Photo book on Dutch WW2 equipment

Holland Paraat

With the recent announcement of a new range of 28mm WW2 Dutch miniatures, I’m gathering together some research material for when I start painting. So I’ve ordered a copy of the book Holland Paraat – Equipment of the Dutch Army 1939-1940 by  by Jan Giesbers, Rob Tas and Antal Giesbers.

This A4-sized picture book describes the weapons, vehicles, and the organisational structure of the Dutch army during WW2.

The text, written in both Dutch and English, starts with a brief summary of the short-lasting fighting in 1940, and a brief overview of the Dutch army organisation.

The bulk of the book is made up of black-and-white photos, most very crisp and detailed, some large sized, and all printed on good quality paper. Most I had never seen before (though as this is a new subject to me, that might not be so unusual).


There are also a few full-colour pages with photos 0f reenactors, and some nicely-done illustrations of uniforms and vehicles (such as the DAF armoured car below).


Besides the many pics of normal weaponry, transport, armoured cars and artillery you’d expect to see in such a book, it also includes photos of some rather unusual and obscure subjects, such as an ice-cutting truck, cycling bands, searchlight lorries, and semaphore communications equipment. A classic is this photo of a motorcyclist sergeant timpanist!


This book has got me even more enthused about the forthcoming launch of the new range of May ’40 Miniatures. The latest pics on their site show the first pre-production castings from the sculpts by Michael Percy. Heads, arms and equipment will be added before the production figures are ready to be cast.



So why research and play a wargames army who effectively only took part in about five days during WW2? Well, remember that many Napoleonics players concentrate on armies that fought in the Waterloo campaign for even less days than that!

Reading this book and eventually painting these figures will also pay homage to my Dad, who served in the Dutch medical troops in WW2, and later in the Dutch East Indies, before meeting my Mum and emigrating to New Zealand.


See an ad here for purchasing this book in the UK for 24.99 pounds.

  • Publisher: Giesbers (2011)
  • ISBN-10: 9080933929
  • ISBN-13: 978-9080933927
  • Blurb: May 1940: The Dutch field army had to oppose a mighty enemy that was able to beat down the resistance of the Dutch army in five days. In this photo album we shed a light on the equipment with which the Dutch army went into battle – an amount of vehicles that comprised both kooky Dutch designs and foreign weaponry, whereby newly-acquired weapons were sent into battle alongside totally obsolete ones. The photos in this photo album therefore encompass a wider time frame than just the mobilisation and the battles of the May days in 1940, but in their totality give a good overview of the equipment with which the Dutch army confronted the German invader.

5 thoughts on “Photo book on Dutch WW2 equipment

  1. Nice find, I was undecided yet to buy the books……not anymore, You’ve caused me to spend more money on this project… 😛 But yes, every self respecting Dutch miniatures collector should have these 🙂 Thanks Roly!

  2. The photo of the motorcycle timpanist is from the Royal Dutch Army’s Hussars Motorcyclists Regiment on the occasion of Princess Juliana’s birthday, April 30, 1940.

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