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Arms production and equipment continued

August 23 2006 at 6:56 PM

Response to imaginary Dutch arms production/development after 1940

Based on the assessments above Dutch arms production and procurement would have been predictable untill late 1941. But what would happen after that date?

In 1942 US private production for KNIL started off, so this could be put to use for the Dutch home Army as well. And what about Dutch indiginous developments and those of others (Bofors)?

Infantry weapons late 1941:
- hundreds of 20mm Solothurn and Hembrug AT rifles
- 200 Siderius and Hembrug 5cm bunker guns
- 800 Boehler and Hembrug type 47mm AT guns
- hundreds of 81mm Stokes/Siderius and KNIL mortars
There would have been no need for the lighter National Forge & Ordnance 37mm. We can forget it. But in 1942 the Dutch would have to think about heavier guns. Bofors developed a 57mm AT, Switzerland a 9cm, what about the Dutch? A 75mm Hembrug AT gun based on the Vickers AA? Several hundreds would have to be built after developing it. Can they do it?

- hundreds of Vickers/Hembrug and Skoda 75mm
- a hundred Bofors/WFB 8cm KNIL
- hundreds Bofors/Hembrug/Mavag 4cm and Rheinmetall 37mm
- hundreds 20mm Hispano-Suiza, Oerlikon, Scotti, Hembrug, Rheinmetall
Production of all types would continue throughout the war, with room for improvement on the Hembrug 75mm.

- hundreds of Krupp/Bofors/Hembrug 75mm fieldguns (incl mountain guns)
- 150 Bofors/Hembrug 105mm fieldgun
- 30 Bofors 105mm howitzer KNIL
- 120 Rheinmetall 105mm how
- dozens of German or Bofors 15cm
Production could have contined slowly, but these guns could basically haver served right up till the 1960s, except for the Krupp type 75. A more modern version would have to be used or the Dutch could have built the Bofors 75mm instead.

Armoured cars:
- 38 DAF M39/M40
- dozens Landsverk, Alvis-Straussler, some 222s?
- a hundred White Scout Cars
- a hundred Overvalwagens
By 1942 more would be needed, some more improved Overvalwagens could have been built with DAF 4x4 system, but Whites might have become unavailable for the Dutch if US entered the war. Developing their own 4x4 armoured car must have been possible and DAF and Landsverk could have provided some dozen more of existing types.

- dozens of Landsverks and indiginous models
- a hundred ex-French lights
- Vickers lights KNIL
By 1942 the Marmon-Herrington production lines would take off. The light tanks would have been obsolete almost immediately, but the medium sized tanks could have been usefull. No need for the bizarre AAC twin 37mm guns, but the Dutch could have fitted someting else (either 47mm/5cm or a fixed 75mm - like in a Panzerjaeger or Hetzer, but more defensive as a concept like the Stridsvagen 103 later). This fixed 75mm guntank concept could also be used on the other designs. So by the end of 1942 the Dutch would get some more powerfull tanks, but it would not be enough, both in quality and quantity.

Light weapons:
From early 1942 KNIL's Johnsons semi-automatic rifles as wel as light machineguns would be supplied and production could have been expanded and/or started simultaneously at Hembrug. By the end of the war the Dutch armies would be equipped with 200.000 or so Johnson rifles and 50.000 or so machineguns. Colt .30 and .50 would have to be licence produced by Hembrug. Vital weapons. Hembrug carbines would remain on strength as well.

I cannot say anything on wartime possible aircraft production and development. I think it would be tougher by 1942 to develop and certainly after that engines might become more difficult to obtain (unless locally produced). But combined eforts of Fokker/Koolhoven and others might have done the trick.

Wilton-Fijenoord-Bofors would be able to supply guns in 15cm-7,5cm range, but larger weapons for the battlecruisers would have to be bought in Germany.
NO battlecruiser would be finished before the end of the war and by then the concept would be doomed anyway.
One medium cruiser would be ready, maybe two. A second series of the modern destroyers could have been built and a second batch of 7-8 submarines.
There would be a lot of strain on crews as these would not be sufficient to expand the fleet really well. Think of new ships as replacements for older, not expansion.
By the end of the war Dutch Navy would have:
5 Cruisers: Eendracht, Zeven Provincien, De Ruijter, (Java and Sumatra laid off, guns used for coastal defence), Tromp and Heemskerk.
12 Destroyers: 8 Tjerk Hiddes class, 4 older Admiralen still in service (4 laid up, guns used as coastal)
22 Subs: 14-15 O21 class, 5 K14 class, some other O-boots
7 Gunboats: K1, K2, K3, JMv Nassau, v Kinsbergen, Flores, Soemba
Dozens of MTBs/MGBs
3000 Marines: two full batallions plus ship detachments

Anyone nasty enough to attack would probably defeat this navy, unless it would operate under the umbrella of a modern airforce.

Any comments welcome!

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