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A very important event in the Netherlands during World War II was the Battle for The Hague. It was a battle fought on 10 May 1940 during the German invasion of the Netherlands.

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German Fallschirmjäger units were dropped in and around The Hague in order to capture Dutch airfields and the city itself. After securing a bridgehead, the Germans had expected the Dutch to capitulate on the same day. They failed to achieve this objective since German forces were unable to hold onto their initial gains after the Dutch, having regrouped, launched effective counter-attacks.
Isolated pockets of German troops led by Hans von Sponeck retreated to the nearby dunes, where they were continually pursued and harassed for five days until the Dutch commander-in-chief Henri Winkelman was forced to surrender because of major setbacks on other fronts.

The Germans planned (code name “Fall Festung”) to catch the Dutch off guard, allowing them to isolate the head of the Dutch Army. Their intention was to fly over the Netherlands, in order to lull the Dutch into thinking that the UK was their target. This was to be followed by approaching the country from the direction of the North Sea, attacking the airfields at Ypenburg, Ockenburg, and Valkenburg to weaken potential Dutch defenses before taking The Hague.

The History Behind World War II

World War II was the biggest and deadliest war in history, involving more than 30 countries. Sparked by the 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland, the war dragged on for six bloody years until the Allies defeated Nazi Germany and Japan in 1945.

The war was fought between the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, Japan) and the Allied Powers (Britain, United States, Soviet Union, France). Most of the countries in the world were involved in some way. It was the deadliest war in all of human history with around 70 million people killed.

The carnage of World War II was unprecedented and brought the world closest to the term “total warfare.” On average 27,000 people were killed each day between September 1, 1939, until the formal surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945.


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