Dutch Defensive Preparations, 1933-1940
Master's thesis Aug 1988-Jun 1989
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This study is an historical analysis of the military preparations made by the Dutch from the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 until the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. The impact of Dutch history, national character, defense and security policy, national leaders, and the organization of the armed forces is examined based on contemporary accounts and reports submitted to the War Department from American military attaches stationed in Europe. Among the many conclusions which could be drawn from this investigation are Dutch defensive preparations during the period were generally inadequate although the total number of soldiers mobilized was entirely sufficient, the national defense and security policy was not based on a realistic appraisal of the German threat or Allied assistance, the Dutch Army was unable to withstand a German invasion alone, the successful Netherlands policy of neutrality in World War I greatly contributed to the nations attempt to stay out of World War II by remaining neutral, the government possessed few perceived policy options due to the countrys neutrality by the spring of 1940, and the national leadership never endeavored to mobilize public opinion to support increased military preparedness. The study concludes that the national civilian and military leadership failed to understand the nature of the German threat in time to effectively prepare its defenses.
- Government and Political Science
- Civil Defense