HNLMS Johan Maurits van Nassau in the Doove Balg on 14 May 1940

By Peter Sterkenburg

Hostilities in the Netherlands in May 1940, with an emphasis on the improvised cooperation between the Royal Netherlands Navy and Army. The image depicts the moment that the ship attacks the German positions on the Frisian side at the head of the ‘Afsluitdijk’ of the Ijsselmeer (Zuider Zee), thus preventing a renewed attack on the Kornwerderzand Defense Line. Later that day, the ship was sunk by German dive bombers on its way to a safe English port.

The painting was unveiled at the Royal Netherlands Naval College (Koninklijk Instituut voor de Marine) on 14 May 1998 by Vice Admiral Reeser and the then CZMNED (Commandant Zeemacht Nederland – Flag Officer Commanding Naval Forces in the Netherlands) Vice Admiral Drs. G.G. Hooft followed by an impressive memorial ceremony at the rear gun of the ship in the presence of a large number of veterans, a guard of honour of the Corps of Midshipmen (Korps Adelborsten), as well as the Drums and Flutes (Tamboers & Pijpers) of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps.

Limited Edition: 125


The CZMNED, Vice Admiral Drs. G.G. Hooft, unveiling the painting

Maritime-heritage-paintings-art-06-HNLMS Johan Maurits van Nassau

Commodore F.M.P. ’t Hart, then Commanding Officer of the Royal Netherlands Naval College, during his address in front of the recovered gun of HNLMS Johan Maurits van Nassau.

The 10 signatories are:
Royal Netherlands Navy
  • Lieutenant W. Boelhouwer
  • Lieutenant R. Kooistra
  • Lieutenant J. Leewering
  • Vice Admiral L.E.H. Reeser BK
  • Commodore C.E. Wolderling OON BK3
Royal Netherlands Marine Corps
  • Major L.L. Verdonck 
Royal Netherlands Army
  • J. P. Boontjes, former Private RNL Army
  • J. van Dokkum, former Private RNL Army
  • Major-General Drs. B. E.J. Myjer OON RNL Army – Pioneer Corp
  • W.D. Ootjers, former Private RNL Army

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