Operation Amherst



During the night of Saturday 7 to Sunday 8 April 1945 the last parachutist operation in The Netherlands started over the (eastern) province of Drenthe. The dropping of 702 French (SAS) paratroopers intended to support the further advances of the Second Canadian Army Corps.

Because Operation Amherst is unknown to many people and because there are only rather a few write ups about this modest allied operation, the author strives with this contribution to save the French paras and their fighting from oblivion. As a guidance the book Amherst, les parachutists de la France libre, 3e et 4e SAS Hollande 1945. [ Amherst, the French paratroopers of the Free French Forces, the 3rd and 4th SAS - The Netherlands 1945] edited in 1998 by the French (former) Colonel Roger Flamand, has been used which has been translated into Dutch by the author of this article, Jaap Jansen, (former) Lieutenant Colonel of the Infantry in The Netherlands.

Roger Flamand, in those days soldier-volunteer participant to ďAmherstĒ was allowed, many years after the end of the war as a Colonel, access to some British (SAS) archives that were secret up till then. The gathered information, as well as the many battle reports of the at that time (sub) commanders, and a number of statements of eyewitnesses, all together are the most important sources for his book.


Foot soldiers of a given army.
Airborne Division. Military specialized in parachute landings.

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French soldiers with Dutch girls at the cross roads at the bridge across the stream De Reest.


Translated by:
Fred Bolle
Article by:
Jaap Jansen
Published on:
Last edit on:
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