The German Invasion of the Netherlands - May 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by stolpi, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  2. deephorse

    deephorse Member

    Thanks for posting these. Very interesting.
  3. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Another one about the failed German airborne operation around The Hague. Dutch troops stubbornly defended the airfield of Ypenburg against German paratroopers that had jumped over the airfield. Many JU 52 planes were shot down. Of the 53 planes that carried the first wave of paratroopers, only 27 made it back to Germany. The second wave of air-transported troops (22. Inf.Division) in JU 52 transport planes that were supposed to land on the airfield was greeted by heavy defensive fire (22 planes were destroyed on the airstrip). The subsequent waves had to land elsewhere (on neighboring airfields and even on the beach and motorway). The Luftwaffe lost well over 300 Junker JU 52 transport planes over Holland.

    In total the Dutch lost 51 men KIA at Ypenburg and 43 KIA in the wide sector around the base. The German losses exceeded that number by far. Over 130 registered KIA and around 500 WIA. No less than 720 men had become POW on Ypenburg and the direct vicinity. In the surrounding area [Delft, Nootdorp, Pijnacker, Bleiswijk] another 575 were taken prisoner. In other words, about 650 killed and wounded, around 1,300 POW's.

    These losses by the Germans at Ypenburg were made more permanent by the fact that, before the Dutch capitulation, many paratrooper POWs from this theatre [around 1,250 in total] were shipped off to England. They spent the rest of the war in prisoner camps. The German reports on the battle at Ypenburg considered it a hard felt defeat. A unique defeat in the entire Westfeldzug of May and June 1940 and a defeat that is hardly known to anyone outside the Netherlands.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
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  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks for posting Stolpi,

    Incidentally I wonder if this film is known much in the Netherlands?

    WW2talk thread on: Operation Amsterdam

    Operation Amsterdam - Wikipedia

    In May 1940, as the German invasion of the Netherlands is under way, the British government decides to send a team to the Netherlands on board HMS Walpole [5] to secure stocks of industrial diamonds before the invaders can get to them. Accordingly, two Dutch diamond experts, Jan Smit (Peter Finch) and Walter Keyser (Alexander Knox) with a British Army Intelligence officer, Major Dillon (Tony Britton), are dropped by ship off the Dutch coast. Dodging German bombs and suspicious Dutch police and soldiers, they commandeer a car driven by Anna (Eva Bartok), whom they have just saved from trying to commit suicide. The four of them drive to Amsterdam.

    They meet Jan's father at his diamond business house and he agrees to try to persuade other dealers to bring their diamonds later that day for transport to Britain. But as many of the stones are stored in a time-locked bank vault which won't open for 24 hours, they recruit a group of sabotage experts to break in.

    With the Dutch police, including suspected fifth columnists, on their trail, the group manage to break into the vault and recover the diamonds. The three visitors make their escape whilst the armed Dutch helpers hold down the police and soldiers. They drive back to the coast, barely dodging German bombers.

    As they embark on a commandeered tugboat to take them back to the waiting ship, Anna elects to remain in the Netherlands and work with the nascent resistance movement.

  5. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  6. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    A map showing the airfield and how close it was to my Grandparents house in Javastraat. My Mum took me to a farm nearby to buy milk and eggs in the 1960's. We went by tram and it was still open countryside. All gone now and developed.


    I found this dutch website about the invasion years ago and the battle of Ypenburg is well covered. That's where I got the map from.

    Ypenburg [War over Holland - May 1940: the Dutch struggle]
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
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  7. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    This report was written in 1944:-

    MILITARY OPERATIONS in the NETHERLANDS from 10th - 17th May, 1940 described by P.L.G. DOORMAN, O.B.E. Colonel of the Dutch General Staff Based upon material and data in the possession of the Netherlands Department of War in London

    Translated from the Dutch by S.L. Salzedo
    First published in June 1944
    Second impression November 1944
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  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
  9. deephorse

    deephorse Member

    More good stuff. Thanks.
  10. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    As well as the May 1940 book mentioned above by Stolpi (I think I forked out 90 quid for it - good maps though!), The Battle for the Hague (Brongers) is also a good read. I particularly like a passage where he explains that the Dutch government didn't want to spend money on anti-aircraft guns, so they allowed concerned citizens to raise funds by themselves. A typical 'cheap' solution by the Dutch. These guns were then manned by local volunteers. Apparently, in Delft there were 12 anti-aircraft guns paid for by the Calve factories.

    I also like this short news clip to add to the others above. Those dastardly Germans had dangerous knives with them when they parachuted into Holland!

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  12. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Apparently the British Mandated territory in Palestine applied a similar solution so that there were one or two Jewish volunteer AA units in 1940 around Tel Aviv
  13. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Seems a bit staged with the knives. Surely they'd be searched before being put on the boat to England, right?"

    Nice looking uniforms.
  14. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    I've read something about this, apparently very little time was wasted getting them away from the Netherlands as lots more paratroops were anticipated and thea country was about to fall. They were literally bundled aboard a ship and searched at the other end. The knives weren't combat (although they could be used for this) but intended to allow rapid cutting of parachute cords and harness etc with the use of one hand. However Britain had not long since gone through a knife crime scare (sound familiar) with the papers reporting criminal gangs with flick knives (see Graham Greene's Brighton Rock) and these were a gift to the press.
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  15. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    E.H. Brongers, a retired Lt.Colonel, is interesting. He wrote a series of books (in Dutch) covering all of the May 1940 battlefields of Holland:

    Brongers  Afsluitdijk.jpg Brongers  Grebbeberg.jpg Brongers  Residentie.jpg Brongers  Rotterdam 1.jpg Brongers  Rotterdam 2.jpg Brongers  Rotterdam 3.jpg Brongers  Zuid-Limburg.jpg Brongers  Ypenburg.jpg Brongers  gebroken vleugel.jpg

    I especially like his trilogy about "Opmars naar Rotterdam' (Advance to Rotterdam). It describes the main attack on Holland, with a German airborne tapestry laid at Moerdijk, Dordrecht and in and around Rotterdam and the advance of the ground troops (9. Pz Division) from the Dutch/German border towards the city. Operation Market-Garden 'avant-la-lettre'; however in 1940 the last bridge at Rotterdam proved not to be a bridge too far!

    Unfortunately only his book on the battle around The Hague (Slag om de Residentie), where the German paratroopers were scattered by the Dutch Army, has also been published in English.

    Brongers  Residentie Engels.jpg

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  16. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Maybe this is a solution: The renowned (of world fame in Holland) Van Dale Dictionary, Nederlands - English :D

    Van Dale Eng-Nl.jpg
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  17. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    [QUOTE="Robert-w, post: 864281, member: 76163"The knives weren't combat (although they could be used for this) but intended to allow rapid cutting of parachute cords and harness etc with the use of one hand.[/QUOTE]

    I figured they were for cutting parachute rigging but that one handed tidbit is a great detail. That's what I learned about WWII today. Thanks!

    Notice that US carrier deck hands all have sheath knives on their belts for cutting crews out of crashed planes.
  18. TijgerB

    TijgerB Member

    E. H. Brongers always made my trips to the 4 days march in Nijmegen expensive :omg: Except maybe one year when I brought home an M28 helmet for my collection :D
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  19. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Fokker G-1 heavy twin-engined fighter aircraft

    Fokker D-21

    Fokker T-5 bomber

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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  20. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Fantastisch / beautiful!!!!

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