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Enlarged picture

Rotterdam Noordereiland - may 1940

In the foreground a Dutch position. From this position the Germans had been targetted who had sieged the Noordereiland, which is still in smoke of the many burning and destroyed houses. The Noordereiland had been a war theatre for five consecutive days when the bombs hit Rotterdam. About 1,000 Germans had taken and defended the island in the heart of Rotterdam, and notwithstanding Dutch airraids, artillery shelling and infantry punishment, the Germans under Oberstleutnant von Coltitz [the later commandant of Paris] did not give way. On the German side they were the heroes of Rotterdam, whilst the Dutch celibrated the heroism of the few hundred marines and ordinary infantry men who had fought so hard and well for the possession of the bridges. They were only forced to yield after the capitulation of the city in the afternoon of the 14th.

Category Gallery / War scenes (127 images)