Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The 5 day 8-days of being stubborn

The brave Dutch. They tried as best from 10-14 May 1940, better than expected. On of my favorite engagements of the War Over Holland was the Battle of Mill:
The battle at Mill is one of the symbols of the Dutch opposition during the German invasion. With insufficient manpower, weapons and supplies the battalions that fought at this location achieved a remarkable success against a far superior enemy that failed to profit from an important success in the first hour of the invasion. The German price was very high. More than 500 KIA and WIA, whilst the Dutch only lost 30 men KIA and 31 WIA. The war-reports of the 481st and 456th Regiment respectively report 62 and 41 KIA, the latter reported 136 WIA. The 481st WIA are not traceable. The third regiment did not report any figures.
Moreover, the tough defence that was achieved facilitated the main forces to be able to move back over the Waal into the Fortress Holland. An escape that had been seriously jeopardized when the German armoured train had already penetrated the Peel-Raamline at 0430 in the morning of the 10th. The significance of the Dutch defence at Mill is sometimes underestimated by historians. It caused the Germans to lose one full day in their pursuit to reach the western sectors of the country.

The Germans believed to have booked a major victory. They were still under the impression that two divisions of the III Army Corps had been defeated. The German 18th Army staff only realised that this had in fact not been the case when the battle was long fought.
Read the whole thing for a good story of a plucky little country doing its best against a huge invasion. Don't forget about the Battle of Zeeland either. That is the stubborn part. What would you have done?

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