Intelligence Summary Report: Additional Armour for the T-64B, T-72 and T-80, 1986

The following brief report is a translation of a document prepared by 1 NL Corps G2, concerning the Soviet and Warsaw Pact armies, their equipment, order of battle and disposition. It is the first in a series of reports that will be presented in translated form on this site.

Armour T-64B, T-72, T-80

On newer Soviet tanks, an additional “armour” has been observed.
It concerns two different types:
- A possible rubber-like covering, observed on the T-64B and T-72.
- A reactive armour consisting of small explosive charges, observed on the T-64B and T-80.

The additional armour
The armour is applied to the turret, and the top and sides of the hull. The armour appears to consist of three layers and is fixed to the base armour by means of bolts and washers.
It appears to be a non-metal, possibly rubber-like covering of 25 to 30mm in thickness, leading to only a slight increase in weight.
Advantages of the additional armour could be:
- Increased protection against aerial attacks with shaped-charge projectiles
- Change of the heat signature and radar reflection, thus influencing terminal guidance of “smart” projectiles.

The reactive armour
This armour consists of box-shaped steel panels measuring approximately 260×130×65mm (on the T-64B), filled with explosives.
These boxes are attached to the front and top of the turret, the front of the hull and the sides/track skirts.
When struck, one or more boxes explode, negatively influencing the projectile’s penetration. This applies far more so to HEAT projectiles than to APDS munitions. It is assumed the armour does not react to fragmentation or small arms projectiles. On the T-80, the pattern and number of panels is somewhat different from the T-64B. A possible reason is the T-80’s increased base armour.
It is evident that both the additional armour and reactive armour offer increased protection. Exact information with regards to their influence on the penetrative capabilities of (anti-)tank projectiles in use with 1 LK [1 NL Corps] are at moment not available.


No Communist Victory: American Korean War Propaganda

The following is a particularly interesting little pamphlet found whilst researching Dutch participation in the Korean War.
The document, found under index Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Nederlands Detachement Verenigde Naties in Korea, nummer toegang 2.13.56, inventarisnummer 196, is a 10-page bulletin prepared by the US Troop Information and Education Section. Full of references to "the commies", it is best to let this quaint bit of 1950s propaganda speak for itself, leaving the reader to form his own opinion.
In any case, more is to follow with regards to the Korean War, specifically on the Dutch battalion which participated.

For the pamphlet in PDF format, please click here.

The Energa Rifle Grenade Model 48

Today’s article is a brief discussion of the MECAR Energa rifle grenade, as examined in early 1949 by the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (KNIL).
Already employing the British Cup Discharger and American Grenade Projector on the Lee-Enfield rifle, the KNIL expressed an interest in the Energa Model 1948. The 12th of March 1949, it would receive the following offer from MECAR through its representative, the Nederlandse Technische Handelsmaatschappij “ENTEHA”:

100.000 Energa Model 1948 grenades, HEAT, complete with special fuse, functioning at great impact angles

665 Belgian Francs each
66.500.000 Belgian Francs

10.000 Launchers suited to the Dutch rifle, with a two-position sight and leather carrying case

1.000 Belgian Francs each
10.000.000 Belgian Francs

5.000 metal containers for the transport of two grenades

210 Belgian Francs each
1.050.000 Belgian Francs

50.000 practice grenades, reusable, with a spare tail assembly

320 Belgian Francs each
16.000.000 Belgian Francs
Total price 93.550.000 Belgian Francs

Click here to continue reading.

Arctic Dragon: M47 Dragon trials in Norway, 1982

An introduction to the M47 in Korps Mariniers service

To recapitulate the previous articles here, here, and here, the M47 Dragon was the Dutch Army’s medium range anti-tank weapon, occupying the following position in the “anti tank mix”:

Purpose System Launch unit cost, guilders (year) Ammunition cost, guilders (year)
Self-defence M72 LAW 215 (1972) / 600 (1981)
Short range M2 Carl Gustaf 3.250 (1963) 400 (1978)
Medium range M47 Dragon 145.000 (1976) 9.000 (1976)
Long range TOW 1035.000 (1976) 17.500 (1976)

The trials presented below, however, were undertaken by the Korps Mariniers, who operated under different conditions from their Army counterparts. Earmarked for NATO’s Northern flank in Norway, it was noted how “the fields of fire in the operational theatre are greater than 1000 metres.” This is to be contrasted with the Army, which noted how: “In the operational theatre of 1 (NL) Corps, 70% of terrain is limited to fields of fire below 1000 metres”.

It was in this context that the Dragon would replace the 106mm M40 recoilless rifle, a weapon found in the battalion’s weapon company, equipping a single anti-tank platoon.

The Amphibious Combat Group (AGGP) possessed a single anti-tank platoon (atpel) in its weapons company (ostcie)

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Dragon II: Penetration and Standoff

The Dragon II in use, 2001

Today's post is a very brief look at documents found regarding the Dragon II and its characteristics. Part of a set of documents describing Dutch Army and Marine Corps procurement of the Dragon I and Dragon II, they will be referenced in a number of upcoming articles discussing the Marine Corps' use of the Dragon, including a discussion of artic trials and the Marine Corps' battalion-level anti-tank platoon.

For now, the reader is left with the following charts describing the relationship between standoff and RHA penetration for the Basic Dragon (Dragon I), Improved Dragon (I-Dragon, Dragon II) and TOW-2 :

Click here to continue reading.

MILAN prototype, 1966

Below, we have a number of images of a MILAN prototype, part of a Dutch evaluation dated 1966.
Searching for a next-generation battalion-level weapon to replace the 106-mm recoilless rifle, a number of systems were discussed: TOW, Bantam, Swingfire, and the SS11B1, with the HOT and MILAN considered later on.

The TOW system was selected some seven years later, with the MILAN finding itself rejected a second time in 1977 in favour of the M47 Dragon as a platoon system.

The weapon also makes an appearance in a Belgian publication from 1967, giving us the following characteristics:

Weapon weight ± 8 kg
Mount weight 7 kg
Weapon length 790 mm
Range 75 to 2000 m

Although the report is interesting in full, the reader is left with a short conclusion on the MILAN for now:

With regards to the MILAN-system's positive characteristics, we may expect:

- Low minimum range (75 m)
- Small dimensions and low weight, allowing quick deployment and good concealment
- Ease of selecting and training gunners
- Ease of operation

Negative characteristics are, however:

- Insufficient effect against heavy tank targets, as defined in STANAG 4089
- Not intended to be mounted in/on armoured vehicles, lacking the capability to be operated under armour
- No remote operation

There is furthermore little certainty as to the advantages and disadvantages of the MILAN-system's semi-automatic guidance as compared with manual guidance, especially with regards to hit probability and reliability.


The Carl Gustaf in the Dutch Army’s Armoured Infantry Platoon, 1972-73

A study in squad, platoon, and company configuration, and anti-armour tactics

A Carl Gustaf team with the typical load: the Gustaf itself, 4 rounds, two pouches with parts


Somewhat counterintuitively following on the discussion of the M47 Dragon and Milan as a platoon-level anti-tank weapon here and here, it seems wise to pay some attention to the Dragon’s partial predecessor - the Carl Gustaf M2 - and its role in the Dutch Army’s anti-armour philosophy.

Click here to continue reading.

The M72 LAW and Pansarskott 68 “Miniman”: an Austrian Perspective

As a spiritual successor to the German Panzerfaust of WWII, the M72 LAW has been widely adopted – and copied – since the 1960s. Commonly replaced by heavier systems starting in the 1980s, the M72 has often been readopted, its light weight and small dimensions allowing it to fill a particular niche in any military’s arsenal.

In terms of export success, the weapon was unmatched, despite several competitors: the French SARPAC and WASP 58, and Swedish Pansarskott 68 “Miniman”. The latter had some foreign users, including the Austrian Army, which adopted it as a replacement for the M72 LAW after only three years of use.

This raises an interesting question:

Why did the Austrian Army adopt a similar weapon to replace the M72 LAW?

Click here to continue reading.

Eurosatory Trade Show Documents

Having recently acquired a number of armoured vehicle trade show documents - the bulk of which originate from the French Eurosatory trade show - this page serves to display them.
The page will be regularly updated.

Title Date Notes Download
AMX 32 June 1983 Link
AMX 40 May 1983 Link
Fennek Reconnaissance Vehicle June 2002 Link
Upgrading the AMX-10RC: Medium Armoured Vehicle for Deployed Forces June 2006 Link
PzH2000 May 2000 Link
Ulan June 2003 Dutch language: H.A. Muller sticker suggests the document was part of the Steyr offering to replace the YPR-765, which ultimately lead to the adoption of the CV9035NL
Also known as the Pizarro
120 mm Compact Tank Gun undated Manufactured by SW Thun (Swiss Ordnance Enterprise Corp), part of RUAG Link
Boxer: The New Generation of Multi-Role Armoured Vehicles 16th of May 1996 Link
United Defense MTVL: Mobile Tactical Vehicle Light undated Link

The Belgian FN MAG, 1962

The standard for Western GPMGs, the FN MAG is used by over eighty nations, amongst which of course its home country, Belgium.

Initially developed to accept both FAL magazines and belted ammunition (American M13 or West-German DM1 type), the weapon modified and combined the barrel and bolt mechanism of the FN Model D (a variant of the M1918 BAR) with the trigger and feed mechanism of the MG42.

With the dual-feed capability dropped, the weapon was eventually offered to the Swedish and British militaries in 1957, with both adopting the weapon in 1958 and 1961 respectively.

It would strongly appear the Belgians did not adopt the weapon until 1962, given the provisional nature of our document in question. The FN MAG would initially be a weapon exclusive to the Para Commandos, the airborne light infantry component of the Belgian Army, with one weapon scaled per platoon, fifteen per company, and 45 per battalion.

It would be with the Paras where the FN MAG would fire perhaps its first shots in anger, during Operatie Rode Draak/Operation Dragon Rouge. The weapon was used in its infantry and tripod version, the latter from Jeeps.

As late as 1974, the weapon was entirely absent from the mechanised infantry battalions mounted on the AMX APC, the battalion being equipped with a mix of 68 FN FALOs, 32 FN .30-cals, 55 American .30-cals, nine Browning .50-cals, and four M45 quadmounts instead.

Somewhat later in 1981, the FN MAG had finally been introduced to line units, with a mechanised infantry platoon possessing two rifle squads equipped with one FN MAG each, in addition to their two FN FALOs. The M75 "Full-tracks" still were still somewhat awkwardly equipped with .30-cals.

Below, the weapon's technical specifications are translated and the parts list is shown in full. The entire manual is available here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

A final note on the weapon's name: MAG stands for Mitrailleuse À Gaz, not Mitrailleuse d'Appui Général, as evidenced from various early documentation . The weapon was, however, marketed as the GPMG in English language publications, a term which has most likely been incorrectly translated back into French. FN's Dutch-language publications used the far more neutral Mitrailleur , designating it simply as a "machine gun".

Technical Characteristics
Calibre 7.62×51mm NATO
Weight of weapon, with buttstock and bipod 10.85 kg 23.9 lbs
Weight of weapon, without buttstock and bipod 10.1 kg 22.3 lbs
Weight of the barrel (with gas regulator, flash-hider, and carrying handle) 2.75 kg 6.1 lbs
Overall length, with flash-hider 1255 mm 49.4 in
Barrel length 545 mm 21.5 in
Sight radius (folded down) 848 mm 33.4 in
Sight radius (extended) 785 mm 30.9 in
Rifling, number of grooves 4
Rifling, twist rate 305 mm 1 in 12"
Sight, graduated in 100 m increments, folded down 200 to 800 m
Sight, graduated in 100 m increments, extended 800 to 1800 m
Weight of the tripod 12 kg 26.5 lbs
On bipod 50 degrees 880 mils
On tripod 67 degrees 1200 mils
On tripod 30 degrees 530 mils


C7A1 Parts List, 1995

Today's post further explores the Diemaco down to its details, with the detaillijst showing us all parts down the 3rd echelon.
The Diemaco family of weapons has previously been discussed here as follows:

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.

In the future, the various posts on the Diemaco family of weapons will be combined into a single, long-form post, including various editions of the field manuals (VS 7-508 1995; 1996; 2003;2007).

The full manual can be downloaded here, with the individual pages showing the drawings available below.

The archive of manuals can be found here.


Centurion Mk. 3 Drawings, 1954

Perhaps one of the most successful post-war tanks, the Centurion served with a variety of countries, including the Netherlands.

Although initially expecting to use the American M47 tank, it was decided in 1952 to equip the Dutch Army with the Centurion instead, as the American tank was required by its home country due to the Korean War.

With an agreement reached by the end of 1952, the United States placed an order in the United Kingdom for 435 Centurion Mk. 3 tanks, to be delivered under the Mutual Defence Assistance Program. Ultimately, 592 tanks would arrive starting from January 12th 1953 to 1956, with one example lost to a fire in the summer of 1953.

Upon arrival, the Mk. 3 tanks were quickly modified to the Mk. 5 standard, which included replacing the BESA machine gun with an M191914A4 and replacing the British WS No. 19 radio with an American SRC 508 or 528, among other changes.

Somewhat curiously, the document posted below has some notes on anti-tank warfare, describing the use of Molotov cocktails and how to disable tracks.
Appropriate for the time, the notes also discuss the Soviet T34-85, T-54/55, T-44, PT-76, and IS-1/2/3 and T-10 tanks.

The drawings can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.


The Swedish G3 and Carl Gustaf, 1974

For today's post, we have two spare parts lists for the Swedish 7,62 mm automatkarbin 4, the Heckler & Koch G3, and the 8,4 cm Granatgevär m/48B and m/48C, the 84mm Carl Gustaf.

The G3 has a fair few accessories, such as a bayonet, cleaning kit, .22 conversion kit, and Hensoldt 4×24 scope.

The Carl Gustaf is a weapon worth expanding on in terms of the organisation surrounding it. With a Skyttepluton consisting of an HQ element, three Skyttegrupper and a Granatgevärsgrupp , the latter was equipped with two launchers, and organised as such :

1st Carl Gustaf
Squad leader

First aid kit
2 smoke rounds



Carl Gustaf
Tool kit
Loader Shovel 4 AT rounds
Ammunition bearer

4 AT rounds
Range-finding tool
2nd Carl Gustaf


Carl Gustaf
Tool kit
Loader Shovel 4 AT rounds
Ammunition bearer

First aid kit
4 AT rounds

Deputy squad leader

2 smoke rounds

The G3 parts list is available here, with the Carl Gustaf parts list available at the link here.


Dutch Requirements for a Platoon Anti-Tank Weapon: 1000m, 10kg loaded, 90% hit rate. Year: 1969


In the 1960s, the Dutch Army found itself undergoing a fundamental transformation: the process of mechanisation and motorisation was initiated for the 1st and 4th Division: the infanteristen (infantrymen) would become pantserinfanteristen (armoured infantrymen; mechanized infantry), equipped to fight on the mechanized battlefield. Facing the mighty tanks and capable BMPs of Warsaw Pact, modern anti-tank weapons were more than required.

Although the Carl Gustav was selected in 1962 to replace the 57mm M18 recoilless rifle and 3.5in M20 Bazooka used at the infantry platoon level , the Dutch Army would seek to improve the infantry platoon’s antitank capability as early as 1968, just two years after deliveries of the new weapon began.

A number of issues were noted with both the Gustav itself, and the scale of issue:

The Gustav is, due to its weight and required ammunition, limited by the carrying capacity of its two-man team. It is thus less mobile and as a result more vulnerable. Successful use of the weapon must therefore be sought in its rate of fire, the amount of ammunition present with the weapon, and the use of multiple guns in the same sector. As opening fire at the maximum range will betray the firer’s position, positions must be changed often so as to escape the enemy’s return fire. The initial salvo of multiple weapons in the same sector affords the greatest opportunities, after which fire will be less effective as the enemy concentrates its fire on our antitank weapons. Moving to an alternate firing position will take time. Leaving the initial firing position by foot to move to the alternate firing positions will increase the Gustav team’s vulnerability. A minimum of two weapons in the same sector is therefore necessary to ensure continuous fire at a range of 500 m.

It is however interesting to note the current allocation of the Carl Gustav and their ammunition across the different echelons. As noted, the current allocation of two Carl Gustavs to the infantry platoon is regarded as inadequate with regards to ensuring continuous fire.

The two Carl Gustavs assigned to the company headquarters are regarded as being of little use, as they will be assigned to those platoons that find themselves up front. Creating main points of effort
[Zwaartepunten, Schwerpunkte] at the company level is regarded as a doubtfully useful practice. The amount of ammunition carried by the Gustav teams is insufficient, and will require riflemen to bring up ammunition to the firing position. The timely presence of ammunition is of key importance. It is not unthinkable only a small percentage of the necessary ammunition can be brought up to the Gustav.

All of this pleads for more Gustavs and more ammunition at the platoon level.

As the poor ratio of available troops to the frontage to be covered will necessitate strongpoints, the maximum range Gustav’s maximum range of 500 m must be regarded as insufficient. The company is forced to enter into combat at close range with a considerably stronger foe, with all the odds favouring the enemy.

Below, the solution to the above problem is described, in the form of a set of requirements put forth on the 1st of July, 1969, as well as an information brochure for the XM47 Dragon Weapon System, unsurprisingly found accompanying the requirements document. Indeed, it can be argued the requirements are solely aimed at adopting the Dragon, which happened a decade later in 1978.

The Dragon would however, not quite match the requirements, as illustrated in the table below.

Desired Feature
Additional Requirement/
M47 Dragon
Weight, loaded <10kg 14kg
Weight, loaded, with night sight <15kg 20.7kg
Length, transport <1.50m 1.15m
Length, ready-to-fire <1.20m
Height, in firing position <0.60m 0.96-1.29m
Ammunition, max weight, in tactical container <5.5kg <3.5kg 10.9kg
Range 750 metres 1000 metres 1000 metres
Incapacitation probability 90% at 750 metres 90% at 1000 metres -
Rate of fire At least 5 rounds per minute 2-3 rounds per minute
Projectile type Guided
Unguided, with tracer
Sight Optical Sight
Open Sights
Range-Finding Sights
Optical sight, 6×

Click here to continue reading.


The MN1: A Galil for NATO?
The Dutch Entry for the NATO Small Arms Trials of 1978-1979

As is commonly known by those interested in small arms, 5.56×45mm NATO was standardized upon in 1980 following trials involving a number of cartridges, and variations of 5.56×45mm.

During said trials, Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands submitted a number of rifles and light machine guns as well, although no weapon was standardised across NATO:

Country Cartridge Rifle Machine Gun Note
Belgium 7.62×51mm NATO SS77 MAG-58 Control LMG (7.62mm)
5.56×45mm SS92
5.56×45mm SS109 FNC MINIMI
France 5.56×45mm M193 FA-MAS
Germany 7.62×51mm NATO G3 MG3e Control rifle (7.62)
4.7x21mm, caseless G11
United Kingdom 4.85x49mm XL64E5 right hand ejection
XL68E2 left hand ejection
XL65E4 right hand ejection
XL69E1 left hand ejection
United States 5.56×45mm M193 M16A1 Control rifle (5.56)
5.56×45mm XM777/XM778
5.56×45mm XM855 (SS109 equivalent)
The Netherlands 5.56×45mm (M193) MN1

It is this last entry which will be the focus of this article, as it is sometimes incorrectly identified as a Stoner 63.

Click here to continue reading.

Korps Mariniers AR-10 Demonstration Report, 1957

The following is a report concerning a demonstration of the AR-10 on the 21st of May, 1957 at Waalsdorp. It can be accessed at the Nationaal Archief in Den Haag (The Hague) under the index Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Korps Mariniers, nummer toegang 2.13.141, inventarisnummer 96: De proefnemingen met het Armalite AR-10 geweer, 1957. The images here are sourced from the same set of documents, though they are not necessarily images of the exact trial gun(s) at the described demonstration.

Click here to continue reading.

Les Armées du Pacte de Varsovie - Organisation - Tactique et Doctrine, March 1980

As previously discussed here, it was not uncommon during the Cold War for nations to produce manuals concerning the opposing force, be it NATO or Warsaw Pact.
In this post a Belgian document discussing the Warsaw Pact armies is presented. Although the entire document makes for interesting reading, for the sake of brevity, only a small portion of the Belgian (French/Dutch) terminology is translated below, specifically for the squad through the company level as found on pages 2-2 to 2-5.

It should, of course, be noted that this document by no means contains any particularly insightful information as to exactly what the Warsaw Pact militaries looked like, rather, it informs us how the Belgians perceived the Warsaw Pact forces.

The manual can be downloaded here.

The archive of manuals can be found here.

French Dutch English
Page 2-2
Section de Fusiliers Motorisées sur BMP Gemotoriseerde Fusiliersectie op BMP Motorised Rifle Squad/Section mounted in a BMP
Chef sec Sec Comd Squad/Section Leader
Mi Machine Gunner
Fusiliers Riflemen
Tireur ATK ATK Schutter Anti-Tank Gunner
Chef Veh Vtg Comd Vehicle Commander
Canonnier Kanonnier Gunner
Chauffeur Driver
Page 2-3 and 2-4
Peloton de Fusiliers Motorisées sur BMP Gemotoriseerd Fusilierpeloton op BMP Motorised Rifle Platoon mounted in a BMP
Chef Pl Pl Comd Platoon Commander
Tireur Elite Scherpschutter Designated Marksman
Tireur Schutter (Machine) Gunner
Tireur AA AA Schutter AA (MANPAD) Gunner
Page 2-5
Compagnie de Fusiliers Motorisées sur BMP Gemotoriseerde Fusiliercompagnie op BMP Motorised Rifle Platoon mounted in a BMP
Comd Cie Cie Comd Company Commander
Offr Adj Executive Officer
SOffr Techn Techn OOffr Technical Non-Commissioned Officer
SOffr Cie Cie Ooffr First Sergeant
Radio Radio Operator

DIPT-9 night sight equipment, 1978-1980

The équipement à intensification de lumière D.I.P.T. 9 set is composed of a lunette de tir de nuit OB 25 scope, lens cover, two spare nickel-cadmium batteries, three mounting brackets for the FR F-1, AA-52, and LRAC 89mm respectively, two spare lamps, and a screwdriver. For carrying in the field and transport, a pouch and case are available. The pouch itself carries the OB-25 scope, lens cover, and the two spare batteries.

Click here to continue reading.

A Dutch assessment of the M47 DRAGON and MILAN

How do we stop the ever-improving fleet of Soviet and Warsaw Pact tanks? Such a question was on the mind of Dutch military planners, especially with regards to finding the right mix of anti-tank weapons. The following is a discussion of the M47 Dragon and MILAN anti-tank weapons, as found in archival documents dated October of 1977.
Although the Dragon is often derided in American literature on the topic, the following document provides a more nuanced view and gives insight into the specific characteristics of both the M47 Dragon and MILAN, with the M47 Dragon eventually winning out.

Situation report

Medium Range Anti-tank Weapon System

1. Introduction
The Soviet Union has expanded her tank force by approximately 40% during the past decades. The units of the Warsaw Pact receive approximately 2000 new T-72 tanks every year, which boast high quality armour.
Engaging enemy tanks in combat will in case of an eventual conflict – as far as 1 (NL) Corps is concerned – occur by means of specific anti-tank weapon systems, potentially in combination with artificial obstacles such as amongst other, mine fields.

2. Anti-Tank Philosophy
It is assumed within 1 (NL) Corps that anti-tank combat must commence at the greatest possible range, but must be continued at shorter ranges. After all, as range decreases, more tanks will expose themselves more often and for longer periods of time, among other reasons as there will be less cover. In such a case, more anti-tank weapons will have to be deployed as the situation demands: this is called “intensification”. This anti-tank philosophy demands – with respect to tactical necessity, technical characteristics and the cost factor – a so-called “mix” of anti-tank weapon systems possessing short, medium, and long range. A number of characteristics of these systems are noted in the table below.

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Dutch Glock 17 Technical Manual (1994) and Parts Lists (1988, 1996)

As described in a previous post, the Dutch Army had been issuing the FN Browning High Power since 1946. Still satisfying the operational requirements, it was decided as early as 1989 to replace the Browning (across the entire military) for economic and technical reasons: spare parts specific to the Dutch model(s) were difficult to acquire, leading to non-standard and more expensive parts, as well as certain safety and logistical issues.

In August of 1991, four potential replacements were trialled at the Infanterie Schietkamp in Harskamp, being shot by male and female soldiers, both right and left-handed, in different types of uniform and equipment. Those four pistols were the Beretta 92FS, Glock 17, SIG 226, and Walther P88.

Click here to continue reading.

AC-58, 1987

The Grenade à Fusil antichar de 58 mm avec piège à balle modèle F1 is a French antitank rifle grenade designed in the late 70s, to be fired from the FAMAS F1 by using a standard ball cartridge. Equipped with a bullet trap, this may be balle O (Ordinaire, ball) or T (Traçeuse, tracer), US M193 or FN SS92.

Click here to continue reading.

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 appears 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.