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Royal Army Signal Command
Commando Verbindingen Koninklijke Landmacht (CVKL)

Part I | Part II | Operational Role

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Unit Location Peace Strength War Strength
Royal Army Signal Command
Den Haag 44/43/26/36 (149) 53/59/64/31 (207)
541 Signal Battalion
Staff and Staff Detachment
541 Signal Battalion
Deventer 6/7/9/1 (23) 8/5/19/1 (33)
 Replacement Holding Detachment [a] 2/-/1 (3)
A Signal Operations Company  Arnhem 2/11/109/87 (209) 3/26/249/87 (365)
Replacement Holding Detachment [b] 1/19/41 (61)
B Signal Operations Company Deventer 1/14/87/29 (131) 2/24/151/18 (195)
Replacement Holding Detachment [b] 3/9/31 (43)
C Signal Operations Company Groningen 1/2/20/14 (37) 1/6/69/14 (90)
Replacement Holding Detachment [b] 2/15/59 (76)
D Signal Operations Company [c] Eibergen 6/33/119/1 (159) 9/41/161 (211)
 Replacement Holding Detachment [b] 3/-/10 (13)
E Signal Operations Company Oirschot 2/9/71/73 (155) 4/22/220/73 (319)
 Replacement Holding Detachment [b] 1/14/44 (59)
Support Company [d] 4/20/94 (118)
18/76/415/205 (714) 40/204/1149/193 (1586)
543 Signal Battalion
Staff and Staff Detachment
543 Signal Battalion
De Lier 6/6/7/1 (20) 8/5/19/1 (33)
 Replacement Holding Detachment [a] 2/-/1 (3)
A Signal Operations Company Den Haag 13/37/148/39 (237) 17/47/255/39 (358)
 Replacement Holding Detachment [b] -/15/59 (74)
B Signal Operations Company De Lier 3/30/143/41 (217) 8/37/281/41 (367)
 Replacement Holding Detachment [b] 3/16/48 (67)
C Signal Operations Company Utrecht 3/21/119/59 (202) 7/33/226/59 (325)
 Replacement Holding Detachment [b] 1/14/39 (54)
D Signal Operations Company Breda 2/7/48/29 (86) 3/10/110/29 (152)
 Replacement Holding Detachment [b] 1/9/30 (40)
Support Company [d] 4/21/97 (122)
27/101/465/169 (762) 54/207/1165/169 (1595)

a. Filled by personnel from the general pool of mobilisable reserves (vrij-indeelbaar bestand) that had fulfilled their active-duty period in relevant functions up to five and a half years prior to mobilisation.2
b. These replacement holding detachments were filled by mobilisable personnel that had fulfilled their active-duty period in the companies to which they would would be attached, up to eight and a half years prior to mobilisation.2 3
c. Would in wartime maintain a secure communications channel between Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Commander, 1 (NL) Corps in West Germany through a tropospheric scatter radio link (troposcatter) with the corps area communications system. The company would also provide a troposcatter link between National Logistic Command and its subordinate 201 Service Support Command in West Germany. In addition the company handled "various international radio communications".1
d. Filled by personnel from the general pool of mobilisable reserves (vrij-indeelbaar bestand) that had fulfilled their active-duty period in relevant functions up to eight and a half years prior to mobilisation.2

Part I | Part II | Operational Role

SEIVVbdcieSsvcie 898 Vbdbat898 Vbdbat

UnitLocationPeace StrengthWar Strength
898 Signal Battalion [a]
Staff and Support Company
898 Signal Battalion
Eibergen 4/17/11/1 (33) 4/17/11/1 (33)
Signal Company Eibergen 23/75/199/54 (351) 23/75/203/54 (355)
Electronic Information Processing Section Eibergen 2/-/-/40 (42) 2/-/-/40 (42)
29/92/210/95 (426) 29/92/214/95 (430)
Royal Army Signal Command Peace Strength: 118/312/1116/505 (2051)
Royal Army Signal Command War Strength: 176/562/2592/488 (3818)

a. 898 Signal Battalion was the strategic signals intelligence (SIGINT) unit of Commander-in-Chief of the Army. Operations comprised detection, interception, direction-finding, registration, decoding/deciphering, translation and analysis of radio message traffic generated by potential opponents. Main targets were Soviet and East German (GDR) military commands in the northern half of the GDR, such as the Soviet 2nd Guards Tank Army and the GDR's 5th Army. Personnel worked in five shifts, twenty-four hours a day, and included a group of crypto analysts trained by the Military Intelligence School. The battalion operated three radio direction-finding posts: one at their home base in Eibergen, named  "Alpha", and two in West Germany: "Delta" in Dillingen an der Donau and "Sierra" near the town of Heide. In the 1970s Delta, and probably Sierra too, were semi-permanent posts with DAF YA-126 one-tonne radio trucks (KL/MRD-3554) parked in shacks. The battalion was "shrouded in secrecy" and worked closely with the Army Intelligence Service (Landmacht Inlichtingendienst, LAMID).4

Operational Role

The main tasks of Royal Army Signal Command were to operate and sustain the army's territorial communications system and to maintain communications with 1 (NL) Corps (see 101 Signal Group). The territorial communications system was predominantly static and consisted for the larger part of civil (PTT) networks. It comprised telephone and telex networks, radio networks including the wartime tactical radio networks of National Territorial Command, radio relay and troposcatter links, and a messenger network. For efficiency reasons, but also to increase system redundancy in wartime, Royal Army Signal Command worked closely with the Royal Air Force, co-using their modern Automated Switched Communications Network (ASCON) for telephone communications, and Automated Message Switching System (AMSS) for telex communications. The Command also worked closely with the PTT: to further increase redundancy the old disused low frequency dual-cable PTT telephone network was converted and expanded into an emergency army telephone network during the 1980s, which network should be able to remain operational in extremest of circumstances: it was immune to the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) generated by a nuclear explosion and its nodes were located in nuclear and chemical-proof PTT bunkers. In addition to the above the territorial communications system was linked to the Royal Navy and NATO communications systems. In wartime it would also be used by territorial units operating in West Germany in the rear of 1 (NL) Corps (Rear Combat Zone).5 <


1. Elands et al., Van telegraaf, 198-199.
2. NIMH 205A/10, Aflossing van mobilisabele eenheden en -aanvullingen d.d. 27 mei 1980. Ibid, d.d. 11 november 1983. Ibid., d.d. 17 juni 1985.
3. The unit filling schemes in NIMH 205A/10 (see footnote 2) show the replacement holding detachments attached to the signal operations companies of 543 Signal Battalion were only filled for the first time in 1990; this is probably an error. They would typically have been filled before in 1984, with the regular six-year interval. The replacement holding detachments attached to the signal operations companies of 541 Signal Battalion were filled in 1983 and 1989. In 1980 these detachments apparently did not yet exist. Ibid.
4. Elands et al., op. cit., 171-173, 221. Kluiters, De Nederlandse, Supplement, 127, 146, 151. Vastenhoud, HistorieWebsite 898 Vbdbat. The Army Intelligence Service fell under the Ministry of Defence. Kluiters, op. cit., 127.
5. VS 11-12, Hoofdstuk 6. Elands et al., op. cit., 192-199. Hoffenaar en Schoenmaker, Met de blik, 299. ASCON  is described in detail in Raggett, Jane's Military Communications, 836. See also R.H. Rijntalder, Beëindiging Koude Oorlog 25 jaar geleden. Herinneringen aan mijn actieve diensttijd tijdens de gewapende vrede (Intercom nrs. 1-3, 2016). PTT: Posterijen, Telegrafie en Telefonie.