Gerardus Johannes Berenschot

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Gerardus Johannes Berenschot
Berenschot, G.J..jpg
General Gerardus Johannes Berenschot
Born 24 July 1887
Died 13 October 1941 (1941-10-14) (aged 54)
Batavia (Jakarta)
Allegiance Netherlands Netherlands
Service/branch Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL)
Rank Lt General, Commander of the KNIL
Commands held Aceh War (1910-1915)
Other work Professor at the Military Academy (1925-1930)

Lieutenant General Gerardus Johannes Berenschot (Solok, July 24, 1887 – Kemayoran, Batavia (Jakarta), October 13, 1941) was Commander-in-Chief of the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army; KNIL). An Indo – as Eurasians of Indonesian and Dutch descent – Berenschot was the son of a Dutch officer in the KNIL.

G. J. Berenschot was the son of Gerrit Hendrik Berenschot and Florence Mildred Rappa. At the age of 15, he was sent to the Netherlands, where he attended cadet school at Alkmaar. He later entered the Royal Military College, from which he graduated first in his class. He was the only commander of Indonesian descent (Indo) in the Dutch East Indies.

Upon graduation, he returned to his native East Indies where he distinguished himself as a young subaltern serving in the KNIL during the bloody campaigns in Aceh.

In 1934 he became the KNIL's Chief of the General Staff and, in July 1939, was promoted to Commander-in-Chief.

Berenschot was regarded as a gifted officer with organisational skills and possibly the best Commander-in-Chief the KNIL ever had.[citation needed] Not only was he a skilled soldier, Berenschot also displayed an impressive understanding of politics and diplomacy.[citation needed] Following the fall of the Netherlands in 1940, Berenschot participated in conferences involving Allied leaders at Singapore, where he was well liked and well regarded by his British and US counterparts.[citation needed]

On October 13, 1941, the plane carrying Bereschot back from a conference with British Air Chief Marshal Robert Brooke-Popham crashed in the suburbs of Batavia. There were no survivors. By order of the colonial authorities, all flags on public buildings were hung at half-mast. Berenschot's remains were buried in the cemetery at Bandung.

Bereschot's post of Commander-in-Chief of the KNIL was given to Lieutenant General Hein ter Poorten, who had the difficult task of preparing the East Indies for the looming war with Japan.

Funeral of Berenschot in Bandung, 1941.

Berenschot was married and with three children. His brother was Berend Willem Berenschot.

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