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Holland II AS-3
(AS-3: dp. 8,100; 1. 483'10"; b. 61'1"; dr. 16'9"; s. 10 k;
cpl. 388; a. 8 5", 4 3")
The second Holland was launched by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., 12 April 1926, sponsored by Mrs~ Elizabeth Saunder~ Chnsc, daughter of At1miral J. V. Chase, and commissioned 1 June, Comdr. John B. Earle in command.
Holland arrived in San Francisco from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 24 April to become flagship of Captain J. T. Thompkins, Commander Submarine Divisions, Battle Fleet. On 24 September shc was permanently assigned to base at San Diego, Calif., tending submarine divisions there with periodic tours to Panama to service submarines based at the Canal Zone. On 5 November 1930 Holland became flagship of Captain Chester W. Nimitz, Commander Submarine Divisions, Battle Fleet with additional duty as Commander of Submarine Division 20. The former command was abolished as of 1 April 1931 and Captain Nimitz retained his flag in Holland as Commander, of his submarine diYision, now designated Submarine Division 12. He left Holland on 17 June, relieved by Captain NV. L. Friedell.
In addition to being the flagship of Submarine Division 12, Holland temporarily served as Submarine Force Flagship (March-July 1933). In June 1935 she became joint flagship of Submarine Squadron 6 and Submarine Division 12. This duty continued until June 1941 when she became flagship of Submarine Squadron 2.
On 22 November lD41 Holland arrived at Cavite Naval Base, P.I., to service submarines of the Asiatic Fleet. Due to the air raids in early December 1941, Holland was hurried out of Manila Bay under cover of night with her vital cargo of repair and replacement parts for submarines of the Asiatic Fleet. Heading south, she escaped unscathed from two air raids while at Balikpapan, Borneo, then repaired a battle-damaged submarine at Soerabaja, Java where she was joined by two destroyers that gave her escort to Port Darwin, Australia, which she reached on 2 January 1942 for round-the-clock operations which included the building of docks and floats as well as the constant repair and equipping of ships as well as submarines. On 3 February she was underwny for Tjilaljap, Java, to remove Rear Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, Jr. And his Asiatic Fleet Submarine Force Staff to Australia. Her outstanding service to the Fleet during the first crucial months of the war brought Holland a Navy Unit Commendation.
While based in Australia, Holland serviced and overhauled several submarines before returning for overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard in late February 1943. She reached Pearl Harbor from the West Coast in June and completed 22 refits and 13 repair jobs for submarines within the next 11 months. She shifted to Midway Atoll on 1 June 1944 and sailed the following month directly to support submarines in the Marianas Islands. Holland~ returned to Pearl Harbor late in Xovember to be fitted out as headquarters ship for Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, Jr., Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet. In January 1945 she steamed out of Pearl Harbor for Guam where she embarked Vice Admiral Lockwood. By the close of hostilities, Holland had given 55 instances of refit to submarines, provided repair and service to 20 surface craft and completed various iobs on shore installations.
Vice Admiral Lockwood shifted his Submarine Force Flag ashore to his new quarters on Coconut Island in Apra Harbor on 30 August 1945, setting up operations nnd communications for the work ahead. This left Holland ready to begin a new career as a repair ship (ARG-18). Her value to the submarine force had diminished with the commissioning of many new and modern tenders better
equipped to carry on the job of keeping our submarines in condition for their assaults against the enemy. With a few alterations she headed for Buckner Bay, Okinawa, where she embarked Rear Admiral Allen E. Smith, Oommander of Service Squadron 10 and his staff before proceeding for Tokyo Bay where she dropped anchor on 29 September 1945.
Holland set course 6 June 1946 by way of Pearl Harbor for San Diego where she arrived on 28 June. She shifted to San Pedro for inactiviation overhaul in the Terminal Island Navy Yard, then was towed to San Diego where she was decommissioned on 21 March 1947. ,She was assigned to the San Diego, Oalif., group of the Pacidc Reserve Fleet until her name was struck from the Navy Register on 18 June 1952. Her hull was sold for scrapping on 3 October 1953 to the Bethlehem Steel Co.
Holland earned two battle stars and the Navy Unit Gommendation for World War II service.
The Allies Hoped Operation Market Garden Would End WWII. Here's What Went Wrong
In the weeks following D-Day, German troops began retreating en masse, as Allied forces advanced across France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. By September 1944, however, the overstretched Allies were approaching formidable German defenses along the Siegfried Line, which had held strong since World War II began.
British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery came up with a daring plan to bypass the Siegfried Line by crossing the lower part of the Rhine River, liberating and driving into the industrial heartland of northern Germany.
Code-named Market Garden, the offensive called for three Allied airborne divisions (the “Market” part of the operation) to drop by parachute and glider into the Netherlands, seizing key territory and bridges so that ground forces (the “Garden”) could cross the Rhine.
But controversial decisions and unfavorable circumstances began stacking up from the start of Operation Market Garden. Despite their heroic efforts, the Allied forces ultimately failed to achieve their objectives𠅊nd sustained devastating losses in the process.
Watch a special about Operation Market Garden on HISTORY Vault.
Holland America Cruise Line History
The history of Holland America Line spans well over a century its first ship, the 1,684-ton Rotterdam, set sail on a voyage between Holland and New York in 1873. Originally starting out as The Netherlands-America Steamship Company, the company became known as the Holland America Line because it carried great numbers of immigrants from Holland to America. It concentrated on the transatlantic passenger trade, as well as the commercial freight shipping business until the 1970s.
Holland America continues to maintain strong ties with its Netherlands heritage. Most ships in the fleet are named after actual dams found on rivers in the Netherlands. In other cases, such as with the Vista class of ships, the names represent points of the compass (Oosterdam is east, Westerdam is west, Noordam is north). Ships in its fleet -- since the 1890s and continuing today -- bear the suffix "dam."
Since the early 1970s, when Holland America sold its cargo division, the line has concentrated on cruise vacation travel, with the existing passenger ships getting a new logo and blue hull color. The first ship to be repainted with the new logo and hull color was Statendam (IV), followed by Rotterdam (V) the rest of the ships in the passenger fleet were disposed of.
The first new addition came in 1973 with the first Prinsendam. (The ship wasn't with the company long, catching fire in Alaskan waters in 1980 and sinking.) That same year, Holland America introduced Veendam and Volendam, both American passenger ships that had been extensively refurbished. For several years, the company's fleet consisted only of these five ships.
In 1978, Holland America moved its headquarters from Rotterdam to Stamford, Connecticut. Two years later, the cruise line put in an order for its first new ships in several years, adding Nieuw Amsterdam (III) in 1983 and Noordam (III) in 1984. In between the two, both Veendam and Volendam left the fleet.
In the same year that Nieuw Amsterdam III joined the fleet, Holland America again moved its headquarters, this time to Seattle, Washington, in 1983, in order to consolidate operations with an Alaska tour company, Westours. (Holland America had purchased a controlling interest in Westours in the early 1970s, but fully merged the company in 1983.)
In 1988, Holland America purchased Windstar Cruises, an operator of four- and five-masted motorized sailing ships. Holland America also purchased Home Lines in the same year, disposing of one ship and renaming the other Westerdam (III).
A year later, in 1989, the behemoth Carnival Corporation acquired Holland America Line, which remains headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
At this time, the cruise line had four ships (Nieuw Amsterdam III, Noordam III, Westerdam III and Rotterdam V) but this did not last long as several new ships (known as the S Class) were soon added to the fleet, starting with Statendam (V) and Maasdam in 1993 and Ryndam in 1994. A fourth S-class ship, Veendam (II), entered the fleet in 1996. (Statendam and Ryndam left the fleet in 2015.)
Since Carnival didn't want the Holland America ships to compete in size with its own Carnival Cruise Line, the Statendam ships were kept to a more modest size: 55,000 GRT, 720 feet long, with a passenger capacity of approximately 1,260. The Statendam-class ships feature two-level dining rooms and large atriums.
In 1997, Holland America Line purchased Little San Salvador, an island off the coast of the Bahamas, and renamed it Half Moon Cay. The destination still serves as the cruise line's private island.
That same year the Rotterdam (V) was retired and a new Rotterdam, the sixth of its name, entered service. Sister ships Volendam (II), Zaandam and Amsterdam (II) entered the fleet in 1998, 1999 and 2000, respectively. This class of ship (sometimes referred to as the R Class) incorporates lots of dark woods, ornate dining facilities, elaborate atriums and the impressive original artworks that are the line's hallmark. Zaandam and Volendam feature a convenient third staircase for easier access to public rooms, a very spacious and well-equipped gym facility and more (168) of the popular "verandah suites" than any other previous Holland America ship. Both were also the first ships in the fleet to introduce what has become Holland America's signature restaurant, the Pinnacle Grill.
Holland America purchased the 793-passenger Prinsendam (II) in 2002. Built in 1988 as Royal Viking Sun, the ship also bore the name Seabourn Sun before moving to Holland America, which dubbed it the "Elegant Explorer." The ship has been primarily utilized for longer sailings, such as world cruises. Although Holland America updated the ship when it was purchased, Prinsendam still has an old-world feel, with lots of dark woods and brass accents -- but also plenty of modern amenities, including Wi-Fi.
In 2003, the line inaugurated the first ships in the Vista Class: 85,000-ton, 1,848-passenger Zuiderdam (II) and Oosterdam. The third Vista-class ship, Westerdam (III), was launched in April 2004, and the fourth and final, Noordam (IV), debuted in March 2006. These ships introduced more cabins with ocean views, expanded public areas and contemporary touches like glass-walled elevators.
At the end of 2003, Holland America announced a new initiative, known as the "Signature of Excellence." Under the initiative, completed in early 2006, the line spent more than $225 million to enhance its fleet in areas of accommodations, public rooms, dining, service and enrichment programs. Some of the changes included an early embarkation program that allowed passengers to board as early as 11 a.m. the Culinary Arts Center for cooking demonstrations and classes tableside waiter service in the ships' casual dining venue, Lido Restaurant exclusive "Medallion Shore Excursions" at its exotic destinations, such as Asia and Africa an expanded "Speakers Program" Greenhouse Spas on all ships, offering exclusive treatments in thermal suites and hydro pools Explorations Cafe to serve as a multidimensional venue for onboard programming 24-hour concierge service for suite passengers and more extensive youth programs.
Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam (IV), which make up the line's Signature Class, are the second-largest ships in the fleet (86,000 GRT and 2,044 passengers). Both ships lean more toward the trendy side of traditional, adding another deck, premium wine-tasting lounge and a top-side observation space. Other features include Tamarind, the line's specialty Asian restaurant, and basketball courts instead of tennis courts. Eurodam was delivered in 2008, while Nieuw Amsterdam launched in 2010.
B.B. King's Blues Club experience, which debuted on Eurodam in March 2013, has since been added to a handful of ships and is a HAL favorite. Holland America also teamed up with Billboard Onboard to add a new musical experience under the same name. Found on Eurodam, Koningsdam, Westerdam and Oosterdam, it consists of a sing-along piano/guitar spot focusing on hits from a number of eras and genres like pop, rock and country.
Koningsdam, the first in the Pinnacle Class of ships, was the largest and most innovative in the fleet when it debuted in April 2016 with a passenger capacity of 2,650. It includes a handful of firsts for the line, including a two-tiered Lido Pool with an outdoor movie screen, a main theater with a 270-degree LED screen and new restaurants including Sel de Mer, which serves up seafood and French fare in a traditional brasserie setting.
A Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant experience debuted in summer 2017 in Pinnacle Grill restaurants on all Vista-class (Noordam, Oosterdam, Westerdam and Zuiderdam) and Signature-class (Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam) ships.
In November 2018, Holland America unveiled its second Pinnacle-class ship, Nieuw Statendam.
Dutch Alien Lands in the U.S.
As I promised in my previous blog, I would write some more about Holland – Michigan.
While we were there in February of this year, we visited the Holland Museum. That was fun to do. We came there on a Saturday, during a snowstorm and there was only one more couple there. The manager was really nice, he told us a lot about the museum. He also said ‘that we probably knew more about what we would see, than he’. I am not sure if that was true.
Front of the Holland Museum
Holland – the way it used to be
Explanation Albertus van Raalte
Dutch ‘Klok’ see next picture for explanation
Explanation Dutch immigrant Trunk
‘Beter laat dan nooit’- ‘Better late than never’
‘Men moet de tering naar de nering zetten’ – Adjusting what you spend to what you get
Very Dutch Soccer Clogs or wooden shoes (No, we don’t use them to play ‘voetbal’)
We ate at Alpenrose Restaurant & Café, which reminded us of all the vacations we spend in Austria. I ordered the ‘Wiener Schnitzel’ (with my Chicago-accent, which sounded a bit weird) and it was delicious. The spatzle was great too, I only missed the ‘Preiselbeeren’ (cranberries) that we used to get with that in Austria. It was a great restaurant, very friendly too.
We walked through the center, but it was very cold, so we decided to check out the surroundings by car. We really wanted to see the ‘Big Red’, but we ended up driving in a snowstorm. It was that bad, that we had to turn around, because we just couldn’t see a thing.
Dutch Windmill – From animation park ‘Nelis’ Dutch Village (http://www.dutchvillage.com/)
It was a lot of fun to learn more about the Dutch history of Holland. The museum was great!
On Sunday we ate at the Woodenshoe Restaurant, which was supposed to be a Dutch restaurant. The only Dutch dish we could find on the menu was ‘Pig in a blanket’, which was supposed to be a ‘saucijzenbroodje’. My husband tried it, ate one bite and told us to not even try the rest. We didn’t. The food we ate was pretty good (but certainly NOT Dutch), the waitress was very kind and the food came fast. It was very cheap too. However, I am not quite sure why they called it ‘The Woodenshoe’ restaurant, we expected a lot of Dutch meals and that was quite a disappointment. I suggest that they either change their name or look at this website, to find real Dutch recipes with American ingredients. Another great idea would be if they would buy some really Dutch snacks at this website. The store is rather close too, they could just drive there.
Next to this restarant was a great Antique Mall, with very nice staff. We found some pretty cool Dutch stuff there. I found a lot of (in) Dutch (written) postcards. The great thing about these postcards was, that a lot of them were written by the same person: Evert Dokter. I looked up his life story, and found a lot about him. I will write a next blog about him. We also bought a Dutch flag that was forbidden by the Nazi’s during World War II. I haven’t found the real story behind this flag yet, but will dive into that story later in another blog (if I can find anything). My husband found a very old Dutch book, dated 1808. I found a Dutch Christmas Carol. The kids found beautifully painted wooden clogs, that we will be using to put plants in when Spring arrives.
We visited the Windmill Island Gardens and saw ‘De Zwaan’ windmill. It probably looks better during Spring and Summer, but we still enjoyed it. While living in the Netherlands I never really looked at all the windmills that I saw every day. Right now I enjoyed the mill more.
De Zwaan – Holland Michigan
We also drove the same road to the Big Red Lighthouse. This the the weather was a lot better. It was very cold, but beautiful out there. We loved the sight of the lighthouse, the floes, the sand that was combined with the snow and the great view over the lake.
Same pier, one day later – Holland Michigan
Great landscape – Holland Michigan
Holland Harbor Lighthouse – aka Big Red Lighthouse
Big Red Lighthouse – Holland Michigan
Great landscape – Holland Michigan
Great landscape – Holland Michigan
Great landscape – Holland Michigan
Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa
Almost looked like Summer
So, even in Winter time Holland Michigan is worth a visit. Especially if you are Dutch. Winter does have it’s advantages, Holland was very serene and that was just what we needed after our busy life.
Quote by Johan Cruyff a very famous Dutch soccer player
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WATCH: M. Roger Holland, II Explains Why Your Understanding of American History is Incomplete Without Knowing Spirituals
In the video above, M. Roger Holland, II speaks with CPR Classical's Monika Vischer about their yearlong, monthly series, Journey to Freedom: The Spiritual Radio Project, a collaboration designed to illuminate the vital role spirituals play in understanding the complete picture of American history and the African American experience.
Across the year on CPR Classical, you’ll hear many beloved spirituals including “Deep River”, “Go Down Moses”, “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Additionally, Holland will choose a dozen spirituals for CPR Classical - one each month - that help tell the African American cultural narrative. Many are less-known all will air on CPR Classical, including Sunday mornings on Sing! from 6 to 10 a.m. with host David Ginder. The series began in February during Black History Month with "Lord, How Come Me Here?"
In the following video, Holland breaks down the make-up of the African-American spiritual and it's vital contributions to American folk music:
Holland is Teaching Assistant Professor of African American Music and Theology at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, and Director of DU’s Spirituals Project Choir.
Join CPR Classical monthly, on-air and right here online as Roger and Monika explore the meaning and significance of these succinct, power-packed, extraordinary musical works, and how they speak to the current age.
February's Spiritual - “Lord, How Come Me Here?”
Spirituals on CPR Classical
Listen to Professor Holland’s monthly musical selections and commentary throughout the year on CPR Classical, including Sunday mornings on our choral music show Sing!, hosted by David Ginder.
Hear CPR Classical by clicking “Listen Live” at the top on this website. You can also hear CPR Classical at 88.1 FM in Denver, at radio signals around Colorado, or ask your smart speaker to “Play CPR Classical.”
You read another CPR classical story to the end.
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The involvement of Dutch security officer Lt Klopp in the spy action became a pretext for the German invasion of Holland. Germany accused that the Netherlands had joined hands with Britain to kill Hitler and to create chaos in Germany.
The deception action played out by Germany ultimately was used as a reason for the German invasion of the upper countries like the Netherlands. After the Venlo incident, British intelligence moved its operations entirely out of Europe until Churchill became prime minister of Britain and established the Special Operations Executive, or SOE
Holland II AS-3 - History
When the newly formed Jacksonville Historical Society selected its first president to help create a foundation for all that was to follow, their selection was Henry Holland Buckman, II. He was a mining engineer born in Jacksonville about 1887, to a pioneer family who moved to Jacksonville in 1837, only 15 years after its founding. His great-great grandfather was Andrew Turnbull, founder of the 18th century colony of New Smyrna. Buckman II was also related to Andrew Jackson, Florida’s first military governor and a U.S. President for whom Jacksonville is named.
A 1908 graduate of Harvard College, Henry Buckman, II completed graduate studies in engineering at the University of Berlin and the University of Leipzig where is was a pupil of some of the most noted scientists of the time. When he returned to America, he pioneered the development of smelting ores by electricity — creating the nation’s first commercial electric steel furnace.
Henry Buckman II returned to Jacksonville and partnered with George Pritchard to operate a mine in the undeveloped land that became Ponte Vedra. Titanium, radium and zirconium were extracted from the mines for use by U.S. allies during World War I. In fact, the company was the only source of certain rare metals for the allied war effort. The mining operation evolved into the famous Mineral City, which was sold to the National Lead Company. Within a brief time, the area was known as Ponte Vedra and within the decade an exclusive residential community emerged.
In the 1920’s, he authored the first statewide engineering exam and became active with early development along the river. He also was contracted by the City of Jacksonville to create a plan for the municipal water supply. In 1925, he created a development plan with Stockton Broome for the city’s St. Johns River north bank and beyond.
On May 3, 1929, he was elected President of the Jacksonville Historical Society at age 42, when more than 200 charter members gathered at the Carling Hotel in downtown Jacksonville. With other original leaders of the Historical Society, he helped create a mission that is largely intact today.
He was instrumental in establishing work on a Florida Barge Canal, a project that was underway (but never completed) at his death in 1968 at age 81. Mr. Buckman also served as President of the National Rivers and Harbors Congress.
His other affiliations, to name a few, included the Jacksonville Rotary Club, The Engineers Club of Jacksonville (founder), The American Institute of Mining Engineers, The Harvard Engineering Society and The Harvard Club of Boston and New York. Among his social club memberships in the area were the Florida Yacht Club and Timuquana Country Club, where he was a founding member.
His roots in Jacksonville were deep and likely played a role in his interest in area history. Before the Civil War, his grandfather, T.E. Buckman helped establish the railroad between Jacksonville and Alligator (Lake City). During the war, T.E. served as a Confederate Army colonel. His Father, Henry Holland Buckman, Sr. born in Jacksonville in 1858, practiced law in the city until his death in 1914. His father also served in the Florida Legislature where he authored the bill that created the University of Florida and Florida State College for Women, now F.S.U. His father was such an influential leader, a major bridge –the city’s longest at 3.1 miles—was named for him, the Buckman Bridge.
In 1994, about 25 years after Henry Buckman II’s death, Times Union senior writer, Bill Foley wrote about the Buckman family. Foley said, Henry Buckman, Sr. was probably the only man in Jacksonville to have a bridge named for him who “may have been less of a legend than his son.”
A bill to name the Buckman Bridge was confirmed by the Florida Legislature in 1969, after the 1968 death of Henry Buckman II. But it’s likely the Jacksonville Historical Society’s first President was aware of the honor extended to his father. It was the Historical Society that “some time before” suggested the name!
Netherlands refuses to extradite Kaiser Wilhelm to the Allies
On January 23, 1920, the Dutch government refuses demands by the Allies for the extradition of Wilhelm II, the former kaiser of Germany, who has been living in exile in the Netherlands since November 1918.
By early November 1918, things were looking dismal for the Central Powers on all fronts of the Great War. The kaiser was at German army headquarters in the Belgian resort town of Spa when news reached him, in quick succession, of labor unrest in Berlin, a mutiny within the Imperial Navy and what looked like the beginnings of full-fledged revolution in Germany. From every direction, it seemed, came calls for peace, reform and the removal of the kaiser. Wilhelm II was told that the German General Staff would make a unified, orderly march home to Germany when the war ended, but it would not defend him against his internal opponents.
Faced with this lack of support, the kaiser agreed to abdicate his throne on November 9, 1918. Shortly after that, Wilhelm, the last of the powerful Hohenzollern monarchs, traveled from Spa to Holland, never to return to German soil.
In January 1920, Wilhelm headed the list of so-called war criminals put together by the Allies and made public after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Netherlands, under the young, strong-willed Queen Wilhelmina, refused to extradite him for prosecution and Wilhelm remained in Holland, where he settled in the municipality of Doorn. Personal tragedy struck when his son, Joachim, committed suicide later in 1920. Augusta, his wife and the mother of his seven children, died barely a year later. In 1922, Wilhelm remarried and published his memoirs, proclaiming his innocence in the promotion of the Great War.
This Teenager Killed Nazis With Her Sister During WWII
Freddie Oversteegan pictured in her teens. She joined the Dutch resistance at age 14 and took up arms against Nazis by the time she was 16.
National Hannie Schaft Foundation
Freddie Oversteegen was only 14 when she joined the Dutch resistance during World War II, and only a couple of years older when she became one of its armed assassins. Together with her sister𠅊nd later, a young woman named Hannie Schaft—the trio lured, ambushed and killed German Nazis and their Dutch collaborators.
Freddie and her sister Truus, who was two years older, grew up in the city of Haarlem with a single, working-class mother. Their mother considered herself a communist and taught her daughters the importance of fighting injustice. When Europe was on the brink of war in 1939, she took Jewish refugees into their home.
Through their mother’s example, Freddie and Truus “learned that if you have to help somebody, like refugees, you have to make sacrifices for yourself,” says Jeroen Pliester, chair of the National Hannie Schaft Foundation. “I think that was one of the main drivers for them, the high moral principle and preparedness of their mother to act when it really matters.”
Then in May 1940, Nazis invaded the Netherlands, beginning an occupation that lasted until the end of the war. In response, the girls joined their mother in distributing anti-Nazi newspapers and pamphlets for the resistance.
“We also glued warnings across German posters in the street calling men to work in Germany,” Freddie later recalled in interviews she and her sister did with anthropologist Ellis Jonker, collected in the book Under Fire: Women and World War II. 𠇊nd then we𠆝 hurry off, on our bikes.”
These acts weren’t just subversive, they were also dangerous. If the Nazis or Dutch police caught the sisters, they might have killed them. However, the fact that they were both young girls𠅊nd Freddie looked even younger when she wore braids—meant that officials were less likely to suspect them of working for the resistance. This might be one of the reasons why, in 1941, a commander with the Haarlem Resistance Group visited their house to ask their mother if he could recruit Freddie and Truus.
Their mother consented and the sisters’ agreed to join. “Only later did he tell us what we𠆝 actually have to do: sabotage bridges and railway lines,” Truus told Jonker. “𠆊nd learn to shoot, to shoot Nazis,’ he added. I remember my sister saying: ‘Well, that’s something I’ve never done before!’”
In at least one instance, Truus seduced an SS officer into the woods so that someone from the resistance could shoot him. As the commander who recruited them had said, Freddie and Truus learned to shoot Nazis too, and the sisters began to go on assassination missions by themselves. Later on, they focused on killing Dutch collaborators who arrested or endangered Jewish refugees and resistance members.
“They were unusual, these girls,” says Bas von Benda-Beckmann, a former researcher at the Netherlands’ Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. “There were a lot of women involved in the resistance in the Netherlands but not so much in the way these girls were. There are not that many examples of women who actually shot collaborators themselves.”
On these missions, Freddie was especially good at following a target or keeping a lookout during missions since she looked so young and unsuspecting. Both sisters shot to kill, but they never revealed how many Nazis and Dutch collaborators they assassinated. According to Pliester, Freddie would tell people who asked that she and her sister were soldiers, and soldiers don’t say.
Consequently, we don’t have too many details about how their “liquidations,” as they called them, played out. Benda-Beckmann says that sometimes they would follow a target to his house to kill him, or ambush them on their bikes.
Their other duties in the Haarlem Resistance Group included 𠇋ringing Jewish [refugees] to a new hiding place, working in the emergency hospital in Enschede… [and] blowing up the railway line between Ijmuiden and Haarlem,” writes Jonker. In 1943, they joined forces with another young woman, Hannie Schaft.
A recent photo of Freddie Oversteegan. She died on September 5, 2018.
National Hannie Schaft Foundation
Hannie was a former university student who dropped out because she refused to sign a pledge of loyalty to Germany. Together, the three young women formed a sabotage and assassination cell. Hannie became their best friend, and the sisters were devastated when Nazis arrested and killed her in 1945, just three weeks before the war ended in Europe. According to lore, Hannie’s last words were, “I’m a better shot,” after initially only being wounded by her executioner.
After the war, the sisters dealt with the trauma of killing people and losing their best friend. Truus created sculptures, and later spoke and wrote about their time in the resistance. Freddie coped 𠇋y getting married and having babies,” as she told VICE Netherlands in 2016. But the experience of war still caused her insomnia. In another interview, Freddie recalled seeing a person she𠆝 shot fall to the ground and having the human impulse to want to help him.
“We did not feel it suited us,” Truss told Jonker of their assassinations. “It never suits anybody, unless they are real criminals.”
Both women died at age 92—Truus in 2016, and Freddie on September 5, 2018, one day before she turned 93. Throughout much of their long lives, the Netherlands failed to properly recognize the women’s achievements, and sidelined them as communists. In 2014, they finally received national recognition for their service to their country by receiving the Mobilisatie-Oorlogskruis, or “War Mobilization Cross.”
‘Howlin’ Mad’ WWII Marine General Goes to War with Army
O n the afternoon of June 24, 1944, a messenger from the Marines’ V Amphibious Corps headquarters entered the frontline command post of the Army’s 27th Infantry Division on Saipan and handed a message to Major General Ralph C. Smith. Smith read the message, pocketed it without comment, and returned to the task at hand—the battle raging just outside his tent. For several days, two of his regiments had conducted fruitless frontal assaults on Japanese positions along areas the soldiers had christened Purple Heart Ridge and Death Valley, with little to show for their efforts besides casualties. The delay was holding up the larger corps attack, a fact that had been pointed out to Smith—a tall, quiet man of 50 with the demeanor of the academic he later became—in a terse telegram from the corps commander earlier that day. To get his division moving again, Smith planned to halt the frontal attacks and start launching aggressive flanking actions the next morning.
He visited his forward positions and returned to his division headquarters to find Major General Sanderford Jarman waiting for him. Smith gave Jarman a detailed briefing of the current situation and went over his plans for the flanking attacks in minute detail. He then called his officers together and told them what he’d known since receiving the message earlier that afternoon: he had been relieved of command, and Jarman was taking over.
Smith and Jarman continued their conversation well into the night, breaking off only when a second message arrived ordering Smith to pack his personal belongings and be on a Hawaii-bound plane before daybreak. He left Saipan without being allowed to say goodbye to the officers and men he had led for over 18 months through three bloody battles.
During that time, Ralph Smith had had a strained relationship with the Marine V Corps’ commander, Lieutenant General Holland Smith. Almost from the beginning of their acquaintance, Holland Smith, a jowly bulldog of a man in his early 60s, was openly contemptuous of the abilities of the Army in general—and of the 27th Division and Ralph Smith in particular.
The tensions that erupted at Saipan didn’t originate there, but resulted from the opening of wounds the two services had barely patched over since World War I. Many Army officers, for example, still resented the Marines for receiving what seemed like an outsized share of praise after the 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood. As for the Marines, there was a perpetual—and well-founded—fear that the Army was scheming to absorb the Corps into its own structure.
Nonetheless, all involved assumed that Ralph Smith’s relief from duty would be accepted as little more than a routine wartime shuffling of commanders. After all, three other Army division commanders had been relieved in the Pacific Theater—two of them by naval commanders—without threatening service relations. Instead, Smith’s relief became the opening salvo of a battle that raged through the remainder of the war and beyond.
T he two men at the center of the controversy were a study in contrasts.
Lieutenant General Holland McTyeire Smith prided himself on his ability to relate to the common Marine. Despite a privileged upbringing in Alabama, he eschewed the trappings of rank, preferring to wear a combat uniform rather than dress whites.
As had been expected of him, Holland followed his father, a prominent lawyer, into law, joining his firm immediately after law school. But the venture was short-lived by his own admission he was a terrible lawyer and lost the few cases he handled. After a year he decided to follow his true love: the military, joining the Alabama National Guard, then winning a commission in the Marine Corps in 1904.
His Marine career took him all over the world. Although he was often under fire, it was as a staff officer, not as a commander—something that ate at him as the years passed. Along the way, Holland picked up the nickname “Howlin’ Mad” for his short temper, which exploded regularly, especially when he perceived any slight against “his” Marines.
Certainly his greatest strength—and weakness—was his complete inability to compromise where his Marines were concerned. While rank-and-file Marines appreciated his efforts, many of his contemporaries viewed his combativeness as misguided and counterproductive. But while some were surprised at his rise through the ranks, his superiors apparently were not among them. Holland was chosen as one of only six Marines to attend the Army Staff College, then the Naval War College, and finally became the first Marine on the Joint Army-Navy Planning Committee. By 1939 he was the Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps. But his most important contributions were yet to come.
In late 1939 he took command of the 1st Marine Brigade, which eventually became the 1st Marine Division, at Quantico, Virginia. Soon he would be given command of the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, followed by the Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet. Under his exacting eye, the Marines developed and perfected their amphibious doctrine—the Marines’ main raison d’être since the end of World War I. Not only was Holland instrumental in developing this doctrine and the supporting equipment, he personally oversaw the training of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Marine Divisions as well as the 1st, 7th, 9th, 77th, 81st, and 96th Army Divisions.
But he still lacked the thing he desired most: a combat command. He was devastated when command of the 1st Marine Division for the Guadalcanal Campaign, the first great offensive of the Pacific War, went to Major General Alexander Vandergrift. One after another he was passed over for command of each deploying combat division. He began to suspect that he had enemies in high places, but the simple matter was that Holland was almost 60 years old and division commands were going to younger men. Even when Admiral Ernest King placed him in command of the new V Amphibious Corps, the amphibious landing force in the Central Pacific, he continued to believe that the Army and Navy were conspiring to keep him and his Marines from their rightful share of glory.
Less is known about his antagonist, Ralph Smith, simply because he was not one to talk about himself. Unlike Holland Smith, Ralph was known for his calm demeanor. His operations officer once said of him, “I have never, ever seen him angry….As a matter of fact, I don’t recall the Old Man ever saying even a ‘god damn.’”
Ralph Smith’s quiet demeanor belied an adventurous life. He had been taught to fly by Orville Wright himself, and received the 13th pilot’s license ever issued. After a stint in the Colorado National Guard, Lieutenant Smith joined General John Pershing’s punitive expedition against Pancho Villa on the Mexican border and then served under Pershing again in World War I, where he received two silver stars for bravery and was wounded at the Battle of Meuse-Argonne.
Ralph Smith was also an intellectual. He spoke fluent French and was a graduate of the Sorbonne as well as the American War College and the French École de Guerre. In fact, a report he wrote on the École caught the attention of General George Marshall, who personally picked him to serve on the G-2 intelligence staff, where he assisted in the rapid expansion of intelligence services.
It would seem logical that an officer regarded as one of the foremost experts on France and the French military would get command of a division destined for the European Theater. Instead, the Army placed him in command of the 27th National Guard division, then in Hawaii—and directly on the path to controversy.
As the 27th began training for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands—the first leg of the island-hopping campaign through the Central Pacific, set for November 1943—Ralph became concerned about the competence of his subordinate commanders. On top of that, it quickly became apparent that months of manning defensive positions in Hawaii had dulled his division’s fighting edge. Fixing these problems proved a slow process. Many of the unit’s officers resented an outsider being given command of “their” division. Furthermore, it was Ralph’s practice to never dismiss subordinates without ample cause, feeling it was unfair to prejudge his officers without giving them a chance to prove themselves in combat. This trait was at the root of problems to come Ralph’s “extreme consideration for all other mortals,” as a lifelong friend observed, “would keep him from being rated among the great captains.”
T he two Smiths first encountered one another during the planning for the invasion of the Gilberts, soon after Ralph Smith took command. The 2nd Marine Division, under another General Smith—Major General Julian Smith—was to attack Tarawa, while the 27th Division’s 165th Regiment would attack the more lightly defended Makin Atoll, with both invasions scheduled to take place simultaneously on November 20, 1943. Holland Smith’s role was limited to training and administration despite the title of corps commander, he never actually commanded anything during the Gilbert operations. Instead, orders passed directly from Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner, the commander of the naval transport and support element of the operation, to the respective landing force commanders—Julian Smith and Ralph Smith.
To add to the perceived insult, since Holland Smith was not in the tactical chain of command, he was relegated to a ship off the coast of Makin. Left impotent while his beloved Marines were being slaughtered on Tarawa, and unable to strike at any of his superiors, he turned his frustration and anger on the 27th Division and Major General Ralph Smith.
Although it took the same amount of time to secure Makin as it did Tarawa—three days—in Holland’s mind, this was far too long for an island he considered barely defended. In fact, he later claimed, based on the Marine operations on Eniwetok, that the Army should have been able to secure the island in seven hours. It was a charge he would repeat throughout the war and beyond. While it was true that Makin was a much easier nut to crack than Tarawa, there were several important facts Holland failed to consider.
First, many of the Marines on Tarawa were Guadalcanal veterans, while the soldiers of the 165th were facing combat for the first time and thus naturally more cautious. Second, the number of enemy on Makin was far higher than the 250 Holland had assumed in fact, there were some 750. Additionally, Makin was covered in thick jungle, unlike the sparser terrain of Tarawa, making movement much slower.
Most significantly, Holland failed to take into account that the Army approach to warfare was very different from that of the Marines. Army ground forces were accustomed to much slower, deliberate operations utilizing all aspects of combined arms and avoiding frontal assaults. That made sense since the Army’s mission included lengthy ground campaigns. The Marines, on the other hand, were created as an assault force. Their mission was to land, smash the enemy’s defenses, and get out. The Marine theory was that a unit might take more casualties in the early stages of the fight, but by avoiding a protracted campaign, where the enemy might regroup and counterattack, losses could be contained to an acceptable level.
Neither approach was superior they just reflected different service cultures and the different circumstances under which the two forces were meant to be deployed. This tension had been reflected in Holland’s initial criticism of the Army’s plan, which he had derided as needlessly complicated. While the Marines planned to go straight across Tarawa’s beach into the enemy stronghold, the Army planned a two-pronged landing on Makin to pinch the enemy flanks.
Holland Smith vented to his staff and to reporters that the Army’s slowness had kept him from going to Tarawa—conveniently overlooking the fact that Admiral Turner had not given him permission to land there. Holland’s rage at the Army for its perceived missteps reached a boiling point the morning after the last day of the battle—November 24, 1943—when a Japanese submarine just off Makin sank the escort carrier Liscome Bay, killing more than 700 sailors. In his mind, the 27th had the sailors’ blood on their hands: if the division had moved more quickly, the Liscome Bay would have been long gone and safe. A more extreme example of the bitterness with which he had come to regard Ralph Smith’s unit came in an accusation he made shortly afterward to his staff: that the 165th allowed the body of its commander, Colonel Gardiner Conroy, to lie within view of the enemy for three days because the men were too scared to recover it. (He continued to perpetuate this story after the war, although the unit diary and an affidavit by the division chaplain clearly indicate that the body was recovered within an hour and buried within 24 hours.)
If ever there was a time for Ralph Smith to rise in a loud and vociferous defense of his men, this was it. But being disrespectful was not in his nature. Besides, as he later said, Holland’s rantings did not affect the mission, so he saw no need to respond in kind.
The undercurrent of interservice differences—and the fury they provoked in Holland—was mitigated somewhat during the operations in the Gilbert Islands, and the operations in the Marshalls that followed. In those campaigns, the Army and Marine Corps were deployed in parallel operations on separate islands, the battles were over in a matter of days, and Holland Smith did not have operational command after the landings. All that changed on Saipan.
O n Saipan, the size of both the island and the Japanese garrison meant that operations would last for weeks rather than days and involve several divisions. For that reason, Holland would land on the island and, for the first time, function as a true tactical commander. Saipan would also mark the first time since Guadalcanal that Army and Marine forces would conduct operations on the same terrain. This time, the 27th Division would be in reserve, with two Marine divisions (2nd and 4th) conducting the initial landings on June 15.
The 27th landed the next day, and immediately went into action, capturing the Aslito Airfield and joining an eastward sweep, with the 4th Marine Division in the north, the 27th in the center, and the 2nd Marine Division in the south. But as the advance moved steadily across to Nafutan Point, the 27th fell behind—the result of more difficult terrain, higher-than-anticipated enemy resistance, and an unwillingness to bypass enemy strongholds as the Marines did. This caused the line to bow into a U, forcing the Marines to wait until the Army caught up. Holland fumed about the Army’s slow pace, exclaiming to his staff, “The 27th won’t fight and Ralph Smith will not make them fight!”
Things came to a head starting on June 21, when Holland ordered Ralph Smith to leave a battalion to mop up the remaining Japanese at Nafutan Point, while using the rest of the division in a northward sweep. Holland did not specify where the battalion should come from, but because he and Ralph had previously discussed using the 105th Regimental Combat Team for mopping up operations, Ralph ordered its 2nd Battalion to undertake the mission, even though it was in the corps’ reserve and therefore under Holland Smith’s command. Then, as if to underscore the slow pace of the 27th, the unit was an hour late in launching an attack on June 23, which in turn kept the Marine units on either side from attacking on time.
Holland had had enough. He visited Admirals Turner and Raymond Spruance seeking permission to relieve Ralph Smith from command. Thinking a change of leadership would get the 27th Division moving again, Spruance approved the request.
At the time, no one was angrier about Ralph Smith getting sacked than Lieutenant General Robert Richardson, the commander of Army forces in the Pacific. Like Holland Smith, he was hyper-partisan, obsessed with ensuring the Army received its proper share of recognition in the Central Pacific. In fact, it was Richardson who campaigned vigorously against the Marines getting any command above division level early in the war. And it was Richardson who threw fuel on the fire of the Smith vs. Smith controversy.
On July 4, while Americans were still fighting on Saipan, Richardson convened a board of inquiry into Ralph Smith’s relief. The board was headed by Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, who limited testimony to only Army officers and official records. Unsurprisingly, the board found that although Holland had the authority to relieve Ralph Smith, the relief was not justified and should not adversely affect Ralph Smith’s career.
Then, a week after hostilities on Saipan ended, Richardson landed on Saipan and—without authority or permission—presented commendations to the 27th Division. This was a breathtaking breach of military etiquette. His actions were clearly designed to send a message to Holland about how the Army viewed the 27th’s performance. It was a blatant enough insult that Admirals Turner and Spruance both complained to Admiral Nimitz about Richardson’s actions.
None of this diminished the Army’s anger over Ralph Smith’s relief from duty. Service relations became so strained that several Army commanders (Ralph Smith’s replacements, Major Generals Sanderford Jarman and—after him—George Griner included) wrote letters to the Buckner Board stating that Army units should never serve under Holland Smith again. It was especially significant that Jarman, who initially agreed with Holland about the lack of aggressiveness in the 27th, soon believed that Holland was too prejudiced to make an impartial assessment of any Army unit.
Back in Washington, General George Marshall and Admiral Ernest King expressed concern that relations between the two services had deteriorated beyond normal rivalry. They decided not to take official action, hoping the controversy would die on its own.
It was left to the media to pick up the fight, which it did almost as soon as the battle on Saipan finished. On July 8, 1944, the San Francisco Examiner, a Hearst publication, castigated Holland Smith as a butcher who measured fighting spirit by casualty numbers. In response, Time and Life magazines—led by correspondent Robert Sherrod, who had landed with the Marines at Tarawa and Saipan (and later Iwo Jima)—took the Marines’ side. Sherrod claimed that the 27th had “frozen in their foxholes” and had to be rescued by the Marines. Moreover, he asserted that the final Japanese banzai attack on July 7, during which 3,000–4,000 Japanese had attacked two Army battalions, had only been stopped by a Marine artillery battalion.
But the reality was the battle had raged for a full day and, in the end, the 27th suffered more than 400 killed and 500 wounded against a confirmed 4,311 enemy dead. Only about 300 Japanese casualties were in the Marine sector.
When Admiral Nimitz, in response to his articles, recommended that Sherrod’s credentials as a war correspondent be revoked, Holland’s long friendship with the admiral began to crumble. Holland saw it as a personal betrayal and a rebuke of his actions—a belief reinforced when Nimitz marked Holland as only “fair” in the loyalty section of his fitness report. Perhaps most galling, when planning began for the landings at Okinawa, Tenth Army was given to the man who had exonerated Ralph Smith—Simon Bolivar Buckner—while Holland was moved out of the combat zone. Afterward, Holland blamed Marine casualties on poor Navy support and accused Nimitz of riding to fame on the shoulders of the Marines. The crowning insult—and a sure sign that Holland Smith was on the outs with those who counted most—came when Douglas MacArthur, with Nimitz’s consent, refused to invite Holland to witness the surrender of the Japanese—a surrender that was Holland’s victory as much as MacArthur’s.
S till, the conflict surrounding Ralph Smith’s relief from duty might have been relegated to the past more quickly if not for one man: Holland Smith.
Holland began his memoirs, Coral and Brass, in 1946—after he retired and received his fourth star—intending to settle scores. Published in 1949, the book took aim at everyone who had ever crossed him or his beloved Marines. His version of events was so twisted that after reviewing a draft of it, Marine Commandant Clifton Cates, Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, and Secretary of the Navy John Sullivan had urged him not to publish it. These men had just completed the acrimonious unification battle following the war, during which the Army had proposed curtailing or outright eliminating the Marine Corps. They had no desire to fire up a cooling controversy. Even Holland’s most vociferous defender, Robert Sherrod, had refused to coauthor the book, and attempted to get Holland to tone down some of his accusations and correct historical inaccuracies before publication.
The Army’s leadership was unsurprised by Holland’s version of events, but senior Navy officers felt betrayed, especially by Holland’s claims that he had fought against the Tarawa landings from the beginning, when, in fact, he not only helped plan the operation, but defended it as necessary at the time. They issued public statements denying his claims, without making any direct attacks on the man. In private letters, however, several admirals questioned Holland’s stability and his motives for publishing a book filled with such easily disproved fallacies. Admiral Harry Hill, who had worked closely with Holland on many landings, threatened to sue him if certain statements attributed to him were not removed from the book before it went to press. He also sent a note to Admiral Turner lamenting, “Poor old Holland…I hate to see him throw away what he gained in his whole career just for the sake of getting all of this off of his chest…he was a very bitter individual.” Ed Love, the 27th Division historian, took such offense to the book that he wrote a point-by-point rebuttal, published in the Saturday Evening Post and Infantry Journal.
The only person who refrained from commenting was Ralph Smith. Happily retired and settled into a second career in academe as a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, he never once publicly commented on Holland Smith or on being relieved of command. Even when Holland died in 1967, Ralph remained silent. It was not until 1986 that he agreed to speak to historian Harry Gailey—not to exonerate himself, but to defend the courage and competence of his soldiers.
Until his death in 1998 at the age of 104, Ralph remained the stoic he had always been, believing that his actions would speak for themselves. While some have admired his ability to remain above the fray, his silence allowed Holland’s version of events to stand unchallenged long enough to become accepted as the truth by many.
It is hard to imagine that an event that barely registers today as more than a footnote to the Pacific War actually dominated the news and threatened the success of operations at the time. But its influence went well beyond World War II. The incident continued to taint Army-Marine relations through Korea and even Vietnam, as the young men of World War II rose to command in their respective services. In both of these conflicts, the Army went to great lengths to avoid having Army soldiers serve under Marine commanders, and to prohibit Marines from commanding above division level. It was not until the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act mandated the creation of joint commands and doctrine, with leadership of the major commands now moving between the services, that interservice rivalries began to abate—assisted by the rise of a new set of senior commanders who had no vested interest in a dispute 40 years in the past. Further proof of the end of this controversy is the almost 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, during which combatants have served seamlessly under both Army and Marine commanders with few issues. More than 60 years later, this ghost of Saipan has finally been laid to rest.