Jason van Fliet's WWII.

Jason van Fliet's WWII.

Status: In Progress

Genre: War and Military

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Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: War and Military

Houses:

Summary

Jason van Fliet, quickly promoted to sergeant five weeks before the German Invasion of Holland, is on the Dutch/German border on the 1oth of May 1940,he is in charge of a squad of 9 conscripts.
On the other side of the border is the German Army Group 'B', of some 22 and a half Infantry Divisions, plus 3 Armored Divisions, of some 1299 tanks, plus the second German Air-Force of a mixture of nearly 2000 planes.
His orders are to impede the German attack, after several adventures he reaches the United States and joins their Army as a Lieutenant, at the war's end he is a Lieutenant Colonel.
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Summary

Jason van Fliet, quickly promoted to sergeant five weeks before the German Invasion of Holland, is on the Dutch/German border on the 1oth of May 1940,he is in charge of a squad of 9 conscripts.
On the other side of the border is the German Army Group 'B', of some 22 and a half Infantry Divisions, plus 3 Armored Divisions, of some 1299 tanks, plus the second German Air-Force of a mixture of nearly 2000 planes.
His orders are to impede the German attack, after several adventures he reaches the United States and joins their Army as a Lieutenant, at the war's end he is a Lieutenant Colonel.

Chapter1 (v.1) - The lead up.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: March 14, 2017

Reads: 96

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: March 14, 2017

A A A

A A A

Author’s Note. Most of this book is fixtion

Characters, names and many of the events are a product of my imagination.

Most battles in this book however did happen, in some cases I may have taken some liberties with the characters and events, however the various Governments in fact were warned before-hand of the German Invasion, the Dutch Border even after the warnings was defended only by a handful of men, which in actual fact included my uncle, who was in charge of nine men on push-bikes, these men were expected to defend a large part of that border without any modern weapons against an over-whelming modern army and airforce.

W.J.Vermeer

03.05.07

wobbleu1@dodo.com.au

It was cold, bitterly so, the young sergeant, his eyes down shoulders hunched, slowly stirred the fire in front of him, a fire by name only, a fire which didn't give off any heat, he was listening, his head slightly bend, left ear almost straining, his ears had again picked up the same growling engine noises, they had heard over the last couple of hours, they had heard them of and on, above the multitude of noises ,created by insects, birds already awake, and twittering in the far distance, there was the noise of several cows, which had somehow been disturbed, all combined making a canophonic noise, these growling noises, came from behind the low hills ,in front of his squad, he also smelled burning diesel, which he knew, was always in the air, when large armoured forces where nearby, as he knew.

His name was sergeant Jason van Fliet, he was a well built 6 foot 3 inches tall.

He turned, and grabbed some large thick twigs, and slowly deep in thought, put them on the fire, which was placed in a small hollow, the little fire, now quickly flared into a small blaze, the slightly bigger fire now, as if by a miracle gave off a little heat, he next placed three small logs, each some 2 inches in diameter, which he had taken from a medium sized heap of logs, his troopers had collected the previous day, the small heap of logs, twigs and limbs, was laying within two feet of the fire, onto the little fitfully blazing camp- fire, there were small fires visible, in the distance, to his left and right, just some little distance away, next he slowly stood up, and stretched his large body, Jason closed his greatcoat thighter around himself, a slight shiver went through his large 6 foot 3 inches frame, before he turned, and than walked slowly, to his two centries, which where placed some twenty meters, either side, and some ten meters , to the front, of the small blaze, he nodded to each of them in turn, and wishpered so as not to wake up, the other seven sleeping troopers.

“Troopers, ha”, he nodded his head to the two sentries, “everything as it should be men”? They nodded and answered softly: “Yes sarge, except for the noise behind that hill”, one of the troopers pointed to their front, Jason nodded informing them he had heard the same.

He turned away from the sentries, and shook his head sadly, before he returned to his thoughts, ‘Troopers’, he almost laughed to himself, all nine men of his squad were half trained , “no”, he shook his head in total disgust, “Not even half trained, just barely trained, they were civilians in uniform, the men or boys, or whatever you wanted to call them, were dragged from their families, and put in uniform”, he scratched his head under his helmet: “cannon fodder, if they were to be used at all, those poor Souls”, he now vigerously shook his head: “hell he would try to prevent that, if it was at all possible, all what these boy-men, had received was just some six weeks of infantry training, and that was WWI style, or even older”!

He shook his head sadly again, looking at these boys, Jason kept shaking his head, again and again in frustration, whilst looking over toward the German border: “Jason knew, they, him and his squad of boys, had no hope in hell in a fire-fight, no hope at all , it would just be murder, to send them into a real life, fire-fight against trained German troops”, a smirk flitted over his lips, “as for that, any trained troops”!

He had read some books, one by an English Captain named, Little Hart, a man with vision, not like the norm, in the English and Dutch, Gentlemen officers Corps, who still up to a short while ago, had purchased their commissions, and he had heard from people in the know, not those damn ignorant politicians, who had no idea, that no way in the world, would the Germans make the same mistakes, of fighting thrench warfare, and loosing millions of men uselessly again, and on top of that, he Jason himself, had some six months overseas training, with the US Marine Corps, and he understood, just like ‘Little Hart’, and many others, that the next war, would be nothing like the first World War slaughter, or any where near, the imbecilic style of fighting of that, which had been fought bloodely, from trenches conducted by English, and French General Officers, that never ever got anywhere near the Frontlines, and had no idea of the conditions, the men were labouring under”!

Jason shook his head sadly again, letting out a couple of deep sighs ,” this coming war, would not even be close to that sort of fighting, you only had to look, at what the ‘Herr Hitlers’, Germans troops did in Poland, something that was called, by the reporters as ,‘Blitzkrieg” a quick movement with armoured, and mechanized troops.!

He looked with dismay, at the turn of the century 1895 Mannlicher old rifles, which his men had neatly stacked, in a pyramid, and again shook his head sadly, knowing that these civilians/cum soldiers, would no way be able, to stand up against fully trained, and hardened German Troops, who had officers, who could normally handle, every situation, when-ever one  cropped up, officers, NCO’s and men, who had been at war in Poland, and other places, such as Spain, and many other little wars, around the globe, trained men, with modern weapons, such as tanks, mobile infrantry carriers, many of them armoured, sub-machine guns, lots of artillery, plus all sorts of other equipment, no” he said softly: “ it be a miracle, if my men last 5 minutes at the most, in the so-called field of battle”!

Jason was twenty one years of age, some six foot three inches tall, blue eyes, dark blond hair, and atlethiccally build, he had been in the bearskin, (guards) for just over one and a half year, he had trained to be a guardsman, and also with about two dozen Dutch guardsmen, and marines, hadspent six months, on a training scheme, with the US Marines, which he passed with some ease, and this training, had harde -ned his mind and body, he himself in other words was trained to a fairly high degree, his men like 95% of the rest of the Dutch Army were definitely not.

He had come back from the USA, as a private, only some five weeks ago, and after two weeks furlow, he was suddenly informed, that he was promoted to sergeant, and than sent to the large Nijmegen Army barracks, this facilety when in use, could at least train one full brigade, of some three thousand plus men, at any one time. 

He was elevated, to second in command of no 4 platoon, as a full sergeant, here in Nijmegen, where one of the Dutch Army Brigades, was rappidly being created, from boys and young men, who had hastely been mobilized, some time after the 28th of August 1939, most later.

The forming of these Brigades, including most of their Officers, some 90% which also had to be quickly trained, in an absolute crazy short time, of some 4 or 6 weeks, was due to the war, which was now in it's six't month, between England, France and ‘Herr Hitlers’ Germany.

Hitler and his cronies troops, had invaded Poland, on the second of September 1939, after first taking over Austria, Czechoslavakia, and the Rhineland in 1938/39, Poland however was a different kettle of fish, they had a cast iron agreement, with France and England, that if either of the three was attacked, the other two, would come to their aid, not that anything had been happening, over the last six months ,since the September declaration of war, by the so-called Allies, except for English and French soldiers, looking over the border into Germany, a wry grin flitted over Jason face:

“They the English and the French, probably pulled faces at the Germans”, people appeared to call it, “the phony war”!

However now, very large German forces,  were rapidly being turned from Poland, to the French, Belgium and Dutch borders, were they recouperated, and reorgenized their army’s, whose divisions and other units, were being brought back up to strength, with reserves and dozen’s of tanks, and other equipment, which was pooring from their factories, and send to the forward troops, now starting to wait, and train at the Borders from Holland to the bottom of France.

Jason had heard rumours, that sometime in November 1939, on the 5th to be correct, the Dutch military Attache, ‘Colonel Jacobus Sas’, in Berlin, was warned, by ‘Colonel Hans Osten’ of the German Military Intelligence, that Hitler had given orders to his Generals, to look at ways, to invade both Belgium and the Netherlands, which than as he stated, ‘would be used as a short cut, to the North Sea, and the coast of France, so that we can place our submarine fleet, facing England, and so control the North Sea, from the harbours of Belgium, and the Netherlands, “these bases in the two countries, would be invaluable”, and that he, Colonel Sas, ( a Dutchman )should warn both Governments, the Dutch and the Belgiums, as to what was about to happen, to their countries (this is an actual fact) this invasion was at the time, as worked out by the German High-Command, to happen sometime either in April or May of 1940.

Jason looked glumly at his squad of nine men, he knew that approximately 100 meters on the left side, of him were another nine men, with a sergeant, on the other side, was the main group, the head quarters squad, 12 Infantry ( haha )men with an so-called Officer, plus the other part of the HQ platoon, the two light mortars, and one machine gun, all of first war vintage, and of course pretty well used up, he thought: “They may fire with a bit of luck, if they where oiled properly enough, and cleaned with no corrosion any-where in them”! 100 Meters further from the Head Quarters Squad, was a corporal in charge with a further nine men, like Jason’s.

Platoon HQ consisted of one corporal, two sergeants, one master Sergeant, Jasons friend, twelve Infantry soldiers, four mortar men, and two men for the machine-gun, plus a second lieutenant.‘A lieutenant’, who would be absolutely useless, and was as green as grass, and would be totally useless, in any fire-fight!

Hans van der Hoeven, the master-sergeant, had said to Jason one day: “By God, ‘that’”, he had pointed at the Lieutenant, “will have to lead us one day”, he had waved his finger in the direction of the young lieutenant, whilst shaking his head, “can you imagen that Jason, the mothers-milk is still clinging to his face”, making Jason grin, the young lieutenant, had hardly any Officers training at all, and if he started throwing his weight around, with useless commands such as ,“Charge”, Jason laughed softly to himself, he could see a picture form of it, in his mind, he had heard that the Polish cavalry, had charged the German tanks, well the lieutenant, would have to go one better, Jason could see the lieutenant, in front of the platoon, all on push-bikes, charging the German tanks, their ancient rifles, with bayonets attached, held as a lances, whilst he yelled, “Charge”.

One of the NCO’s might, as Jason and the other NCO’s, had already decided, no, Jason shook his head, they had all decided, that one of the NCO’s, would have to disable him, this may, or may not, save the rest of the men.

The only trained men in the Brigade, were the NCO's and some, half a dozen at the most, of the older Officers, the younger officers, that had been in the army, where there to take debutantes, to the dances or to look immaculate, when visitors from overseas came.

Jason shook his head, not believing what was happening, and thought, that there was no doubt about it, the lieutenant, the kid, as the NCO’s called him, would be a Royal pain in the arse, he would not now, even listen to the NCO’s, and becaume very haughty, when he was told something, by one of the sergeants, without doubt, if not stopped, he would get all of them killed, he belonged to the upper Classes, and like the old English Army: "The Dutch Army, was like the English, you had to be born a Gentleman, with connec- tions, and old money, to become an Officer and a gentlemen"! As every-one knew, including most of the older Officers, that the NCO’s, would have to carry their young inexperienced Officers, Jason had already spoken with Master Sergeant Hans van der Hoeven, that they ( the NCO’s ,)would have to nutralize the lieutenant, for the safety of the platoon, ‘the platoon’, had an approximate front of half a kilometer, that of course had to be a joke, as all the NCO’s knew! But the question was, “did the Officers and the Politicians know, probably not”?

His grim thought was: “A couple of battalions, with support, each consisting of some 1600 men, would have problems, to defend such an area, and that would be, if they had plenty of artillery, some of it self propelled, for manouvering, and plenty of anti-tank equipment, plus at least one battalion of infantry, with enough equipment, as a reserve to back them up, in other words, at least a full brigade, with support, they had only one half trained platoon, these men were less, of an army but a conglomeration, of people in uniform.

Jason like all NCO’s, had a sealed envelope in his pocket, he also had, a wry smile on his face, knowing full well, that this envelope, when opened would mean war, on the envel- lope was printed: "To be opened, at approximately 4 am. on the morning of the 10th of May 1940", Jason took his hands out of his pocket, and looked at his watch, ‘a present form his family, for his 21st birthday’, 3.52 am, his hands were cold, he hit them a couple of times around his waist, trying to warm them, and also to get the blood flowing, it didn’t help much, he peered through half closed eye-lids, at the hills in front, ears straining, making his face go almost side-ways, with the concentration, the growling, now intermitted with clanking grinding noises, were becoming louder, and sounded more threatening, behind the row of low hills. 

He took the envelope in his right hand, and slapped it several times angrily, in his open left hand, his face looked angry at the same time, when he did this, Jason looked up, the sky was starting to lighten, he could now distinguise several stunted trees, with a minimal amount of squinting, on the so-called German/Dutch border, this border consisted of a low, broken down barbed wire fence, he smiled to himself, and under his breath he said: “That fence would not be able to keep out, a troop of boy-scouts from China, or Outer Mongolia, in wheelchairs, they could cross that in two and half seconds, that is, if they wanted to cross it” he shook his head in the negative, “ no doubt at al” he looked up, and shook his head again in agreement with himself!

Without thinking again, he ripped the envelope open, and quickly scanned it’s contents, it read:

“German troops, may try to cross our borders, in several places, in the early hours, of the morning of the 10th of May 1940”, and in large letters it continued with, “All measures must be taken, to prevent these German troops crossing over our borders”.

Jason started to laugh, the two centries, both looked in his direction, he shook his head several times in amazement, about the stupidity of these orders:”What in the hell sort of measures, could he and the other squads possibly take, each squad consisted of some ten men only”.Jason looked up into the sky, mumbled an oath under his breath, and shook his head again:“These Pollies, and the so-called High Command, in their Ivory Towers, have no idea, they must be absolutely crazy, or simple in the head, to order the border half trained troops, to stop the Germans” again he shook his head, “with what”, he closed his eyes, and sadly looked at his squad, saying to himself:” We have no tanks, the Germans have plenty, we have no anti-tank weapons, no mines, the ones we have are that old, they are to dangerous to handle, 5 or 6000 old machine-guns, most of them worn-out, and at the most, only one of them per platoon”, he looked angrily at the border: “We have absolutely no hope, of stopping these Bastards with slow firing, old 1895 Mannlicher bolt action rifles, and with boys, mostly still wet behind the ears”!

He placed his hands in his eye-sockets, after closing his eyes, and rubbed both sockets, he shook his head again getting angrier by the minute:“It’s a wonder they didn’t give us bows and arrows”, Jason was now getting furious, with the Politicians, who had led Holland to ruin, “ and to ruin, it would certainly go” he took his head in both hands, clamping them over his eyes,”they the politicians of course, would quickly leave their birth-land, leaving it to it’s fate”, Jason spat a globlet of spitum, on the ground, whilst he would have loved to hit one of those pollies, with it instead,” those evil people would leave in a hell of a hurry, he would not be surprised if several had already left for England, or the United States with a bag full of money”!

Unbeknow to Jason van Fliet, and his nine troopers, or the rest of the so-called troops, ( overall only some 10.000 of them )protectting the borders, of their homeland, (Jason found out later, that these few troops were, ) where opposing the whole might, (including nearly every German Para-Trooper ), of the strong Army Group B, this army group consisted of: 22 and a half Infantry Divisions, 18 just returned from the fighting, in Poland plus four newly created formations. Three of the armoured divisions, had been brought back-up to full strength, after their losses in the Polish, “Blitz Krieg”,  2 motorized divisions also just returned, and brought back up to full strength, the full paratroop division, would be dropped at important points, all over Holland, especially the bridges in Rotterdam, and the Dutch Airforce airports in South-Holland, plus a cavalry division.

The divisions on the ground, were split into 2 army’s, the 18th under General Kuchler, and the 6th under General von Reichenau, all these troops, some one and a half million men, plus 1299 tanks, with thousands of other armoured vehicles, came under the com- mand of General von Bock, of course, only a small part of this would be needed, to crush the Dutch, however these troops were available, if needed.

There was also the 'Second Airfleet', under the command of the brilliant Kesselring, this also came under the overall command of General Bock. This airfleet consisted of some 500 single engine fighter-planes, mainly Messerschmidts BF109E-1, E3’s and 4’s, some 125 BF110c-1 twin engine Messerschmidts, about 475 Transports ‘Junkers’, at least 454 gliders, around 22 JU87B-2 Stuka’s, and 20 or 30 HS123-A-1’s. There were also some 5 or 600 Heinkel HE11’s and Dornier D17z bombers available to this airfleet, (Luftflotte II )Luftflotte II was split between General-Leutnant Ulrich Grauert’s flieger-korps 1 and General-Leutnant, Ullrich Keller.

Opposed to this the Dutch Airforce, ( as some-one remarked more air, than force, )28 outdated Fokker DXXI fighters, early to mid 1930’s, still double deckers/ and 23 sleek Fokker G1A’s, twin engine fighter/bomber’s, (a reasonable heavy fighter, ) plus some 100 really outdated, ( early 1920’s ) fighters and bombers, to slow, for being of any use at all, many of these planes were destroyed on the ground, by the ( NSB, the Dutch Nazi party members), this party was attached to the German Nazi’s, these people, some worked on the airfields, others sneeked on to them, and poored sugar and sand into tanks of the planes.

Not far away from the Dutch Border, was the German reserve, consisting of some 42 divisions, which could be switched, at a moment’s notice, in any direction, Holland, Belgium or France, where-ever they were needed.

Also available, were 11 divisions from Army Group B, which were taking a short cut, through Belgium via Holland, just above the small Dutch city, of Maastricht, crossing the river system there, at the same time cutting off, a small part of the bottom of the Nether- lands.

This was not known to Jason van Fliet, and his men, plus to the rest of the so-called Dutch army, which consisted of some 280.000, half trained men/boys, who some moth’s before  had been, Labourers, Clerks, Tradesmen, Salesmen etc, with a limited amount of outdated artillery, and no armoured formations at all, nor any anti-tank weapons, with a very antiquated pre-first World War mentality leadership, and a totally inadiquat training system, an Airforce which was neglible, ( unbeknown to Jason, who liked the strength of the G1 twin-tailed fighters, the best fighter planes in the Dutch Airforce, these had either been sabotaged with sand and sugar, in their fueltanks, and only 9 were available, to face the might of the German Luftwaffen ), they this so-called Dutch army, faced only 16 less divisions, than the combined English, Belgium and France army’s, which consisted of 9 professional British, 22 Belgium ( partly mobilized in 1939 and trained since than ) and 29 mainly professional French Divisions, with a combined total of 3000 tanks, ( 1000 more Tanks than the German Army could field), with another 43 French,( conscripted in 1939 and trained since,)and 1 professional British Division, ( the second French Army, ) which should have been a spear, pointing at the left flank of the German’s, were they had broken through at the Ardennes, they the half trained Dutch troops,

may, or may not have felt better, when they rapidly retreated, in front of this mighty power, that fell on those inexperienced unfortunate men and boys, without sufficient warning.

 


© Copyright 2017 Will Vermeer. All rights reserved.

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