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Chapter Summary

In the Netherlands, the 1940-45 period is referred to as the war. In all its simplicity, that designation illustrates the huge significance of the Second World War in the collective memory of the Dutch people. Dutch neutrality in 1914-18 had been no coincidence. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Netherlands had remained as detached as possible from the developments in the power politics between the neighbouring great powers, Germany, France and Britain. In the bigger picture of the war between Germany and the allies, the conquest of the Netherlands in May 1940 was only of minor importance. The main objective of Fall Gelb was to defeat the French armed forces and the British expeditionary force which had come to their aid.

Keywords: Dutch armed forces; Netherlands



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