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No 2 Dutch Troop 10 IA Commando


On 22 March 1942 forty-eight Dutchmen from the Royal Brigade Princess Irene began the commando training in Achnacarry (Scotland). Eventually twenty-five of them obtained the Green Beret. In June 1942 this resulted in No 2 (Dutch) Troop, a commando unit which completely consisted of Dutchmen and which was part of No 10 (Interallied) Commando. In 1943 No 2 (Dutch) Troop was assigned to be deployed against the Japanese in the Far East. Merely five Dutchmen were deployed in India (with both the assistance of No 44 Royal Marine Commando and No 5 Commando) behind enemy lines in ARAKAN (Birma).

In the middle of 1944 the Troop was re-assembled and re-deployed to Europe at their own request. Only a few weeks later No 2 (Dutch) Troop was assigned to prepare for deployment on the European Continent. On Sunday 17 September 1944 the greater part of No 2 (Dutch) Troop was deployed in the largest and most audacious airborne operation of World War II: "Market Garden

ARNHEM: Twelve Dutch commandos were assigned to 1st British Airborne Division. Two Dutch commandos each crashed with a glider in Noord-Brabant and Schouwen-Duiveland. Four Dutch commandos were taken prisoner of war and commando August Bakhuis- Roozeboom was killed in action in a brave effort to reach the bridge across the river Rhine by jeep.

NIJMEGEN: Eleven Dutch commandos were assigned to 82nd (US) Airborne Division and three commandos were assigned to 1st British Airborne Corps' headquarters.

EINDHOVEN: Five Dutch commandos were assigned to 101st (US) Airborne Division. Five commandos assigned to 52nd (Lowland) Division, with the intention to be flown into the area from Deelen Airport, eventually ended up in the Staff of 1st British Airborne Corps.

Before operation ''Market Garden'' five commandos already had been assigned to the Staff of Prince Bernhard as his personal bodyguards. On 11 October 1944 the remainder of no 2 (Dutch) Troop met in Eindhoven. They were given the choice between enjoying a well-earned leave or participating in the next mission. They chose the latter! In the meantime four commandos were already on a mission in the occupied part of the Netherlands. They belonged to a group of eight commandos predestined to give weapon training and lessons in sabotage and to co-ordinate the resistance in occupied Holland by order of the Special Assignments Office. Three commandos were assigned to the Regiment Stoottroepen as instructors in the liberated South Netherlands. To be able to use the harbour of Antwerp the allied forces had to control the Schelde estuary. Since the German troops defended themselves fiercely it was decided to carry out amphibious landings at Vlissingen and Westkapelle.

VLISSINGEN: In the early morning of 1 November 1944 No 4 Commando, French Troop and eleven Dutch commandos landed on the frontlines.

The Assault on Walcheren

WESTKAPELLE: The landing at Westkapelle took place that very same day with the assistance of fourteen commandos assigned to No 47 (Royal Marine) Commando. Nine Dutchmen were wounded in the extremely heavy fights.

On 3 November 1944 Walcheren was liberated and the seaway to Antwerp was free. In the meantime in the liberated South Netherlands soldiers were recruited for the commando training in Scotland. Seventy out of 107 participants who left for Achnacarry on 19 November 1944 managed to obtain the Green Beret. At the end of April 1945 together with No 2 (Dutch) Troop they were deployed for two weeks at the front between Moerdijk and Geertruidenberg. Beside the four commandos who had been assigned as secret agents, two other commandos were parachuted over the Veluwe and Drenthe at the beginning of April 1945. After the liberation of the Netherlands, the Troop was assigned with guarding German prisoners of war for a while. In October 1945 No 2 (Dutch) Troop was disbanded.