Netherlands Armed Forces
ORDER OF BATTLE
The term order of battle (ORBAT) has, in modern use, two meanings. In military organisation an order of battle provides the identification, strength, command structure, and disposition of the personnel, units, and equipment of a military force.1 In military operations it describes the manner in which a military force is organised and grouped for a specific mission.2 This website aims to do both for the Netherlands armed forces of 1985. Since these forces never went into battle the emphasis is on military organisation, with some attention for operational plans, tactical doctrine, operational readiness and other factors that influenced the Netherlands' military capabilities.
This website also includes unit organisation and equipment data for those forces. In military organisation there is a clear distinction between an order of battle and a table of organisation and equipment (TOE). The latter basically provides order-of-battle information about a standardised unit type, e.g. the infantry battalion, the engineer company etc., but in much more detail. These standard units form the building blocks of an order of battle. A number of standard units grouped under a single command, a brigade for example, is usually called a formation.
The distinction between ORBAT and TOE is not always that clear-cut however. In military operations, tactical doctrine may prescribe standard units to exchange subunits to form combined-arms battle groups tailored to specific missions: in other words, to form an ORBAT at TOE level.3 On the other hand, in military organisation the brigade, firmly belonging to the order of battle domain, is usually standardised to a high degree. On this website the ORBAT and TOE domains are interlinked as much as possible, allowing the visitor to navigate through the organisation from NATO command down to team level.
Order of Battle: Typical Page Structure
The order of battle pages are typically structured as follows, from top to bottom:
2. The tabular data provides further information about the units shown in the organisational chart, in the same order, from top to bottom and from left to right. Features:
4. A page may include one or more text sections about such matters as operational plans, procedures, reorganisations, or contain other background information.
5. Each page is concluded by a footnotes section. Footnotes primarily contain source references, but they often also include additional background information or deliberations of the author. Source references are sometimes redundant in number as they serve not only to justify the presentation and make its sources retrievable, they are also intended to encourage and facilitate further study. Whenever possible they include external links to online publications.
Source references are given in their own language and in shortened form; all references are listed in full on the Sources page. For example: "Hoffenaar en Schoenmaker, Met de blik" refers to the book Met de blik naar het oosten. De Koninklijke Landmacht 1945-1990 by J. Hoffenaar and B. Schoenmaker. Archives and collections are referenced by their official abbreviation, for example "NL-HaNA" for the Nationaal Archief in Den Haag and "NIMH" for the Nationaal Instituut voor Militaire Historie in Den Haag. Field manuals (voorschriften) are also referenced by their official abbreviated designation; "VS 11-50" for example refers to the army field manual Voorschrift nr. 11-50 Het legerkorpsrayonverbindingssysteem.
As a rule source references are given in this order: archives and collections (official documents), military manuals (official documents), books, magazine articles, websites.
For repeated references Latin abbreviations are used, as follows:
The Unit Organisation and Equipment Page
On the Unit Organisation and Equipment page all TOE data is compiled. The unit type sections have basically the same structure as the ORBAT pages, but instead of tabular data they include a dissective description of the unit type and its main equipment. In those cases where there was only one unit of a certain type, that unit is listed by its individual name; for example 104 Observation and Reconnaissance Company rather than "The Observation and Reconnaissance Company". As on the ORBAT pages, all personnel strengths are authorised strengths.
This website is a work in progress, over time pages will be added and updated. All updates are listed on the Home page; minor text changes, administrative or design changes are usually not reported, nor are additions to the Sources page and the Unit Symbols page. Dates are given in the day-month-year format.
September 2011, March 2018