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Thread: Question @ Dutch (Anyone May Reply)

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    Question Question @ Dutch (Anyone May Reply)

    I have a question about why the Benelux countries, The Netherlands in particular, have been invaded by Germany in may 10th. 1940. Have there been violations of Dutch (or any other Benelux) airspace earlier than may 10th. 1940 of any side?
    The German foreign minister held following speech:

    (Berlin) German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop informs the foreign press that Germany had seized the initiative by anticipating Anglo-French aggression in the Ruhr area over Netherlands and Belgian territory. He presents evidence that Netherlands and Belgium were not acting as neutrals, that they were defending only on the German border, and allowing British and French assistance in attempting revolution in Germany. German forces in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg would ast as protectors and take steps to ensure their neutrality.
    http://www.islandnet.com/~kpolsson/today/510.htm

    How serious are these claims?


    I could not find an answer here, still interesting:
    http://www.waroverholland.nl/index.php?page=introduction

    Thank´s in advance.
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    Yes, both RAF and German planes violated Dutch and Belgian airspace , and to a lesser extent the French, in the context of reconnaissance missions, both before september 1939 and after the start of WOII. Even Belgium had a spy plane checking on the Dutch in the thirties. The German attempts to map the Dutch/Belgian fortifications and landscape is best known by historians.

    Lufthansa aircraft took photos from Vesting Holland and the Peel-Raamstelling at the beginning of 1939, which explains why the Germans had aerial photos of Rotterdam before the war with Poland.

    On the 16th and the 17th of October there were spy planes above Noord-Brabant, according to the Dutch army. And more aircraft on 21 november in the sky above Zeeland and Hollands Diep, RAF radar noticed these. On the 11th of december the Luftwaffe flew over the Rotterdam area, taking photos from a great height.

    Belgian aircraft engaged British bombers when they came back from a mission above Germany on the 9th of september above nijvel, resulting in the loss of one aircraft for each side. In october the Germans made more trips, flying too high for the Belgian air defenses to intervene. Some of them flew by fast, others take an agressive stance while taking their time when scouting out an area.

    In the first months of 1940 there would be a lot more activity, and German aircraft were noticed on a regular basis in the Benelux. The Lufwaffe didn't really try to conceal what they were doing, in this period. In March one Belgian fighter is shot down by the Germans in a dogfight above the Ardennes. The Dutch discovered German scout planes on the 20th of january, this time the Rhine/Waal/Meuse areas were caught on tape.

    The most remarkable event was the crash of a lost Messerschmitt Bf 108 in Maasmechelen, Belgium. One of its passengers was Major Helmuth Reinberger, who had the invasion plan on him. He set out to destroy it after asking a Flemish farmhand about his whereabouts, thinking he crash landed in his own country. His lighter didn't work, but the farmhand gave him a match, and he took cover while burning the documents in part, but then was stopped in completely doing so by an intervening Belgian NCO. The general plan survived, albeit without revealing the date of attack. The plans got into the hands of the Brits and the French who were informed by the Belgian authorities, the Dutch were made aware too (but the Belgians didn't tell them any specifics, like the fact that the heart of Holland wouldn't be invaded), causing a brief allied crisis. Some believed it was a German trap, others believed that the documents were genuine, and tried to convince the Belgians to let allied troops enter the country. The plan was genuine, but in the end, the Germans didn't go through with it and von Manstein came up with another, better plan - which assumed that the allies would still think that the Germans would stick to the 'Maasmechelen' battle plan, which was quite conventional. By doing so an initial mistake was turned into a success.

    To avoid giving the allies more reasons to be on their toes, the Luftwaffe stayed away from the Benelux for a short while, but then returned.

    (Berlin) German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop informs the foreign press that Germany had seized the initiative by anticipating Anglo-French aggression in the Ruhr area over Netherlands and Belgian territory. He presents evidence that Netherlands and Belgium were not acting as neutrals, that they were defending only on the German border, and allowing British and French assistance in attempting revolution in Germany. German forces in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg would ast as protectors and take steps to ensure their neutrality.
    Von Ribbentrop had a point (although I don't know what he means by helping to stage a revolution in Germany, or rather, which part the Belgian government played in that story), Gamelin planned an invasion of Belgium in 1941, if Belgium wouldn't have been prepared to let the french move into the country. For strategical reasons, of course, just like the German assault was purely done out of strategical considerations. Both in 1914 and 1940 there were allied politicians and officers who favored invading Belgium. It's also true that dutch and especially Belgian fortifications and positioning of the troops were strenghtening their eastern borders. To say that this was a violation of the neutrality principle could be debated. Also, the Belgians had a military agreement with the French from 1920 until march 1936, when Belgium broke it, in order to ensure its neutrality.
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