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Dutch Forces in Korea

Dutch Volunteers fighting in the Korean War

written by Elie van Schilt, veteran NDVN soldier


The Nederlands Detachement Verenigde Naties (NDVN) was stationed in Korea 1950-1954. While the war was still raging and the NDVN was still participating, CAPTAIN W. VAN DER VEER published a novel about it, with the title WIJ BIDDEN OM DAGERAAD (Amsterdam : Scheltens & Giltay 1951). The book, the title of which translates to "We ask for daybreak", is long out of print.

The war is long past, and the Dutch Korea veterans have founded an organization, V.O.K.S. This organisation has often been contacted about historical information. One of the members, ELIE VAN SCHILT, who has served in Korea between January 1953 and March 1954, has written a brief account of the history of the first detachment, based both on W. van der Veer's novel cited above and on many interviews he had with fellow Korea veterans.
In order to stik to the style of the original story, Mr. van Schilt stuck to the "I" style, although reporting the events from Captain van der Veer's perspective. Mr. van Schilt's account summarizes the historical events as narrated in the novel, eliminating other elements.
Mr. van Schilt, born in 1928, has written the account in Dutch language. In order to reach a wider readership, it has been translated, with Mr. van Schilt's permission and cooperation, and published on the World History at KMLA Website.
This text originally was written for a Dutch readership. As a consequence, many Korean placenames, for example SEOEL and WONJOE have been written with the Dutch rules of pronunciation in mind. Here they have been replaced by the Latin transcriptions currently used in Korea. In the Dutch text, the enemy is sometimes adressed as "Koreans". In the translation, in appropriate text parts, this has been replaced by "North Koreans" (to distinguish them clearly from the South Koreans, for the defense of whom the NDVN had come to Korea.
The Dutch perspective also explains the frequent use of the words "high mountains", "steep mountains" etc. Readers will keep in mind that the Netherlands, as the name of the country expresses, is plains country and what is a hill to someone else seems a mountain to the Dutch.

Elie van Schilt
at age 25, 1954
Those interested can contact the author at and the website manager

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX

Chapter X
Chapter XI

Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII

Chapter XIX
Chapter XX

Photo Album I
Photo Album II
Photo Album III
Photo Album IV
The Establishment of the NDVN and it's Transfer to Korea
The First Deployment
Chohyong-ri : the First Engagement
Organized Withdrawal from Chohyong-ri
Reassigned to Hoengsong Valley
Street Fighting in Wonju and Continued Retreat
To the South of Wonju
Holding a Position South of Wonju
Position south of Wonju evacuated, Battalion moves to Podong-ri, to Noda-ri and then to Hoengsong
ROK attack and Chinese Counterattack at Hoengsong
The Chinese take Hoengsong; the Battalion is scattered; Retreat from Hoengsong
The Story how Battalion Command Fell
Lying Severely Wounded in Enemy-held Hoengsong for 18 Days
Hill 325 west of Wonju
Exposed to Friendly Fire
Hill 325 Retaken
The Battalion Reasts at Choepori
The Chinese Spring Offensive of 1952 and the U.N. Counterattack
A Last, Desparate Fight North of Inje
Tanggok Military Cemetery at Pusan; Conclusion

Photos 1-10 of the NDVN in Korea
Photos 11-20 of the NDVN in Korea
Photos 21-30 of the NDVN in Korea
Photos 31-32 of the NDVN in Korea
This page is part of World History at KMLA
Last revised on February 15th 2002

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