Landzaat, Willem Pieter.

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Landzaat, Willem Pieter, born 07-04-1886 in Leiden, chose the occupational profession and would be admitted to the Royal Military Academy , KMA  in Breda, in 1905. He was sworn to the second infantry lieutenant in September 1909. Four years later he was promoted to first lieutenant. This grade he would have fourteen years before being promoted to Captain on 01-05-1927. Ten years later, on 01-02-1937, he was promoted to Major.
The Major Landzaat did not have a Higher Military School, which probably led him to expect a maximum of one promotion after reaching the major event.

On 10-05-1940, the Germans entered the Netherlands. Our country was not upset by the force of power to German soldiers. Also, Major Landzaat, who, as Commander First Battalion 8th Infantry Regiment , had the task of defending the Grebbeberg (a 52m high hill in Grebbelinie) faced a big force. 

Landzaat directed his command post south of the Ouwehands Zoo, in a pavilion in which a restaurant was located. He proved extremely active and fearless. Landzaat appeared several times in the trenches to put his units under the belt, but pressed them on the same heart that one had to “keep up with the statements”.   Standing was the devils. On May 13, his command post was surrounded and attacked. After May 12th, the command had given “hold behind the debris”, Landzaat suggested that he defend the Grebbeberg to the last man and the last bullet.

Death and burial ground of Landzaat, Willem Pieter.

   Landzaat was married with Wilhelmina Gerharda Van den Nieuwenhuizen  and their son Wilhelm Gerhard Landzaat , meanwhile a captain, became the adjutant of the Dutch Prins Bernhard. 

Willem Pieter, personally organized the defense of his post and servant himself the track carrier set up there. When the ammunition was on, he thanked his men for their commitment with the words “you have fought like heroes, my thanks,” and gave their permission to leave the post. He himself remained behind to hold the last moment. On 13 May the pavilion fled and collapsed. It is suspected that Landzaat came to life. After happy counter fighting the Germans realized that the resistance at the pavilion was not temporary but was persistently maintained. They carried lightly on and placed heavy carriers. With these means, the light building was soon tested. The defenders also made feathers. More and more of them became injured or injured . Meanwhile, the ammunition stock became smaller. A number of defenders were already sent away or left. Only a few left. When the last ammunition came on, Landzaat thanked his last faithful for the effort with the words “You have fought like heroes, my thanks”, and sought their permission to reach their own lines again. He himself remained, possibly with one other military. He would consciously sacrifice himself with a gun in both hands. The exact circumstances of his death are unclear. 

After the battle, his remains were taken from the ruined and burned pavilion. His remains were identified by his wedding ring, which his widow himself found in the debris

and he was buried on the military legacy on the Grebbeberg. .See also Johan Jacometti, Johan Meijer and Jan Ackermans.

On May 09-05-1946, he was appointed posthumously to Ridder 4th grade in the Military Willems Order. Landzaat has also been awarded with the Officers Cross.

During the battle around the Grebbeberg – including the fighting at Achterberg – 424 Dutch soldiers were killed. One man died on May 18 when cleaning a mining field for the Germans. Those 425 men killed were one fifth of all Dutch military victims during the weekdays (about 2,300 men). If one considers that that toll was demanded in a battlefield that does not mature more than about two by three kilometers, then the magnitude of that loss is probably made sufficiently clear.
On the German side there were 165 men  who could certainly be related to the Battle of the Grebbeberg.

   

 

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