"The soldiers were supported by the population."
Translation:De soldaten werden gesteund door de bevolking.
There is something technically wrong with translating soldier to 'soldaat'. The meaning of the word soldier translates in Dutch to 'militair'. The word 'private' translates in Dutch to 'soldaat'.
In English the word soldier is a profession. In Dutch the word 'soldaat' is a rank.
Yes, but that's a different meaning of supported. Steunen is mental support, e.g. supporting a football club. Ondersteunen is supporting either physically or by resources, e.g. ik ondersteun de vrouw met krukken (I support the woman with crutches) or ik ondersteun dit goede doel (I support this good cause) by giving money that is.