Soldier of Orange
Soldier of Orange (original title: Soldaat van Oranje) is a 1977 Dutch war drama about a group of law students and how their lives are interrupted by the outbreak of WWII. Most choose to join the resistance forces against the Germans but some choose other sides. The main character Erik escapes from occupied Holland with his friend Guus and makes several covert missions to Holland before becoming a bomber pilot and eventually the Dutch Queen’s Personal Assistant at the end of the war. ‘Orange’ in the title refers to the official name of the Dutch Royal House; ‘House of Orange’.
The story is based on the life of Dutch wartime RAF-pilot, spy and writer Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema who fled occupied Holland after the German invasion to become a decorated war hero. This autobiographical movie came out in the Netherlands in 1977 and received a Golden Globe Award nomination in 1980 for 'Best Foreign Movie'. Later on it was shown on Dutch national television as a 4-part series under the name “Voor Koningin en Vaderland” (“For Queen and Country”) containing bonus scenes not shown in the original movie.
The movie is interesting in a sense that it meant the start of an international career for a number of widely acclaimed Dutch movie personalities. The main character Erik Lanshof is played by Rutger Hauer and his close friend Guus LeJeune is played by Jeroen Krabbé. The director, Paul Verhoeven, would go on to make such classics as Starship Troopers, Total Recall and RoboCop.
The following weapons were used in the film Soldier of Orange:
FN Model 1905
Erik (Rutger Hauer) carries a FN Model 1905 during a mission in London when he confronts a supposed collaborator. It's seen only briefly and could also be the original model Colt M1908 Vest Pocket. However, it's more probably the FN due to the fact that the movie was shot in Europe and here it would be more likely to see the FN than the Colt.
Colt Official Police
After downing more than a few pints, Guus (Jeroen Krabbé) comes home late to his London apartment and fires his Colt Official Police at the mirror on his bedroom door only to realize a second later he’s been shooting at his own mirror image.
FN Model 1922
Dutch army and police officers are accurately portrayed with the FN Model 1922 which was the standard handgun at the time.
Webley Mk IV
A Webley Mk IV is used in several scenes by members of the Dutch resistance forces. These revolvers were probably supplied to them from England by way of covert air-drops.
Robby Froost (Eddy Habbema) pulls a Leuchtpistole from his tuxedo to shoot a flare and betray their position to German troops when his double-play with the Gestapo is exposed. Not a gun one would expect to be carried discreetly under a tuxedo…
Hembrug M95 No.1 Carbine
Most Dutch troops are equipped with the Hembrug M95 No.1 carbine.
Hembrug M95 No.3 Carbine
Some Dutch troops are seen using the Hembrug M95 No.3 carbine in the first hours of the invasion.
Hembrug M95 rifle
The Hembrug M95 rifle, a rifle version of the above described Dutch carbines is also seen used in several scenes.
Most German soldiers in occupied Holland are seen with the Karabiner 98k as their primary weapon.
Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I
The Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I is the rifle most commonly carried by Allied forces, especially Dutch forces who are being trained in England for the invasion of mainland Europe.
Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III
In one scene soldiers of a Dutch army unit are seen training to be put into action against the Germans. Most of them are carrying the Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I (see above), but one is carrying the predecessor model Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III, recognizable by the more stubby front.
In footage from a German propaganda movie, a Russian Tokarev SVT-40 rifle is seen used by German troops on the Eastern front. The rifle has probably been captured due to Germany not having a semi-automatic rifle in their arsenal in the early days of the invasion of Russia. It seems odd that this particular shot has gone unnoticed by German censors at the time…
Many German soldiers can be seen with the MP40 submachine gun in scenes that take place in occupied Holland.
Sten Mk II
The Sten Mk II is used prominently in many scenes in the movie. During WWII, the weapon was being supplied to resistance forces in great numbers and due to it’s simplicity, the weapon could be easily taken-down and/or repaired by untrained users.
A Browning M1917 can be seen outside Dutch army barracks during the May 1940 German invasion. It would have been more correct to see either a Schwarzlose or Lewis machine gun as the Browning M1917 has never seen official use in Dutch service.
A fast patrol boat returning from a mission is equipped with a dual-mounted Lewis Gun on the bow.
In several scenes, the MG34 can be seen (but never fired) in the hands of German soldiers and Dutch SS troops.
Oerlikon 20mm cannon
In a number of scenes the Oerlikon 20mm anti-aircraft canon can be clearly identified, most notably by the cylindrical drum on top of the receiver and the typical round shoulder rests. It is seen both with and without a protective shield.
Bofors 40mm cannon
A Bofors 40mm cannon is seen through the telelens of Guus' camera as he spies on German fortifications along the Dutch coast. The cannon appears to have been put here just for visual purpose as it’s been placed virtually on the beach, in full view and without any cover or protection. It is not completely impossible that the Germans would have such a weapon, since it appears to be a British mounting and many such weapons were abandoned in France following the British evacuation from Dunkirk. The Germans also captured enough of these guns in Norway for the Kriegsmarine to use them on ships.
German paratroopers can be seen with Model 24 Stielhandgranates in their belts as they take a break during the May 1940 German invasion of the Netherlands.
RGD-33 stick grenade
Alex finds his volunteer service with the Dutch SS forces on the Eastern front coming to an abrupt (and rather unheroic…) end when a Russian partisan drops a RGD-33 stick grenade in his unit’s lavatory at the very moment he’s using the facility.
An unidentified piece of field artillery can be seen at the airfield from which Erik and Will Dostgaarde (Peter Faber) are taking off on their first bombing raid. Again probably just a prop to make the airfield look more war-like as crew and ammunition are missing. It may be a British 25-pounder field gun.
Leopard I Tank
A Leopard I tank with added side armour plates is standing in for a German ‘Panzer’ (probably a Panther, by the look of it) during the Eastern Front scenes. This is presumably property of the Royal Netherlands Army, which also lent its Leopards to be disguised as German Panzers in A Bridge Too Far.