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Sunday, 12 May 1940 - Decision Day

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Map of the German invasion (may 1940)

The third day of the invasion in Holland can best be referred to as "decision day". At the many fronts that the battle of the Netherlands knew, decisive battles were fought on the third day of the invasion.

In the North the assault to the screen-defences in front of the Afsluitdike, in the heart of the country the battle for the Grebbeline, in the south the many local clashes of French/Dutch formations against the advancing German armour and in the west the decisive battle on the Island of Dordrecht.

The outcome of most of these fights would learn that at the end of "Invasion day plus 2" almost all battle results favoured the Germans. That would not only be the case for the battlefields in the Netherlands, but also south of the Dutch border, where the developments along the Maas river and the German advance in the northeast of Belgium posed the Allied command with formidable challenges.

The status on the battlefield in both Holland and Belgium combined, forced the French to re-establish their strategic plans. Although the Allies would fail to determine the swinging German axe above their heads, it would become perfectly clear that the continuation of the Dyle-Breda strategy was no longer feasible after the Germans had pushed beyond the Albert Canal and connected to the airbornes at Moerdijk at the end of the 12th.

Irrespective of the fact that the battle in the northwest of Europe would rage on until the first day of June 1940, the predecision for the outcome would be seen on the 12th and 13th of May already. But only very few people realized that on those very two days ...