The Netherlands / Landmark

Inundation and Mobilisation




The general mobilisation turned out to be a huge intervention in the daily lives of almost all Dutch people. Obviously for the men who were called up, but also for the families they had to leave behind indefinitely and for companies and organisations where employees were suddenly gone.

In places where soldiers were stationed and moved into their posts, they unexpectedly had to deal with many new 'inhabitants'. Soldiers stayed at forts, barracks, but also in all kinds of requisitioned buildings, such as the stock exchange building in Geldermalsen, or were billeted in private homes.

Besides mobilisation, inundation also had a great impact. At the end of 1939, land near Geldermalsen was already flooded by the Dutch army as part of the national defence. Pieces of land were also flooded near the Betuwe positions. Owners and tenants suffered a lot of damage from this measure. The Dutch defence was aimed at an attack from Germany, overland, to the administrative and economic heart of the country with the major cities of The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. In the defence plan, the old tactic of inundating or flooding land still played a major role. The idea was to flood entire areas in the area between the major rivers. Inundation proved to be a risky tactic: when river levels were low, such as in the summer of 1940, there was little to flood.