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Between Hope And Fear: The Netherlands Armed Forces In The Interwar Period

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at how the Netherlands made its military preparations for another war in Europe, with the focus on the strategies and the operation plans. The defence policy pursued by the Netherlands during the interwar period of the 1920s and 1930s is still considered by many Dutch people to be one of the main reasons for the defeat in May 1940. It is questionable, however, whether such reproaches do justice to the options that were open to the political and military leaders in the Netherlands. A correct assessment of the defence policy therefore first requires an outline of its backgrounds and of the circumstances which faced the leaders in question. This will particularly concern the connections, or lack thereof, between three elements: the policy of neutrality, the military-strategic policy and the availability of assets with which the armed forces were to perform their tasks.

Keywords: Dutch neutrality; interwar period; military-strategic policy; Netherlands armed forces



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