Revisiting The 1977 Dutch Train Hostage Crisis


It was just dawn on a pleasant spring morning. When dutch marine commandos crept up to a motionless train. The cars had been the home of fifty one hostages for the past twenty days self malone gunmen guarded their captives who they hope to use as political leverage. The terrorists demanded that their pacific island home formerly dutch colony and under indonesian rule be given independence while the marines began boarding the train. Five jet airplanes dropped smoke bombs from above a journalist with the associated. Press was reporting from about three quarters of a mile away from where the train was located. He described what he experienced. The ground is trembling. They're firing a lot of firing. Everybody reporters photographers police. Army men are ducking down behind armored personnel carriers later it was estimated that over fifteen thousand bullets had been discharged by the military at the train. One of the hostages ought to j. tweaked woke up two gunshots and tried to take cover tweaked described the ensuing chaos to the new york times. We heard machine guns then. A horrible noise. I thought they were burning their way into the train. With acetylene torches or flame throwers later. We realized that they were planes. Flying over at the same time. Additional marines driving a tank stormed a small village school twelve miles away. The terrorists were holding another four hostages there between them. The two parties of more than two thousand soldiers and law enforcement officers freed fifty five hostages. The fighting six of the terrorists and two of the hostages were shot and killed. Some citizens wondered if such a dramatic show of force had really been necessary to finish the standoff but prime minister yoked and oil defended the operation in a radio broadcast claiming the government didn't have any other choice.

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