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Infantry weapons

In this chapter one can find a number of articles on the Dutch infantry weapons and guns. The links in the left margin of this page guide one to the desired weapon types.

The Dutch infantry weapons all came from Dutch production facilities, with exception of the first batches, which had been procured at the original makers'. The only rifle (and carabine) make was the Steyr rifle with the Mannlicher system, which was locally refered to as 'Hembrug rifle' after the Dutch 'Artillerie Inrichtingen Hembrug' [shortly refered to as 'AI' of 'Hembrug'], who had obtained licences of all Dutch infantry weapons. The Hembrug rifle was derived of the 1895 Steyr design and produced with a calibre of 6,5 mm for full metal jacket cartridges. It was a powerful and accurate rifle, although the ammo was often experienced as 'too punchy', causing rounds to leave the hit object rather which failed to transfer the energy onto the target. Save the aforesaid, the Hembrug rifle was reliable and not - as often wrongly suggested - outmatched by the Mauser G-98 / K-98 standard weapon of the German infantry. Both designs were contemporary and bolt-action.

The Dutch standard light machinegun was a derived version of the American/British Lewis machinegun. It was quite capable in perfect conditions, but quite uncapable in battle. It had a low firing rate, troublesome re-load and it was very vulnerable for wear and tear as well as dust. The Dutch heavy machineguns were all of the water-cooled WWI generation types. The standard Schwarzlose gun, with a calibre of 7,9 mm, was an accurate and reliable weapon. The Vickers gun, in calibres 7,7 mm and 7,9 mm, was a fine weapon too. The German units that invaded the Netherlands often still used the MG.08 and MG.08/15 as heavy and light machineguns, which is seldomly addressed in WWII narratives. The famous MG.34 with its excellent fire-rate and air-cooled feature, was only used by the airborne and airlanding troops and a few of the invading divisions. Waffen SS and regular army units that came in the field against the Dutch were all too often simply fitted with the WWI generation weapons.

The Dutch mortar was of the standard Stokes / Brandt, used by armies all over the world. It had been procured in the 8,1 cm version. The Dutch antitank gun was the Austrian made Böhler of 4,7 cm. A highly capable antitank gun that was able to penetrate any German armour opposing the Dutch. The only poor element in the Dutch infantry weapon arsenal was the regular infantry gun. The infantry lacked a capable light gun and as such the old and obsolete 6-veld (5,4 cm) Krupp gun was still in use.