Dutch FN Browning Technical Manual (1990/1991) and Parts List (1989)

Adopted in 1946, the FN Browning High Power has been the longest-serving weapon in the Dutch military in recent times, outlasting the M.95 Mannlicher by 3 years as a main service weapon.

Following an initial order of 10,000 pistols placed with Inglis of Canada, further pistols were procurred from FN.

By 1967, some 72,000 High Power pistols were in use, of five different varieties: John Inglis models, as well as 1947, 1949, 1955 and 1967 contract models.

Both the Inglis model (Pistool Browning Aanmaak Inglis Canada) as well as the three earliest FN models (Pistool Browning Aanmaak F.N. België (oud model)) were collectively designated the Pistool, 9 mm Browning, FN, GP, or more briefly, pistool oud model.

The 1967 contract pistols, designated Pistool, 9 mm, FN, GP, M68, were easily recognized by their external extractor.

As a complete issued item including magazine pouches, cleaning kit and holster this led to four different "models" due to Marechaussee specific equipment :

- Pistool, 9 millimeter: Browning, F.N., G.P., cpl (NSN 1005-17-640-0022)
- Pistool, 9 millimeter: Browning, F.N., G.P., M 68, cpl (NSN 1005-17-622-2426)
- Pistool, 9 millimeter: Browning, F.N., G.P., cpl v/Kon Marechaussee (NSN 1005-17-039-0292)
- Pistool, 9 millimeter: Browning, F.N., G.P., M 68, cpl v/Kon Marechaussee (NSN 1005-17-039-0293)

Although multiple editions of the Materieellijst (1996, 1997 and 2003) speak of a 1987 introduction date for the Glock 17, the FN Browning was only gradually replaced: first by the Marechaussee, which selected the Glock in May of 1990. Deliveries were however delayed, as the other services sought a new handgun as well. By February of 1992, the Ministry of Defence had signed a contract for some 31250 Glock 17s for all services, with an option for a further 7800 pistols. This latter option was quite possibly intended for the Royal Netherlands Air Force: it is noted that the Air Force intended to keep its Browning High Powers somewhat longer. As late as 1997, some FN pistols remained in inventory, intended for mobilisational units of the Army.

The technical manual can be downloaded here, with the parts list available here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.


Dutch C8 1st echelon technical manual, 1997

Following up on last week's post, we have a 1st echelon technical manual for the C8 carbine dated 1997.
One of three C8 carbine variants adopted (C8, C8A1, C8A1GD), the C8 was adopted to replace select FN Browning High-Power pistols, M1 carbines and M61 Uzis, especially for support troops.
A more thorough description of the Diemaco in Dutch service can be found in the aforementioned post, with more technical documentation and field manuals soon to be added to this website.

The C8 manual can be downloaded here

The archive of manuals can be found here.

Dutch C7 and C7A1 1st echelon technical manual, 1997

Adopted in 1995, the Geweer, 5,56MM, C7 and C7A1 replaced the FN FAL and M61 Uzi, and to a lesser extent the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine in use with territorial and reservist units. The C8 carbine and C7 LSW (termed LOAW) replaced select FN Browning High-Power pistols, M1 carbines and M61 Uzis, and the FN FALO respectively.

The initial contract called for a total of 52,285 weapons to delivered, with the Army receiving 39,500 C7s, the Airforce and Royal Marechaussee receiving 7,500 C8 carbines, and the Navy receiving 4,750 C7A1s and 535 LOAWs respectively, the latter for the Korps Mariniers. This leaves out the C8A1 and C8A1GD (Geluidsdemper), which appear to be later modifications of the C8.

It was, however, not to be so. As the Army (and other services) downsized following the Cold War's end, the number of rifles required was adjusted accordingly.

Even more so, the Army's initial plan of only adopting the iron-sighted C7 was quickly thrown out the window, with additional C7A1s being procured. The choice of foregoing the scoped C7A1 was driven by the initial requirement for a rifle capable out to 300 metres, as opposed to the Navy's (Korps Mariniers) requirement of 500 metres. In the end, the Army procured C7 for its non-combat troops, issuing the C7A1 to airmobile and mechanized infantry.
This also explains the chapter dedicated to the bayonet in the C7A1 manual, which is absent from the C7 manual.

The C7 manual can be downloaded here, with the C7A1 manual available here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.


M1953 Scope (APX-L 806), 1976

The Lunette de Tir Modèle 1953 - designated the APX-L 806 by its manufacturer - was the French Army's scope for the MAS49 and 49/56 as issued to the squad designated marksman. It was replaced in 1966 by the FR F1, a purpose-built marksman's rifle.

The French Army has had one of the most consistent marksman doctrines, issuing a single-scoped rifle per platoon in 1940 (typically a Lebel with APX 1921) , increasing the number of scoped rifles post-war to three.

Technical specifications are as follows:

Magnification 3.85×
Length without rubber eye-cup 159 mm
Weight with mount 500 g
Sight graduated in 50 m increments to 800 m
Horizontal adjustment 8 increments of 0.7 mills
Vertical adjustment 14 increments of 0.5 mills

The iron sights can be used out to 400 m with the scope mounted. The M1953 scope equipment also includes a cheek piece and two different sizes of rubber shoulder pads, increasing length of pull by 2 and 3.5 cm respectively.

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.


FN FAL, 1991

Adopted in 1961, the Dutch model FN FAL was only slightly modified during its 34 years of service as the primary rifle of the Dutch Army. Starting off with metal handguards and a bipod, the former were replaced by polymer handguards, whilst the bipod was done away with.

The issues with the bipod have been documented by Ing. (Doctor of Engineering) R.L. Landzaat, former employee of Artillerie Inrichtingen: as the bipods were not free-floated, they worsened accuracy considerably, something that had not gone unnoticed by instructors.

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.


FR F1, 1978

Following the cancellation of the FA MAS 62 - a result of focussing on nuclear weapons and the need for modernizing the tank inventory - the French Army was left with the need for both a more satisfactory marksman's rifle than the scoped MAS49/56, as well as the requirement for a competition rifle to replace the MAS 47.
These requirements eventually led to the Fusil à répétition calibre 7,5 mm modèle F1 - FR F1 for short - adopted as the Version A (marksman's rifle) and Version B (competition rifle) in 1966.

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.


Pistole 80 (Glock 17), 1983

The first page of the Pistole 80 manual

Though certainly not the first pistol to employ a polymer frame - being preceded by the HK VP70 by twelve years - the Glock 17 is a pistol with an immense impact.

As the first order of Glock pistols were delivered in 1983, this is quite possibly the earliest military manual available for the plastic "wonder nine".

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

Belgian FN MAG manual, 2000"

The cover of the 2000 FN MAG manual

As a follow-up to the recently posted FN Minimi manual, we have the Belgian Army's FN MAG manual from the same year, 2000.

As a bigger brother (tactically, not technically) to the Minimi, the MAG generally was issued out at a rate of one per platoon, though armoured infantry squads of the 1980s were known to have one per fusilier squad.

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

Belgian FN Minimi manual, 2000

The cover of the 2000 FN Minimi manual

Much like the American Army that adopted the FN Minimi as the M249 SAW, the Belgians used the "Mini-Mitrailleuse" to arm each of their squad's two fireteams.   Later on, one of the Minimis was replaced by an FN MAG/ 7.62mm Minimi.

The Belgian Army is one that is surely to be explored further in a following post, as some solid information is available concerning, for example, the adoption of the FN FAL.

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.


Belgian M72A2 LAW manual, 1992

The cover of the M72A2 manual

As was the case with so many other nations, the Belgian Armed Forces used the M72 LAW in the light anti-tank role. Replacing the Energa rifle grenade, the M72 provides an easy-to-use option for dealing with any armoured vehicle that is not a modern MBT.

It would appear the Belgians continue to use the M72 LAW, having upgraded from the A2 to the EC version (AFAB VSR (Anti-Fortification Anti-Blindé Very Short Range)).

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

Artillerie Inrichtingen AR-10 Parts List, April 1961

The cover page for the 1961 AI AR-10 parts list

Without delving too deep into the history of the AR-10, Artillerie Inrichtingen had acquired the license to produce the "ArmaLite Infantry Rifle", producing small batches for a number of customers.

Though trialled by the Dutch military in 1961 - an event sure to be discussed at a later point - the rifle lost out to the FAL by quite a wide margin. The AR-10 simply was not as reliable. As such, state-owned AI would soon be shutting down production.

The following parts list is from right around this trial period, dated April 1961. It can be found in full here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

2 Inch Mortar, 1984

The cover page for the 1984 2-inch mortar manual, 1984

Following the defeat of the Dutch Army in 1940, a number of men escaped to the United Kingdom to continue the fight. These Engelandvaarders would form the core of new Army, trained and equipped as if belonging to the British Army.

As such, the 2-inch mortar was taken into use, and would serve for another 48 years until replaced by the L9A1 51mm.

The entire manual - a brief 14 pages at its core - is found here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

The FN Minimi, 1981

The cover page of the FN Minimi manual

Today, we have an FN operator's manual regarding the Mitrailleuse Minimi Calibre 5,56 × 45 mm NATO, more commonly known as the FN Minimi.

Dated March of 1981, this provisional manual shows off the early Minimi, in addition to the Para and Tank (Char) models.

Below, the technical characteristics are presented and translated to US-customary units:

The three models clockwise: 
					Standard, Tank, and Para

Click here to continue reading.

The manual is available for download here.

The archive of all manuals is available here.

The M20 Bazooka in British service, 1952

The cover page of the British M20 Bazooka manual

For today, we have a British document to take a look at, a manual for the M20 3.5in Bazooka dated 1952.

Great-Britain entered World War II with the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle, a .55 calibre weapon that was soon to find itself declared obsolete. Even more so - as tank armour advanced - the anti-tank rifle was phased out in general in favour of shaped-charge weaponry. In case of the British, this would come in the form of the PIAT, a rather awkward spigot mortar type weapon. As early as 1950, the PIAT had been replaced by the American Bazooka.
Indeed, the Bazooka would prove itself to be a popular design, seeing use with dozens of countries and serving as the basis for the Panzerschreck and Blindicide.

In British service, the Bazooka was replaced by the Carl Gustaf (designated the L14A1), a weapon for which we also have some documentation available.

The manual is available for download here.

The archive of all manuals is available here.


The PAMAS, 1988

The cover page of the French PA MAS manual

Today's manual concerning the Pistolet automatique de la manufacture d'armes de Saint-Etienne 9 mm G1 is a license-produced Beretta 92FS, in use since 1989 with the Gendarmerie and since 1992 with the armed forces in general.

Interestingly, the weapon does not appear to be in widespread use, something confirmed by the 1999 rifle platoon structure which will be discussed soon.

The manual is available for download here.

The archive of all manuals is available here.

The Dutch Marine Corps Rifle Platoon, 1996-2002

The logo of the Dutch Marine Corps<br>Qua Patet Orbis – As Far as the World Extends

Following the end of the Cold War, the Dutch Marine Corps reoriented itself from its role on NATO’s Northern flank (as described in the 1978 post) to a more expeditionary role in both a humanitarian and peacekeeping context.

This included the 1991 Operation “Safe Haven” (also known as Provide Comfort) in Northern Iraq and Turkey, the 1992-93 UN missions UNAMIC and UNTAC in Cambodia, a 1994 UN mission in Rwanda, the 1995-96 UN mission UNMIH in Haiti, and the (then-ongoing) UN operation in former Yugoslavia.

The 1990s saw a transition in terms of equipment as well, with the Browning High Power being replaced by the Glock 17, and the FN FAL being replaced by the Diemaco.

Click here to continue reading.

The .280 rifle is demonstrated

This press photo dated circa 1948-1951 (the period during which the rifle was tested) shows the EM-2 assault rifle.
Though the rifle was innovative with its layout, optic, and cartridge, it ultimately did not entered mass-production.

The back of the photo reads as follows:

"The .280 rifle is demonstated
The new .280 service rifle (foreground) is held by Corporal E. Unsworth of Bedford at a demonstration at the School of Infantry at Warminster on the edge of the Salisbury Plain, today, August 10. New small arms weapons were viewed by M.P.S and high-ranking British and overseas officers. Behind is the present service rifle, the number four Lee Enfield. Chief differences between the two weapons are higher rate of fire in the .280 which is lighter and shorter than the older rifle."

Forgotten Weapons has more information on the weapon, whilst a manual concerning the EM-2 can be found here.

Click here to see all postcards.

The FN FAL Rifle, 1978

The cover page of the Dutch FN FAL section of the Handboek voor de Marinier

As part of the Handboek voor de Marinier 1978 - whose contents are discussed here - chapter 12 concerning the FN FAL rifle is displayed and available for download here.

Dutch use of the FN FAL is a topic worth examining further, and it most certainly will be in the future.

In short, the weapon was adopted by the Army, Navy, and Airforce in 1961, with the latter two branches also adopting the FALO automatic rifle. The weapon served until replaced by the Diemaco in 1995, though it would take some years before the weapon was well and truly done away with.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

The Dutch Marine Corps Rifle Platoon, 1978

The logo of the Dutch Marine Corps<br>Qua Patet Orbis – As Far as the World Extends

For today’s post, we will consider the 1978 infantry platoon of the Dutch Marine Corps (Korps Mariniers).

During the second half of the Cold War, the Dutch Marine Corps played a role on NATO’s Northern flank in Norway. As part of the British 3 Commando Brigade, the 1 Amphibious Combat Group could be quickly deployed to Northern Norway to meet Soviet aggression. Befitting its role in Norway, 1 ACG was trained for mountain and arctic warfare.

Meanwhile on the other side of the spectrum – and planet for that matter – 2 Amphibious Combat Group was stationed on the Dutch possessions in the Caribbean, principally Curaçao and Aruba. Trained in jungle warfare, these units could be deployed to the UK/NL Landing Force, but only to non-arctic areas.

Click here to continue reading.

Romanetti, the bandit of Corsica

Though the subject pictured is not a soldier, he has quite the military hardware. This postcard shows Nunzu Romanetti (1882-1926) - a bandit from the French island of Corsica - with his (Mauser?) rifle and MG08/15 machine gun.

With no exact date for this photograph, I estimate it to have been taken between 1918 and 1926. The former date is the end of World War I, after which the French would capture large amounts of German equipment, whilst the latter is Romanetti's year of death.

Click here to see all postcards.

Vietnamese Sapper Organization

This image from the book "Vietnam Studies: Field Artillery 1954-1973" by Major General David Ewing Ott shows the organization of NVA and PLAF sappers. The chart is accompanied by the following text:

"No description of the North Vietnamese Army and the People's Liberation Armed Force and their effect on allied forces would be complete without mention of the ubiquitous sapper. During the first half of 1969, sapper attacks inflicted an average of over $1 million damage per raid. However, the role of the sapper was often misunderstood. Before 1967, the enemy had not grasped the significance of the sapper as an assault soldier. The allies, on the other hand, sometimes erroneously categorized the sapper as a guerrilla simply because some guerrillas employed sapper tactics. The fusion blurred identification. The development of the sapper and his employment before and after the creation of a separate sapper combat arm, equivalent to the infantry and artillery, must be traced before his impact on the war can be appreciated.

Click here to continue reading

The book is available for download here.

All resources can be found here.

MAT 1050 LRAC F1 manual, 1989

This 1989 reprint of a 1984 manual describes the " LRAC", a weapon is use since 1968, used at the squad and platoon level until 1986, when it was replaced at the squad level by the RAC 112. It was retained at the platoon level until 1999, when it was replaced by the ERYX. The weapon nonetheless served until 2012, based on the 2012 edition of the TTA150 manual.

The manual is available for download here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

Gas Alert

This French postcard titled "Alerte aux gaz" shows two French soldiers with their gas masks on. The weapons appear to be the Berthier rifle and Fusil-Mitrailleur 1924.

Click here to see all postcards.

The Dutch Marine Corps Rifle Platoon, 1963

Following the loss of Dutch New Guinea in 1962, the Dutch marine corps found itself between a rock and a hard place. Indeed, the possibility of dissolving the nearly 300-year old corps was discussed.

Nonetheless, the Korps Mariniers continued to modernize, replacing its American weapons acquired in the 1943-1945 period. Whilst the M1911A1 and Thompson M1 had been replaced in 1958 and 1959 respectively, the Garand and M1918A2 BAR were soon to follow. With these new weapons, so too the organisation changed.

This post is based on the Voorontwerp van een voorschrift betreffende de tactiek van de geweergroep (Provisional design of a manual concerning the tactics of the rifle squad), dated 1st of June, 1963.

As a provisional manual, it is impossible to say with certainty how long – if at all – the organisation described was in use. Nonetheless, it provides us with a look at how the Dutch marine corps sought to incorporate its new generation of weaponry.

Click here to continue reading.


  • 26th of September, 2021
  • The website's layout has been changed, displaying the five most recent page on the home page, with a longer list of all posts found on the second page.
  • 23rd of June, 2018
  • The third and final article concerning the Dutch Marine Corps has been published.
  • 14th of June, 2018
  • The second article - the Dutch Marine Corps 1978 - has been published.
    Images now open as a pop-up.
  • 7th of June, 2018
  • The first resource - concerning the Vietnamese sappers - is added.
  • 5th of June, 2018
  • Interactive footnotes are added to the Dutch 1963 Marines Corps article.
    The first manual is added.
  • 4th of June, 2018
  • The first scanned postcard is added.
  • 3rd of June, 2018
  • The first article - concerning the Dutch Marine Corps 1963 - is created.
  • 2nd of June, 2018
  • The website is created and launched.