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Dutch remember noted dates with military history

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

POEDEROOYEN / ROOSENDAAL The Netherlands, some commentators argue, does not have a strong military tradition. The Dutch definitely are not militaristic but they do observe events with a military connection. The surrender of Nazi Germany on May 5 1945 is one, the end of the four-month siege of Leyden on October 3, 1574 is another. This turning point in a struggle for freedom continues to be remembered with white buns and herring, the food served to a starving population. The capture of Brielle on April 1, 1572 is another important anniversary. There are other dates with local or national significance as well. Every year, the Dutch Napoleon society re-enacts a Napoleonic battle near historic Castle Loevestein. This year also marks the 65th anniversary of the Korps Commandotroepen of the Royal Dutch Army. The original members who passed their rigid training in Scotland in 1942, had been selected from the Prinses Irene Brigade, a military unit formed in exile in 1942 by volunteers and conscripts of Dutch citizens living abroad when the Nazis conquered the Netherlands in 1940.