Chicago Typewriters, Java edition

While the Dutch military in metropolitan Holland didn’t typically use submachine guns (“pistool-mitrailleur” in Dutch vernacular) prior to WWII other than the occasional Erma EMP, on the opposite side of the globe in the Dutch East Indies the colonial KNIL in the late 1930s purchased nearly 2,500 MP28 II Schmeissers for issue to NCOs and specialists. Of these, at least 700 fell into Japanese hands in 1942 and would appear in curious photos throughout the rest of the conflict.

Kplmarn Jan van Doorne, Dutch Marines (Korps Mariniers), circa 1941, with a Thompson SMG M1. NIMH 2158_049636

KNIL troops in Australia after the fall of Java. Note the M1928 as well as an M1917 Enfield while the colonial troops are wearing USMC HBT uniforms and American Dutch webbing. 

The colony’s government, independent from occupied Holland, also ordered 2,000 Thompson M1928s (with about 1,500 delivered before the Japanese invasion) and a stock of Reising M50 SMGs. While the Reisings (and a batch of Johnson M1941s) by and large went on to be used by the U.S. Marines, the “Free Dutch” forces in the Pacific still held on to a batch of M1928s, primarily from a 100-unit delivery that was diverted to Australia after Java and points North had been overrun by the Emperor’s troops.

KNIL soldier training at Camp Victory, Australia, 1945. Note the M1928 Thompson SMG and Barang– useful against both brush and the enemy– as well as USMC “frogskin” camo. AKL022854

The Dutch, however, picked up an appreciation of SMGs after the war, using both U.S. (simplified M1 Thompsons, M3 Grease guns) and Australian (Owen, STEN) supplied, as well as German-inherited (MP38, MP40) guns, then switched to the Israeli-made UZI in the 1960s.

Used by NCOs, vehicle crews, and gunners (both anti-tank and machine), the Dutch went Uzi-does-it into the early 1990s.

Vrijwilligers van het Korps Nationale Reserve op oefening in Overijssel in november 1980. De soldaat op de voorgrond is zwaar bewapend met de pistool-mitrailleur UZI met aan 2 elkaar gehechte magazijnen en de lichte mitrailleur Brengun. 11.16.1980 NIMH AKL061671

Vrijwilligers van het Korps Nationale Reserve op oefening in Overijssel in november 1980. De tweede soldaat is bewapend met de pistool-mitrailleur UZI. 11.16.1980 NIMH AKL061670

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