Why didn’t Germany invade the Netherlands in World War One? (Short Animated Documentary)

Germany famously invaded France via the Netherlands and Belgium in World War Two. Yet in the First World War Germany choose to avoid the Netherlands and only invaded via Belgium and Luxembourg. So why did it do this? To find out watch this short and simple animated history documentary.

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Comment (44)

  1. There is one more aspect you are not mentioning, and that is fortifications. Not like the french, and belgian ones, fortified positions on land, but more like fortified positions in inundated swampl country. Try to dig in when the water table is 10cm below ground level, try to assault when the intermediary country has 1 meter of water over it, where any ditches or barbed wire will be below the water level.
    Get stuck in barbed wire. You drown
    Step in a ditch, you drown
    Now add grenade craters….
    Try to run in 1 m of water.
    Try to hide in 1 m of water.

    It was the estimation of Germany that capturing most of the NL was not a problem. Capturing everything behind the waterline would be. Add to that the extra fortifications around amsterdam and it was not considered feasible to capture NL within a reasonable time frame.

    And considering the equipment of the time, they probably were not wrong.

  2. We also had the Dutch Cocaïne Factory in WW1, selling it to both sides. And just like Pablo Escobar, the Dutch government also hides and buries this money in random places in the ground. We call these places "speedbumps". Just shows that there are little differences between a government and a drug dealer.

  3. 0:31 This is frustratingly stupid. They changed plan to focus on a stronger enemy on a narrower that DID funnel their men onto a narrow frontline and cause massive losses.

    They did this despite knowing that the land on their side of the border with France was also highly defensible (Elsaß-Lothringen) and that the Beneluxers wouldn't get involved, therefore forcing the French to funnel through that region?

    They did this instead of knocking out an enemy that they DID outmatch numerous times between 1914–1917?

    They did this despite it requiring only a few steps in logic to realize that forcing Russia to exit the war would allow them remove massive numbers of men from a unreasonably long frontline that, in history, DID extend from Klaipeda, bend around East Prussia, stretch back west to Posen, before terminating southeast in Silesia at the Sudetes?

    Hindsight may be 20/20, sure, but even an amateur can see that this idea to engage France first was nothing short of bαtshίt геtагdеd.

  4. I believe another reason why it was invaded in WW2 was they knew the Belgium army was going to be a lot better prepared so they would need to flank the Belgians. The border between Belgium and Germany is actually pretty narrow. A well prepared Belgium army could actually be quite a hindrance to Germany if they only attacked through the narrow border.

  5. Spicy detail: when the Germans finally withdrew/fled from Belgium in 1918 they crossed over Limburg, which is territory of the Netherlands. This p1ssed off the Belgians so much that they demanded territory from the Netherlands after the war. Before WW1 the people from the area that the Belgians wanted kind of felt that they belonged to Belgium, but this drastically changed during the war as they saw the suffering the Belgians had to go through, so they felt safer to stay part of the Netherlands. The allied forces did not grant the Belgian wish anyway, because they feared that this could lead to future troubles/wars between Belgium and the Netherlands.

  6. There is a fourth reason: it was too far.
    The French and Belgians would be operating on what's known as 'interior lines'. It means they could effectively transfer troops faster than a flanking invader could. unless they somehow captured the Dutch railway lines and bridges intact their troops would simply never get there in time. The German troops were moving at marching pace and the planners knew that such a long sweep around the the flank would both exhaust their attacking troops and meet railway-transported and this fresh defenders.
    In the Second World War this move was tasked to motorised troops backed by foot infantry and could thus be done as the Luftwaffe was tasked with interdicting logistical railway movements (as well as strafing civilians)

  7. Another reason Germany didn’t invade the Nether was because of a thing called the “Holandsche waterlinie.” A system of defenses where we would set set our land under water, which was deemed by German military commanders at the time to be all but impenetrable. Of course than came aircraft, which could fly over our flooded lands, and bomb us, that’s why the Netherlands was taken by the Germans in world war 2.


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