Admiral J.Th. Furstner, RNN
Admiral Johannes Theodorus FurstnerBorn Amsterdam January 16, 1887 - Died The Hague September 15, 1970
Furstner would become the central figure in the Royal Netherlands Navy both in the late 1930s as during the Second World War. He attended the Higher Military School during 1919-1924, and immediately became a teacher at the newly erected Netherlands Naval War College. During 1927/1928, he attended the French École de Guerre Navale in Paris where he came under the influence of the famous maritime theorist Raoul Castrex, whose thinking was based on the theories of Mahan. This included how to successfully attack a more potent enemy with a small force, which was exactly the position the RNN was in at the time. Furstner's appointment as Director of the High Naval Academy allowed him to spread his views among the officers attending this school between 1930 and 1936. After becoming Chief of the Naval Staff in 1936, he was the principal figure in Dutch prewar planning and operations. The plan to construct three battlecruisers was sparked by a note he submitted in December 1938.
After Germany invaded and subdued Holland in a mere four-day struggle, Furstner managed to escape Holland by fishing boat. After arriving in London, he organized the remnants of the Dutch fleet. In doing this, his focus was on the loyal cooperation with the British Royal Navy in the fight against Germany. He became Minister of Navy in July 1941, after this particular branch was seperated from the Ministry of Defence. He retired in 1945, and became a member of the State Council, from which he retired in 1962.
Ph. M. Bosscher "De Koninklijke Marine in de Tweede Wereldoorlog", vol.1
Klaassen/Van 't Haaff "Gedenkboek Adelborsten-opleiding te Willemsoord 1854-1954"
"Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland", vol.2 (entry by Ph.M. Bosscher)