** World War II Dutch phoney war war and social upheaval: World War II -- Dutch phoney war

Netherlands World War II: The Phoney War (September 1939 - April 1940)

German World War II invasion of the Netherlands
Figure 1.-- After Hitlera nd Stalin launched World War II (September 1939), the Dutcg began to mobilize their small army. One source provides a caption, "Here two Dutch boys admire a Dutch Army corporal mechanic of the Motorcycle Corps (KMD) during the mobilization September 1939." Thesoldier to us looks more like a driver.

After Hitler and Stalin launched World War II by invading Poland (September 1939), the Dutch along with most of Europe hoped to remain neutral. The Germans issued a guarantee of neutrality. This period was known as the Phoney War in Britain and France (September 1939-April 1940). Hitler took no offensive actions on the Western Front. And the British and French took no action to come to the aid of Poland. The Dutch for their part had managed to avoid World War I by remaining neutral. The German Schliffen Plan cut a wide swath through Belgium, but avoided the Netherlands. The Dutch were for the most part horrified at what they had been reading about the NAZIs. But somehow, most of the Dutch people believed that their neutrality would protect them as it had in World War I. Despite their feelings toward the NAZIs,the Dutch did not believe that the Germans, even the NAZIs, would invade their country. They began mobilizing the small, poorly equipped Dutch Army. The Dutch in reality relied on neutrality for their security, failing to remember that even in World WarI , the Germans had referred to guarantees on Belgian neutrality as a 'scrap of paper'. The Dutch offered asylum to large numbers of Jews and political refugees. Neutarlity or not, problems began for the Dutch even before the German invasion. The Netherlands was indiustrialized and no longer self sufficent in food prodyction. Much of the Netherlands food was imported. These imports were impaired by the war and the British North Sea naval blockde. The Government was forced to implement food rationing. (We are not sure about the date these regulations were implemented.) The Government began to develop defense plans. The major idea was the New Dutch Waterline, an area to the east of Amsterdam, which would be flooded. The Dutch began building fortified positions (1939). This began with Grebbe and Peel-Raam Lines, to protect the key cities of Dordrecht, Utrecht, Haarlem and Amsterdam. The idea was Vesting Holland/Fortress Holland. [Goossens] Dutch military planning assumed that the Allies would come to the aid of Belgium and the Nertherlands., but neutrality was seen as a better choice than joint defense planning. The Dutch feared that defense planning wuth the Allies might cause a Germam invasion.


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Created: 12:09 AM 5/22/2021
Last updated: 12:09 AM 5/22/2021