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Embleem Eerste Divisie "7 December"

The Eerste Divisie "7 December" or "First Division 7 December" was a division of the Royal Netherlands Army, active from at least 1946 to 2004. It was sent to the Dutch East Indies to restore "peace, order and security" in 1946. The Netherlands planned to gradually give the East Indies greater autonomy, but the proclamation of the independent Republic of Indonesia two days after Japan's capitulation accelerated these events.

The division was named after the speech of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in London on December 7, 1942: "I imagine, without prejudice to the government conference's advice, that they will focus on a National Association, which the Netherlands, Indonesia, Suriname and Curaçao will have participated together, while each in itself, its own autonomy in internal affairs and drawing on their own, but together with the will to assist, will represent. It will be difference of treatment based on race or national character have no place, but will only have the personal ability of citizens and the needs of different populations for the decisive policy of the Government."

The division was withdrawn from the East Indies in 1949–1950 and spent the remainder of the Cold War as part of NATO Northern Army Group's I (Netherlands) Corps deterring a Soviet attack on West Germany. In 1985 it had its headquarters at Schaarsbergen, and divisional troops included the 102 Reconnaissance Battalion (maintained through the Dutch mobilisation system RIM) at Hoogland.[1] 11th Mechanised Brigade included the 12 and 48 Mechanised Battalions, the 101 Tank Battalion, and the 11 Field Artillery Battalion. 12th Mechanised Brigade was headquartered at Nunspeet and 13th Armoured Brigade at Oirschot.

After the end of the Cold War it became part of the I. German/Dutch Corps for a period. The division was disbanded on 1 January 2004 and the '7 December' title was transferred to the 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade (11th Airmobile Brigade).[2]

Divisional Organization 1989[edit | edit source]

  • 1e Divisie "7 December" (Mechanized), Arnhem, NL
    • Staff and Staff Company, Arnhem
    • 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion "Huzaren van Boreel", Hoogland, (18x Leopard 1V, 48x M113-Command & Reconnaissance)
    • 11e Pantserinfanteriebrigade, Arnhem, NL
      • Staff and Staff Company, Arnhem
      • 101st Pantser Battalion "Regiment Huzaren Prins Alexander", Soesterberg, (61x Leopard 1V, 12 YPR-765)
      • 12th Pantserinfanterie Battalion "Garde Regiment Jagers", Arnhem, (70x (YPR-765, 16x YPR-765 PRAT)
      • 48th Pantserinfanterie Battalion "Regiment van Heutsz", 's-Hertogenbosch, (70x YPR-765, 16x YPR-765 PRAT)
      • 11th Horse Artillery Battalion "Gele Rijders", Arnhem, (20x M109A3)
      • 11th Armored Anti-Tank Company, Ermelo, (YPR-765 PRAT)
      • 11th Armored Engineer Company, Ermelo
      • 11th Brigade Supply Company, Stroe
      • 11th Brigade Maintenance Company, Arnhem
      • 11th Brigade Medical Company, Stroe
    • 12e Pantserinfanteriebrigade, Vierhouten, NL
      • Staff and Staff Company, Vierhouten
      • 59th Pantser Battalion "Regiment Huzaren Prins Oranje", 't Harde, (61x Leopard 1V, 12 YPR-765)
      • 11th Pantserinfanterie Battalion "Garde Regiment Grenadiers", Arnhem, (70x YPR-765, 16x YPR-765 PRAT)
      • 13th Pantserinfanterie Battalion "Garde Fusiliers Princess Irene", Schalkhaar, (70x YPR-765, 16x YPR-765 PRAT)
      • 14th Field Artillery Battalion (Reserve), Vierhouten, (20x M109A3)
      • 12th Armored Anti-Tank Company, Vierhouten, (YPR-765 PRAT)
      • 12th Armored Engineer Company, Vierhouten
      • 13th Brigade Supply Company, Vierhouten
      • 12th Brigade Maintenance Company, Uddel
      • 12th Brigade Medical Company, Vierhouten
    • 13e Pantserbrigade, Oirschot, NL
      • Staff and Staff Company, Oirschot
      • 11th Pantser Battalion "Huzaren van Sytzama", Oirschot, (52x Leopard 1V, 12 YPR-765)
      • 49th Pantser Battalion (Reserve) "Huzaren van Sytzama", Oirschot, (52x Leopard 1V, 12 YPR-765)
      • 17th Pantserinfanterie Battalion "Regiment Infanterie Chasse", Oirschot, (70x YPR-765, 16x YPR-765 PRAT)
      • 12th Field Artillery Battalion, Oirschot, (20x M109A3)
      • 13th Armored Engineer Company, Oirschot
      • 12th Brigade Supply Company, Oirschot
      • 13th Brigade Maintenance Company, Oirschot
      • 13th Brigade Medical Company, Oirschot

Notes[edit | edit source]


  1. David Isby and Charles Kamps, Armies of NATO's Central Front, Jane's Publishing Company, 1985, p.331
  2. http://www.7decemberdivisie.nl/pages/organisatie.html

Sources[edit | edit source]

  • Alfred van Sprang Wij werden geroepen : de geschiedenis van de 7 December Divisie, met zweten en zwoegen geschreven door twintigduizend Nederlandse mannen (1949)
  • Herinneringsalbum 1e infanterie brigadegroep C Divisie “7 December” 1e deel 1 September 1946 - 1 mrt. 1947, 2e deel mrt. 1947 - sept 1947, 3e deel sept. 1947 - mrt. 1948 en 4e deel 1 mrt. 1948 – Demobilisatie. Uitgegeven door A. W. Sijthoff's uitgeversmij N.V. te Leiden
  • Arthur ten Cate De laatste divisie : de geschiedenis van 1 Divisie '7 December' na de val van de Muur 1989-2004 (2004) ISBN 90-12-10669-9)

External links[edit | edit source]


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