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World War II in Holland (The Netherlands)

This Western European nation was invaded by the Germans in May 1940. It surrendered after four days of resistance.

In the fall of 1944, the Allies attempted to get across the three major water obstacles in the Netherlands (the Maas, Waal, and Lower Rhine), to outflank the West Wall, and to put the British in position for a subsequent drive into Germany along the relatively open north German plain.

It was a join airborne-ground operation, Operation Market-Garden. The airborne attack -- which included the famed 101st Airborne "Band of Brothers" -- was called Operation Market; the corollary ground attack, Operation Garden. Unexpectedly strong resistance limited the gains to a 50-mile salient into Holland -- far short of the objective of securing a workable bridgehead across the Rhine.

After five years of occupation, the Allies captured Arnhem, Holland, in April 1945. The remaining German forces in the Netherlands surrendered on May 4, 1945.

A great, great many Dutch civilians died during the occupation -- over 200,000 men and women.


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