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Military airplanes

In this chapter one can find concisive descriptions of the material used by the Netherland airforce in May 1940, of which the bulk originated from native industries like Fokker and Koolhoven. The links in the left margin of this page guide one to the desired airplane type.

The fighter component of the small Dutch airforce only comprised Dutch products, like the old Fokker D-17 and the more modern D-21 and twin-engine G-1. The latter two proved to be quite competitive in a heads-up with German fighters, although their numbers were low.

The strike component of the airforce was even in comparison to the small airforce size, a detail in the fleet. The modern Fokker T-5 was the only truly capable tactical ground support airplane, although the outdated Fokker C-X could still deliver a 400 kg pay load, which was about the same as the slightly more modern Blenheims and Battles of other Allied airforces in those days.

The reconnaissance part of the fleet was relatively large, although a considerable bit - represented by the FK-51 model - was grounded as a consequence of the GHQ decision that those slow airplanes were unsuitable for operational service. The remainder was represented by the modern Douglas 8-3N and the old Fokker C-V. The first had been shifted to the fighter fleet though, which would proof a vital error by the GHQ command. The latter would proof surprisingly resilient, but specifically in a light strike role rather than recce.

All in all, the Dutch airforce would be able to get 145 planes operational of which no more than a mere 90 were of some modern degree. Bearing in mind that the Germans would apply about 600 fighter- and strikeplanes over the Netherlands during the first stage of the invasion, it took quite some courage to get airborne in those Luftwaffe packed skies.