a restoration project

2nd Squadron (2 E.Paw.) during May 1940

On May 1st 1940 the 1st and 2nd platoon of 2e E. Paw. were incorporated in the 4th Regiment Hussars (4 R.H.) and the 3rd and 4th platoon in the 1st Regiment Hussars (1 R.H.). Their task was to defend the Grebbe defense line (*). Both regiments had to slow down the advance of the enemy after its break through the IJssel line of defence. This had to be done primarely by demolishing everything on their march route. A direct combat had to be avoided as much as possible. After the performance of their task they had to withdraw preferably complete behind the defence line.

Staff of 2nd Squadron Armoured Cars, May 1940

cavalry officer (ritmeester) J. L. Bruinier
1st luitenant H. Meijer
commander 3rd platoon
res. 2nd luitenant

Jhr. W.F. Clifford Kocq van Breugel commander 2nd platoon

  A. A. Moolenburgh
commander 4th platoon
adjudant / instructor A.H. van der Vliet
commander 1st platoon
sergeant major / administrator J. H. Geesink
sergeant 1 class J. H. Nieskens
sergeant J.J. Addink
  W.J. van den Hoek
  M. van der Merwe
  C.J. v.d. Plas
  J. Post
  J. Smit
  H.C. Vincent
  H.P. de Vriend
  D. de Wit
  A. de Graauw
  J.H. de Groot
  J. Metselaar

On May 7th all leaves were cancelled. In the early hours of May 10th the 3rd and 4th platoon (3 & 4-2 E. Paw.) were sent tot Ede and put under command of the 4th Regiment Hussars.

Situation of 2nd Squadron Armoured Cars on may 10th 1940.
The positions near Ede and Apeldoorn of the 4 platoons of the 2nd Squadron Armoured Cars in the early morning of May 10th 1940.

May 10-14: 1 and 2 - 2 E. Paw.

In the morning of May 10th the command group with their officer Bruinier were stationed near the commandpost of de commander of the 1st Regiment Hussars in Voorthuizen. The command car blocked the road to Apeldoorn. Both platoons were put in position near the bridges over the Apeldoorn canal. After the demolition of the bridges the platoons would have to draw back to the s2nd line while putting up blockades (e.g. blowing up trees across roads). Shortly after 6.00 hours the bridges were demolished.
1-2 E. Paw. withdrew to Kootwijkerbroek along the Amersfoort-Apeldoorn road and met up with 4-1 R.H.
2-2 E. Paw. withdrew to Garderen via Vaassen and Uddel to join 1-1 R.H. At 11.20 hours 1-2 E. Paw. arrived in Barneveld and 2-2 E. Paw. was stationed north of Voorthuizen (3rd line). Late in the evening all withdrew to the last line of defence: the Grebbe line: 1-2 E. Paw. along the road southwest of Nijkerk and 2-2 E. Paw. southwest of Nijkerkerveen. All roads leading to Amersfoort had to be blocked.
In the morning of May 11 th de platoons were ordered to scout the river IJssel and assist the retreating IJsselbataljons: 1-2 E. Paw went via Nijkerk and Harderwijk, 2-2 E. Paw. via Uddel and Vaassen beyond Apeldoorn. 1-2 E. Paw. reached the IJssel, where all bridges had been demolished and the enemy had not been seen on the Dutch side. 2-2-E. Paw. reached the Apeldoorn canal.
In the afternoon the commander in chief ordered all armoured cars to The Hague. Ritmeester Bruinier indeed marched his command group and 2-2 E. Paw. to The Hague, but 1-2. E. Paw. stayed behind under command of 1 R.H. and was subsequently ordered to scout the Veluwe. Late in the afternoon they collided with the enemy naer Voorthuizen. After the German resistance was broken, they withdrew to Vinkenhoef to block the roads. One armoured car was heavely damaged in the battle and was pulled back behind the line for repairs.
In the morning of May 12th 1-2 E. Paw was sent to scout in the eastern direction. Round midday they sighted German armourd cars near Zwartebroek. Late in the afternoon Barneveld was already occupied by the Germans. In the evening 1 R.H. and 1-2 E. Paw. were reassembled in the Dumoulin barracks in Soesterberg.
On May 13th 1-2 E. Paw. advanced to search for German paratroopers in and round Amersfoort. These reports proved to be wrong. In the evening the platoon drove to Haarzuilens, via De Bilt and Utrecht. The crew of the armourd cars were accommodated in the outbuildings of Castle De Haar.

May 10 and 11: 3 and 4-2 E. Paw.
In the early morning of May 10th 3-2 E. Paw was in position at the "Driesprong" to block the roads to Hoenderloo/Otterloo. 4-2 E. Paw. was stationed at the western edge of the
Ginkelse heide. This was a backward position were the armoured cars could serve as antitankguns, although they were in fact not assigned this task.
3-2 E. Paw. was ordered to take position on the road Ede-De Klomp around 15.00 hours. The following task was to protect the commandpost of 1 R.H. near the Langenberg against German armoured cars. But the post had already been abandoned and they withdrew behind their own barricades. Around 21.00 hours they reached Leersum and garrisoned near Castle Broekhuizen.
4-2 E. Paw. went out for patrols until 20.00 hours and then took position in Ede, where they heard about the earlier retreat to The Hague. At night they came under enemy fire and tried to reach De Klomp. Armoured car nr. 19 got stuck and was abandoned. The crew transferred to car nr. 23.

Armoured car nr. 19 of 4-2 E.Paw.
Armoured car nr. 19 of 4-2 E. Paw. in the beginning of May 1940. The orange triangle with black border is clearly visible.
On May 10th this car was abandoned during the retreat to De Klomp.

Car nr. 20 drove back to Ede to collect the men that stayed behind. In the morning of May 11th the platoon was directed through the lines at De Klomp with help of their own troops. In the afternoon they met up with 3-2 E. Paw. in Leersum. The same afternoon both platoons were ordered to go to General Headquarters in The Hague to join 2-2 E. Paw.

May 11: actions in The Hague and near Valkenburg (ZH)
Around The Hague a very tense and turbulent situation was growing because of the suspected presence of German paratroopers and 'fifth colonists' in the city. The squadron had to protect
General Headquarters on the Lange Voorhout and was directly commanded by the commander in chief, general Winkelman. Crew and commandpost of the squadron were housed in the Pulchri Studio.
On May 11th several patrols and orderes were carried out. Car nr. 24 of 3-2 E. Paw. were sent to join an infantry bataljon that advanced from the Haagsche Schouw towards by German airborne troops occupied Valkenburg Z.H. 4-2 E. Paw. in THe Hague went to the Laan van Nieuw Oost-IndiŽ. The cars nrs. 16 and 18 of 2-2- E. Paw. wanted to join them, but two M39 aroured cars of the Depot Sqaudron were already present. Next they went - on their own initiative - to Valkenburg to assist car nr. 24. The
action near Valkenburg consisted of determining enemy positions and firing at farms and positions where the enemies presence was suspected. At 8.00 hours on May 12th they were ordered back to The Hague.

May 12: action near Wateringen
On May 12th at 6.00 hours two armoured cars were sent to Wateringen to scout and to assist the infantry company there. While trying to get through to Kwintsheul they made contact with the German rearguard. The armoured car in front (nr.17) was hit by a projectile from a German antitank gun and the commander and aimer were wounded. At 8.30 hours they were back in The Hague.

May 12: action round Rotterdam and attack on Overschie
2-2 E. Paw. received orders to escort a group of officers from The Hague to Rotterdam. The escort consisted amongst others three armoured cars of 2-2 E. Paw. and one car of 3-2 E. Paw. After the escort 1st luitenant Jhr. Clifford Kocq van Breugel, being the commander of 2-2 E. Paw. was ordered to scout Overschie and the road Rotterdam-Delft. Car nr. 18 (2-2 E. Paw.) and car nr. 24 (3-2 E. Paw.) were left guarding the updrawn drawbridge in the road Rotterdam-Delft. Clifford Kocq van Breugel himself scouted with car nr. 16. At 14.00 hours he reported from Delft that Overschie only had a weak enemy occupation. Subsequently he was ordered to put himself at the disposal of the commander of the Grenadeers Regiment. Together with other infantry detachments they were to launch an attack on Overschie. In the afternoon car nr. 24 was ordered to go via Hilligersberg and Kleiweg to scout Overschie. After a short exchange of fire it returned to Rotterdam.

On May 14th armoured car nr. 16 with 1st luitenant Jhr. Clifford Kocq van Breugel had to put up blockades at the road from Delft to Rotterdam against German armoured cars. After performing this order he withdrew to Delft. Around 9.00 hours the advance started anew damaging car nr. 2203 that had to return to Delft for repairs. Shortly after the renewed advance Rotterdam was bombarded.
In the meantime car nr. 2203 was repaired and advanced together with car nr. 16 in the direction of the blockades. Car 2203 opened fire at the enemy. The driver of car nr. 16 was lightly wounded in this action. In the afternoon rumours of capitulation were heard and all withdrew to Delft.

May 13: attack on the bridges over the Meuse
In the morning the Dutch launched an attack to disperse the German airborne troops on and around the bridges over the Meuse. This attack was carried out by the Marine Corps, assisted by the armoured cars nrs. 18 and 24. In the fight the chauffeur and the gunner of one of the armoured cars were wounded. Both cars fired at German targets on the Noordereiland, but the attack did not have the required effect and was halted. In the late afternoon car nr. 18 was involved in an attack at Overschie. This attack was stopped and while driving backwards a machinegun group in hiding and an officer coming to aid were overrun. All withdrew to Rotterdam.

May 13: Queen Wilhemina departs for England
Based on the urgent advice of general Winkelman but very reluctantly queen Wilhelmina left The Haque. She wanted to go to Hoek of Holland to sail to Zeeland and there recommence the fight. In the morning cars of the 2 E. Paw. scouted the road from The Hague to Hoek of Holland and all blockades were cleared up. In combination with a detachment of Police troops they escorted the queen and her staff from the palace at Noordeinde to Hoek of Holland. The torpedoboat HMS Hereward did not put its course to Zeeland but to England.

May 12-14: action in Utrecht
4-2 E. Paw. had patrolled Wassenaar, but then received orders to go to Utrecht with amongst others two armoured to maintain order. On arrival the situation was (again) under control. They stayed in Utrecht untill they heard the announcement of the capitulation on May 14th.

May 14: Dutch capitulation
After the capitulation 2 E. Paw was dispersed:
- 2-2 E. Paw. (minus 2 armoured cars) in The Hague
- 3-2 E. Paw. (minus 1 armoured car) in The Hague
- 1-2 E. Paw. in Haarzuilen
- 4-2 E. Paw. in Utrecht
- 1 car 2-2 E. Paw. and 1 car 3-2 E. Paw. in Rotterdam
- 1 car 2-2 E. Paw. in Delft.

May 1940: demolished armoured car at M38 on the Nenijtocomplex in Rotterdam. May 1940: demolished armoured car at M38 on the Nenijtocomplex in Rotterdam.
Two partly demolished armoured cars on the grounds of the Nenijto complex in Rotterdam. The machineguns on front and back are removed. The cars with their tracks mounted were probably driven into soggy parts of the terrain.

The two armoured cars that were in Rotterdam were driven to the Nenijto-complex and partly demolished. The crew was emprisoned by German troops and locked up in a church at Stieltjensplein.
The remnants of the Armoured Car Squadron were assembled in the Willem de Zwijger barracks in Wezep en demobbed (end of May).

June 24 and July 15 1940: disbandment
The formal disbandment of the Armoured Car Squadron took place on June 24th 1940. The then remaining men were encamped in the Koning Willem III barracks in Apeldoorn untill the Dutch Army as a whole was discontinued on July 15th on order of the German authorities.

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(*) The information on this page is a summary of the book: 'Eskadron Pantserwagens 1936-1940', Drs. J. A. Bom, 1986. Published in memory of the 50th anniversary of the formation of the 1st Squadron Armoured Cars, April 1st 1936 - April 1st 1986.