Lieutenant-General Gerardus Johannes Berenschot
Lieutenant-General Gerardus J. Berenschot
Lieutenant-General Gerardus Johannes Berenschot was born on Sumatra in 1887 as son of a KNIL officer who had married an Indonesian woman.
As he was fifteen years old, he was sent to Holland a followed a course at the so-called "cadetschool" in Alkmaar.
It was an educationfacility and it's diploma gave access to the Royal
Military Academy. He passed the course and became the best of his year.
He was sent to Netherlands East Indies and received recommendations for
his service with the MPs (in Holland: Marechaussee) in Atjeh. He climbed ranks very quickly and passed a study at the High Military Academy (Hogere Krijgsschool).
He was attached to the same school as a teacher in the period 1925 -
1930 and became chief of staff of the KNIL in 1934, a position he held
until July 1939, when he became overall commander of the KNIL as successor of General Boerstra.
He was a good soldier both practical as theoretical and also had an eye for the more political side of the army
and he had a natural authority. Although he couldn't speak English, he
negotiated with the British after the occupation of Holland by Germany
(so called Singapore-conferences) and was also by the British and
Americans considered a good leader who would keep his head cool under
all circumstances. Unfortunately, when he returned from a meeting with
the overall commander of the RAF in the Far East (Air Marshal
Brooke-Popham) on October 13, 1941, his plane crashed in one of the
native suburbs of Batavia. All passengers and the crew died.
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Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942
Copyright © Klemen. L. 1999-2000
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