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Books about the May-1940 war in the Netherlands

There were plenty of books written by foreign authors on the May/June 1940 episode of WWII. A title like 'the battle for France' is an often heard caption as one typifies this era. Mostly the books were written by historians or authors that had the German push against the Anglo-French forces in focus. The Belgian and Dutch theatres as such were usually neglected or not mentioned at all. In some best-sellers the Dutch battle wasn't even mentioned!

On one hand it makes a lot of sense that the main push on "Paris" takes most of the focus, but does it do just to the objectives of the German operation? And doesn't it leave out on particularly one typical aspect of the battle for the Netherlands, the unique and first off major air-landing operation that the West of the Netherlands saw?

The Dutch struggle was not too impresive. Also in those days it was seen as a mere skirmish and in the light of things to come in WWII it was. A mere eight days of resistance, only five as it came to the main bulk of the country, was not a topic that attracted foreign historians. Yet, the Market Garden operation in 1944, may well be the best covered operation of the Allied forces together with D-Day in June 1944. The fact that Market Garden was a spitting image - almost a facsimile copy - of the German operation in the Netherlands in May 1940, still seems to be a missed element in foreign historical circles. Or is it the embarressement - bearing the knowledge that a celebrated general officer like Bernhard Montgomery, was nothing less than a copy-cat, who applied the very battle-plan of German general Kurt Student in 1940 on the original designer himself - that withheld historians of thorough description of the German airlanding operation in the west of the Netherlands?

The bits and pieces said on the Dutch struggle - in the foreign books that cover some of the events - are usually very inaccurate or beloney all along. It is only recently that two books of reputation that cover the subject have seen the light of day and become available in English. The first book (edition 2010) being the publication by Brill Editors, a translated version of a Dutch state initiated publication on the May-1940 war, "May 1940 - the battle for the Netherlands" (as volume #57 of 'history of warfare'). The other product (edition 2012) of the German historian Karl-Heinz Golla, called "The German Fallschirmtruppe 1936-1941". The latter is a very thorough study on the German airborne and airlanding operations in the Scandinavian, Dutch, Belgian and Greec theaters between April 1940 and June 1941.  It contains no less than about 150 pages on the German airlanding operation in the Netherlands.  The book is the most accurate publication on the events available in the international library and contains truly the latest scholarly research results. As it comes to the German airlanding operation - the most prominent aspect of the German invasion of the Netherlands - the Golla book dominates the topic also as it would be compared to Dutch publications.  

These latest two publications - both available in book stores today - have filled a void by their accurate coverage of the German campaign in the Netherlands. That doesn't mean that there isn't much to add. Particularly the 2010 publication 'May 1940 - the battle for the Netherlands' contains still many imperfecties and actual factual errors. In the quite extended evaluation of the book on this website, one can read all about the most flawful chapters in the book. The Golla book doesn't need such a critical review, because it has been set up in a manner that incorporated thorough study of sources and extended research. The book is highly accurate on most issues, although it does contain some editorial nuisances, which the publisher should have filtered out, but didn't.

Should our readers have second thoughts on the findings in this section, one could always send an e-mail to the author of this website.