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Enlarged picture

Germans inspect Dutch trenches at AFB Ypenburg - may 1940

A senior ranking German officer inspects the deserted Dutch trenches after the Dutch capitulation on 15 May 1940. Taken from the spurs of the officer to the left, it may the the case that we see members of the 9th Panzer Division, that passed Ypenburg on 14 and 15 May 1940, on their way into the Hague.

A Lewis machinegun is still a silent witness to the tragic events that unfolded here just days and hours before. In line of the German sight was the battered landing ground where so many of their fellow countrymen found a tragic death in a hail of Dutch fire on the morning of May 10th, 1940. The Germans suffered at Ypenburg and direct surroundings almost 200 men KIA, whereas a further 1,000 POW's from this theatre would be shipped to the UK (later Canada) before the occupational forces could prevent more expedition of POW's. Together with the WIA this meant that the Ypenburg operation alone costed the Germans around 2,000 men KIA, WIA or lost for the duration of the war as POW's.

At AFB Ypenburg and around nearby Delft the Germans suffered possibly their biggest single tactical loss of the entire Fall Gelb campaign. Their strategy utterly failed and their losses were extremely high. The best part of the force that landed around the Hague was either killed, wounded or taken away (to the UK) as POW. The number of permanently lost aircraft in this theatre would raise above twohundred, mostly Ju-52. Nevertheless the losses around The Hague were largely compensated by the quick defeat of the Dutch elsewhere.

Category Gallery / War scenes (127 images)