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Myth And Reality

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Chapter Summary

This conclusory chapter of the book May 1940: The Battle for the Netherlands takes stock, analyses the battle and answers the questions which lie at the basis of the study. The book shows that the mentality of the broken rifle which was formerly the most common explanation for the Dutch defeat of 1940 is an untenable simplification of reality. The rapid defeat of the Netherlands can no longer be explained by the picture which originated during the war. Not all aspects of this picture were factually incorrect: the Germans enjoyed superior firepower, the Netherlands had no tanks, Dutch conscripts lacked combat experience and the Netherlands had started its rearmament too late. Yet it is incorrect to suggest that the years of occupation could have been prevented by higher defence budget allocation from 1922 onwards or if the Germans had not employed illegal methods and ploys.

Keywords: German army; May 1940; Netherlands army

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