Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, relations between Mexico and Nieuw Nederland had deteriorated, it started out small with the Dutch descendants living in the northern parts of Mexico made it clear they wanted to become independent, which NNL began to support first covert but more and more overt. This led to more and more tension between the nations as they both started to work against one another in international politics. It went on for some years but it all came to a boiling point when in 1998 in Northern Mexico after a battle between Government and separatist forces, government forces found large caches of NNL supplied weapons. This led to a series of events which resulted in the NNL openly supporting the separatists in northern Mexico and even deploying military units to the area by 2002, in what was known as the Mexican expedition of 2002 or operation Oranje Leeu as it is known to the Amerikaners. While others call it the 2nd Amerikaner-Mexican war.
The American West Coast has always been a contentious region since the 18th century. The region had been claimed by Spain since the 18th century. However, a Dutch population started to form when flocks of Dutch settlers, called the Voortrekkers, migrated to the region in the early 19th century. By 1830, five independent Voortrekker Republics had been founded. Yet these republics were short-lived, as they were officially integrated into New Spain by 1850 (and soon the Mexican Empire by 1881) as a single autonomous region. Perhaps ironically (given the historic rivalry between the Dutch and the Spanish), a unique "Dutch-Hispanic" culture had developed in the region since then.
In the 1890s, hostilities flared-up when the fledgling Mexican Empire attempted to diminish the region's autonomy, which became the cause of the First Boer War (also known as First Dutch-Mexican War). The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Williamsburg in 1903. In the war's aftermath, two of the five original Voortrekker Republics became a unified state: the Amerikaanse Free State (Amerikaense Vrÿstaet); the other three republics (New Orange, Gouldlandt, and Voorlandt) remained under Mexican control but continued to be self-governing regions.
Separatism in the 20th Century and ‘Boer Unification’ Movement
As early as the 1920s, the subject of ‘Boer Unification’ was already prevalent in both the Amerikaanse Free State and in Oranje-Goudlandt, as well as in New Netherland and Tussenland. However, this discussion was mostly limited only to academic circles. It was not until in the 1960s that this ideology would enter the public consciousness, thanks to prominent authors such as Heynrick Coonsz. In 1965, Coonsz founded the Eenheydspartÿ (Unity Party, abbr. EP) in the Amerikaanse Free State. This party was shortly popular within the Amerikaanse Free State (and to an extent, in Oranje-Goudlandt) but eventually lost the public interest soon after Coonsz died two years later, in 1967. The party was dissolved in 1969.
In 1971, a new branch of the Eenheydspartÿ was formed within Oranje-Goudlandt, known as De Eenheydspartÿ van Oranje-Goudlandt (EPvOG). It was founded by Luytgen van Huysum, a local politician who followed and subscribed to the ideas of Coonsz. The EPvOG had more success in gaining popularity, especially in the Free State, due to van Huysum’s populist rhetorics. Several EPvOG members ran for local congress positions in the upcoming October 1975 Oranje-Goudlandt elections. However, three months before the elections, the General Congress of Mexico had declared the EPvOG as a 'rogue' party and had banned EPvOG members from holding any position in the local Oranje-Goudlandt congress. This had sparked outrage in the autonomous region, citing that Mexico had no right to interfere with their local politics.
Mexican-Amerikaner Relations Prior to the Conflict
The relations between Mexico and what is often called the Amerikaner sphere or Dutch America have always been a curious case. While more often not relations have been peaceful and trade quite common and even the norm, the underlying views of each other has been less than positive. In recent times ever since the founding of the Association of North American Nations where Nieuw Nederland and Mexico are the largest powers this contempt for one another has become more and more apparent. Many Mexicans view the organization as a way for Nieuw Nederland to dominate America. This view became a reality in the eyes of many Mexicans and overtime as politicians in Mexico where elected more often than not partly on their views of Nieuw Nederland and the ANAN which was predominantly made up of Dutch nations under NNL influence, this only worsened the relationship between the nations and created a self-feeding cycle. When it was discovered in the early 1990s that the NNL had been funding the Dutch rebels up in the north of the country the relationship was deemed from the Mexican side to be damaged even further and with the almost non-reaction of the ANAN Mexico saw its relationship with NNL and the Dutch nations in America to be damaged to a point of no repair. This relationship of resentment was, however, one-sided with Mexico due to the so-called Boers in the north of the country having a far more negative view of the Amerikaners then the Amerikaners had of Mexico, as a matter of fact, the Amerikaners were mostly indifferent.
‘Boer Separatism’ in the 20th century
As early as the 1920s, the subject of ‘Boer Unification’ was already prevalent in both the Amerikaanse Free State and in Oranje-Goudlandt, as well as in New Netherland and Tussenland. However, this discussion was mostly limited only to academic circles. It was not until in the 1960s that this ideology would enter the public consciousness, thanks to prominent authors such as Heynrick Coonsz.
The Unity Party of Oranje-Goudlandt
In 1965, Coonsz founded the Eenheydspartÿ (Unity Party, abbr. EP) in the Amerikaanse Free State. This party was shortly popular within the Amerikaanse Free State (and to an extent, in Oranje-Goudlandt) but eventually lost the public interest soon after Coonsz died two years later, in 1967. The party was dissolved in 1969.
In 1971, a new branch of the Eenheydspartÿ was formed within Oranje-Goudlandt, known as De Eenheydspartÿ van Oranje-Goudlandt (EPvOG). It was founded by Luytgen van Huysum, a local politician who followed and subscribed to the ideas of Coonsz. The EPvOG had more success in gaining popularity, especially in the Free State, due to van Huysum’s populist rhetoric. Several EPvOG members were able to win seats in the Oranje-Goudlandt congress following the 1975 local elections, and eventually became the ruling party in Oranje-Goudlandt.
1978 EPvOG split, and the Amerikaanse Liberation Front
Over the early 1970s, there had been an internal divide in the EPvOG. One side advocated for a diplomatic resolution to the ‘Amerikaanse Unity’ question. This camp had included the founder of the EPvOG himself, Luytgen van Huysum. Van Huysum believed that military action will only make the EPvOG lose legitimacy in the eyes of Mexico and the international stage, diminishing the chances for eventual Amerikaanse Unity. The other camp, meanwhile, advocated for military action to resolve the issue, and had included the prominent figure Pieter Louysz. The divide came to a head in 1978 when Louys formed the Amerikaanse Liberation Front (ALF). Louys intended this group to be a paramilitary force which he called the ‘vanguards of Amerikaanse Unity.’ Because of this, Louys became a pariah within the EPvOG and was soon stripped of his membership to the party.
Violent ALF operations in the 1980s
Louysz determined that action was needed to pressure the ruling EPvOG party to declare the independence of Oranje-Goudlandt. Throughout the 1980s, the ALF would perpetrate several attacks against public institutions of Oranje-Goudlandt. In the year of 1985 alone, 132 bombings were committed or claimed by the ALF, killing 97 people. The ANAN had issued travel notices to North American countries and discouraged any form of travel to the region. One notable incident was the bombing of the Oranje-Goudlandt congress and the nearby office of the Mexican constabulary. It was a failed attempt to assassinate EPvOG chairman Luytgen van Huysum. In 1986, the congress had banned public gatherings and had cancelled the upcoming celebration of the 83rd Peace Day Anniversary, a local holiday commemorating the end of the 1st Boer War in 1903.
Meanwhile, Mexico had deployed more personnel of the Mexican Constabulary to help restore order in Oranje-Goudlandt, a move welcomed by the EPvOG and upsetted the ALF. This had ushered in a period of relative peace up until the early 1990s. In a premature proclamation of victory, Van Huysum declared the ALF to be extinguished.
Discovery of New Netherland’s involvement
During a probe by Mexican and Oranje-Goudlandt authorities in 1991, it was discovered that New Netherland may have had some involvement in the violence. An unnamed informer had provided Mexico information about New Netherland’s financial support to the ALF. During the 1991 ANAN Summit, Mexico had brought the matter to the ANAN’s attention, denouncing New Netherland. However, New Netherland’s raadspensionaris (prime minister), Mees Matthÿssen, had denied Mexico’s claims. This point marked the start of the souring of Mexican-NNL relations in the modern-day. Mexico filed a case against New Netherland in the ANAN arbitration court. New Netherland initially declined to be examined, but agreed to conduct investigations regarding the matter. In February of 1992, the ANAN court dropped the case due to a lack of evidence.
The Coup of 1994 and the Siege of Goudlandt and Eyheydswÿck
During this time, it was assumed that the ALF had already collapsed. However, that was not the case. On March 12, 1994, a coup had broken the 7-year period of peace in Oranje-Goudlandt. An estimated numbe r s On 6:03 AM, ALF forces had barged in the Congress building in Goudhaven (capital of Oranje-Goudlandt) and the Communications office nearby. Simultaneously, the Constabulary building and city hall of Eeyheydswÿck had been occupied by ALF forces.
The NNL Intervention
With the discovery of direct aid NNL to the northern rebels had been discovered, finding out that not only was NNL supplying weapons but also more advanced weapon systems, uniforms and medical supplies, the Mexican goverment was quick to act and expelled the Amerikaner ambassador from the nation, in return, the Mexican ambassador was expelled from Nieuw Amsterdam in early 2000 removing any direct lines of communication between both nations on the other side of the continent.
This was in the eyes of later historians the last straw and from February 2000 onwards there was no going back for both sides. The Mexicans had solid proof of NNL supplying the rebels in the northern parts of their country, combined with the already tense relationship and the battle for influence on the continent made it almost inevitable. An aspect of the road to the conflict was that Mexico managed to get closer with various non-Dutch nations on the continent which gave their support for the nation and condemned Nieuw Nederland for their actions in the northern parts of Mexico, however, with NNL her economic dominance made it just that words and no actions. This had the result that politicians in NNL felt threatened and the people of NNL feared a possible attack from new France which made the military able to play its cards just right and got the go-ahead for preparing an actual offensive operation against Mexico.
In the international arena, both nations kept condemning one another through 2000, 2001 and early 2002. Mexico showed its evidence and images and even footage of Amerikaner mercenaries fighting with the rebels in the north being equipped with advanced NNL made weapons. While NNL called Mexico out for its oppression of its people in the northern parts of its nation, this went on and on through the years. While this was going on the Military of NNL was rapidly preparing for Operation Oranje Leeu
In preparing for the operation the military leadership of NNL quickly realized 3 problems, distance, manpower and combat spectrum that would be applied. Thus high command quickly began to solve the issues in various manners.
The first problem distance was an issue that had to be solved using politics, already NNL posed various bases within Tussenland and those bases while being considered important were not designed for the purpose of being launching points for invasions. Thus leases where obtained money was paid and the bases where expanded at the same time as more and more forces landed in the bases. In total in the period between 2001 and late 2002 some 4 Divisions worth of manpower and 3 air wings were relocated to the various bases in Tussenland to prepare for the launch of the operation. While the military wanted to keep the movement secret the government made it quite public hoping that it would make the Mexicans back down, however, the Mexicans maintained the moral high ground as they pointed out NNL was clearly planning to attack them.
The second problem was manpower more importantly how would they relocate the necessary manpower, while maintaining the ability to defend NNL proper and her allies. Knowing that they would have to take their time it was decided to use the national service force to find the volunteers combined with the regular army to relocate towards Tussenland. Volunteers were quickly found and the complicated logistical feat of moving 4 divisions, some 75.000 soldiers, their equipment, armored vehicles, supplies, spare parts medicines and munitions to the staging grounds. This began a year-long operation that saw large movements made by trains, aircraft and trucks moving from NNL towards the bases to prepare for operations. It was thus not uncommon for people in Tussenland to see large military convoys consisting of armored vehicles sometimes tanks travelling through their nation on trains while seeing large troop convoys moving through the country. This was seen by the Mexicans who were building up their military forces as well, things came to a head when the ground forces were moving towards their attack positions for the invasion some 15 days prior to the start of the operation. This saw a heavy buildup by the Mexican military in the area that would result in some of the heaviest fighting's of the operation.
While at the time it was considered quite the feat, the way NNL her military prepared for the attack. Later studies after the conflict would show the amount of luck it had in preparing as at the time the Mexican military was going through its own reorganization making its response capabilities limited. It was thus as with most military operations a combination of skill, timing and luck that made the preparations such a success. It would be the skill and determination of NNL that would define the character of her involvment into the Boer crisis.
The opening blows
The first offensive combat operation that was taken by NNL against Mexico in direct support of the Rebels in the north of the country in what later would become the Republic of Voorlandt. The offensive operation which was called Boslooper I or as it came to be called later on by those in Voorlandt as the Voorlandt campaign. It focused on securing the cities of Hoogskill, Eenheydswyck and Heerenwyck. Those cities were firmly held by the Mexican forces who in response to the NNL buildup near the border had countered by increasing the defensive forces around the various cities with a mobile force called the 17th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Brigadier General Miguel Ángel Cortés kept in reserve to respond to any breach in the defensive lines by NNL. A problem for the Mexican general was that Heerenwyck was just a stone throw away from the northern Tussenland border where NNL had amassed its forces. He knew one thing that the assault would come from the North and thus the defences where faced north, these defences, in general, were well made it was the city of Eynheydswyck with hindsight had the best defences, partly due to its terrain and partly due to the strategic importance as it had several supply depots and was one of the main communication points for encrypted communication. The cost to take that city was to be a high one.
Amerikaner forces crossed the border from Tussenland into what was then Mexico on the 9th of February at 06:12. The attacking force was divided into three main columns that consisted of the 4e Divisie and the 18de Divisie and in total had some 23.000 men that had been divided into three so-called Krijgs-Groepen or combat groups These were named after their commanders. These forces would head towards their targets and secure them as quickly as possible, speed was of importance as while the NNL air force had been able to create local air superiority, the Mexican air force regionally still held at least 2 squadrons in tactical reserve which could act as ground-attack bombers according to Army intelligence. Thus the goal as it was put by Lieutenant-General Gert-Jan Vosburch in a memo to the Krijgs-Groep commanders “Don’t waste time and destroy the enemy as quickly as possible”
These Krijgs-Groepen or KG were called; KG J. Tymmerman who had the largest force and had the objective of securing Hoogskill and then move to secure Maertslandt and prevent a Mexican counter-attack in the area. KG W. Harmen had the objective to secure the cities of Eynheydswyck then continue to move south take Santa Maria and then move west to secure the lake from a counter-attack. KG B. Greveling was a force that had a single objective, deal with the Mobile Mexican force that in terms of firepower was the most dangerous of all Mexican units in the area. Intelligence gathered by the Insurgents in the area also pointed out that Brigadier General Miguel Ángel Cortés was one of the more skilled leaders of the Mexican army. Thus, KG B. Greveling, his group had the most armour and was geared fully for a mobile set of battles.