my games at a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio, so in game terms, my Recce Squadron (when complete) will have 7x M113 C&V 25, 2x M113A1 (one with GSR), 3x MBT, 3x infantry stands and 1x M106A1.  I just need to paint another 5x M113 C&V 25.  The models above are all by Team Yankee/Flames of War/Battlefront Miniatures.

Next up is a quartet of Centurion Mk 5/2 tanks.  These venerable old beasts of war were still being used in front-line service by the Royal Netherlands Army  right up until 1987, thanks largely to the delays in delivery of the Leopard 1-V:

42 Armoured Infantry Brigade was equipped with Centurion until 1986, when they were replaced by Leopard 2A4.  This brigade initially used YP-408 wheeled APCs as its main infantry carrier until 1987, when they were replaced by the YPR-765 Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

52 Armoured Infantry Brigade was equipped with Centurion until 1987, when they were replaced with Leopard 1-V.  The brigade’s YP-408 APCs were replaced with YPR-765 AIFVs at the same time.

53 Armoured Brigade was equipped with Centurion until 1985, when they were replaced with Leopard 2A4.  The brigade had the YPR-765 AIFV throughout the 1980s, so it does present a fun opportunity to mix old with new during the early 1980s.

These models are by QRF Models.  I must however own up here and say that to be true Dutch Centurion Mk 5/2 NLs of the 1980s they should really have a Leopard 1-type IR searchlight box to the left of the main gun and they usually stowed a road-wheel or two on the glacis plate, so these are rather ‘clean’.

For painting, I’ve used Humbrol Enamel 155 US Olive Drab.  The strong sunlight (and my new camera) has made these look rather brown, but it is exactly the same shade as that used on my previous Dutch models.

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Battlefront: First Echelon, Cold War, Cold War - NATO Armies, Painted Units. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to ‘Going Dutch’: Building a Cold War Dutch Battlegroup (Part 4)

  1. Doug says:

    It must have been a hell of a shock to go from a Centurion straight into a Leopard 2A4!

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Yes, I think that’s quite possibly the most impressive upgrade in all military history (aside from when horsed cavalry converted to tanks)! 🙂

    • jemima_fawr says:

      I should have added that they were meant to have received Leopard 1-V, but the programme was dogged by problems and was years overdue, so in many cases they just ‘skipped a generation’ and bought Leopard 2A4 straight off the peg.

  2. Hans Boersma says:

    Nice to see these old clunkers roll into action. Slowly, and breaking down from time to time… Fuel supply (petrol) would also have been somewhat problematic.

    The shock of going from Centurion to Leopard 2 was never experienced by crews; by 1985 all Centurions were in mobilisation complexes, only to be awakened if the balloon went up. 52 and 53 Painfbrig were all-mobilisable formations. Also, the Leopard 1V was not ‘skipped’, units were re-equipped according to plan (though, as noted, in case of the Leopard 1V not according to schedule).

    M113: also used by the armoured engineer companies (of which one in each armoured (infantry) brigade.

  3. Bert Meringa says:

    Hello Jemima,
    The Dutch Reccebattalions were divisional assets. We had 2 Reccebattalions organized as you wrote for the 1st and 4th division: 4th division 103 Verkenningsbataljon stationed in Seedorf, Germany equipped with Leopard 2a4s from 1982 onwarts. The 104 Verkenningsbataljon was stationed in Nunspeet, the Netherlands and was equipped with Leopard 1V from 1984.
    The Reccebattalion of the 5th Division had AMX13 105mm light tanks for a very long time.
    Greetings, Bert

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Bert, that’s great information! I was wondering who was still using the AMX-13s at the time. 🙂



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