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Dutch Army in La Courtine
by RobertArthur • Sun 20 Oct 2019 21:07

La Courtine, a military training ground for the Dutch army (1959-1964)

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RobertArthur
308
Mar 2009
Re: Show us your Old Images of Creuse
by RobertArthur • Mon 21 Oct 2019 19:49

La Courtine today. C'était la belle époque: chaque soir à partir de sept heures jusqu'à minuit beaucoup de soldats dans les rues, coca cola, ice creams, bière, frites, 500 à 1000 cornets de frites, avec ou sans mayonaise, mille kilo de pommes de terre etc. Ils achetaient beaucoup des appareils électriques de Moulinex. Jamais vu une ambiance si sympathique. How many Dutch soldiers each year? About 60,000. Pouvoir d'achat: le soldat français touchait 60 centimes par jour, le soldat Néerlandais 8 à 9 francs. Business as usual? No, many of those once popular shops and bars have closed down.

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RobertArthur
308
Mar 2009
Re: Dutch Army in La Courtine
by Dave • Tue 22 Oct 2019 15:22

I thought this was worthy of it's own topic so I split it out. Interesting stuff. I've visited La Courtine a few times over the years as there is some good off road driving nearby and also there was a really nice restaurant on the way into town from Felletin (but it's been a while so I don't know if it is still there). The town has always seemed a bit bare and this explains it.

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Dave
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Aug 2004
Re: Dutch Army in La Courtine
by RobertArthur • Tue 22 Oct 2019 18:01

Off road driving around La Courtine in the early sixties, 55 tons of British steel, Centurion tanks in action:

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In the air a Hiller helicopter:

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RobertArthur
308
Mar 2009
Re: Dutch Army in La Courtine
by RobertArthur • Tue 22 Oct 2019 18:58

And why to La Courtine, three days in almost open army trucks (made by DAF) to get there, maximum speed about 40 km? Okay, for many of these guys it was their first trip outside The Netherlands, adventure, seeing things you don't see at home. Volunteers? No, military service, conscription.

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The Dutch army used to go to Sennelager in Germany, near Paderborn where the British Army had it's training facilities. In 1958 the new West-German army claimed the Sennelager military training area, so where to go? Paris was so kind as to propose La Courtine, for a small price. One problem: too many soldiers and equipment far away from a possible future battle field in Germany. Cold war going on: in August 1961 the Berlin wall, October 1962 the Cuba crisis. And then the landlord in Paris wanted to see much more money. The end of the golden days of La Courtine, the Dutch army left in 1964, new facilities in Germany. La Courtine is also today a French military training ground.

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RobertArthur
308
Mar 2009
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