Dutch/Belgian "Neutrality" In 1939-40

All aspects including lead-in to hostilities and results.

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Mortimer
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Dutch/Belgian "Neutrality" In 1939-40

Postby Mortimer » 5 days 19 hours ago (Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:25 am)

The German Foreign Office issued a White Paper called Allied Intrigue in the Low Countries. It demonstrates that contrary to the claim that they were "neutral" Holland and Belgium were secretly working with Britain and France. The Dutch allowed the RAF to fly over their territory unhindered to bomb targets in Germany. The Dutch military had talks with their British counterparts. The Belgian and French military were also working in unison - https://archive.org/details/AlliedIntri ... xt/page/n1

Loe De Jong has written a book on this subject. Perhaps any readers of Dutch could translate some of the more relevant parts of the book - https://archive.org/details/LoeDeJongHe ... al/page/n1


There are 2 sides to every story - always listen or read both points of view and make up your own mind. Don't let others do your thinking for you.

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Hektor
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Re: Dutch/Belgian "Neutrality" In 1939-40

Postby Hektor » 1 day 9 hours ago (Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:07 pm)

Mortimer wrote:The German Foreign Office issued a White Paper called Allied Intrigue in the Low Countries. It demonstrates that contrary to the claim that they were "neutral" Holland and Belgium were secretly working with Britain and France. The Dutch allowed the RAF to fly over their territory unhindered to bomb targets in Germany. The Dutch military had talks with their British counterparts. The Belgian and French military were also working in unison - https://archive.org/details/AlliedIntri ... xt/page/n1
...
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As for Allied planes flying over Dutch/Belgian territory, that allegation was made by 'defendants' and their counsel in Nuremberg:
DR. EXNER: Nor does the Prosecution maintain this point of view, otherwise they would not have charged the defendant with certain deeds as being crimes against the laws of war and the rights of neutrals. The entire charge under Count Three would not be understandable. And apart from that, Professor Jahrreiss has dealt with this question on Pages 32 to 35 of his final argument.

Jodl heard for the first time in November 1939-and this from Hitler himself-about the fears of the Navy that Britain was intending to land in Norway. He then received information which left no doubt that these fears were basically right. Furthermore, he had regular reports according to which the Norwegian coastal waters were coming more and more into the English sphere of domination, so that Norway was no longer actually neutral.

Jodl was firmly convinced-and still is today-that the German troops prevented the British landing at the last minute. No matter how Hitler's decision may be judged legally, Jodl did not influence it; he considered the decision justified and was bound to consider it as such. So, even if Hitler's decision were to be regarded as a breach of neutrality, Jodl did not give criminal help by his work on the General Staff.

Like every military expert, Jodl knew that if Germany had to fight out the war in the West, there was no other course but a military offensive. In view of the inadequacy of German equipment at the time and the strength of the Maginot Line, there was, however, from a military point of view, no other possibility for an offensive than through Belgium. Thus Hitler was, for purely military reasons, faced by the necessity of operating through Belgium. But Jodl also fully knew, as did every German who had lived through August 1914, how difficult such a political decision was as long as Belgium was neutral, that is, willing and able to keep out of the war.

The reports which Jodl received, and of the accuracy of which no justified doubts could be entertained, showed that the Belgian Government was already co-operating, in violation of her neutrality, with the general staffs of Germany's enemies. This, however, can be waived here in the defense of Jodl. It suffices to know-and this is indisputable-that part of Belgium's territory, that is, the air over it, was being continually used by Germany's Western enemies for their military purposes.

And this applies perhaps even more strongly to the Netherlands. Since the very first days of the war, British planes flew over Dutch and Belgian territory as and when they pleased. Only in some of the numerous cases did the Reich Government protest, and these were 127 cases.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Exner, will you refer the Tribunal to the evidence which you have for that statement?

DR. EXNER: I beg your pardon?

THE PRESIDENT: Will you refer me to the evidence that you have for that statement?

DR. EXNER: What statement, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: That protests were made in 127 cases.

DR. EXNER: I am referring to the statements made by the witness Von Ribbentrop. He said that 127 protests were made.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on.

DR. EXNER: The Prosecution does not put the legal question correctly. Before air warfare gained its present importance, conditions were such that a state wishing to remain neutral could prevent its territory from being continually used at will by one of the belligerents, or else its neutrality was clearly terminated. After air warfare became possible, a state might relinquish or be forced to relinquish to one of the belligerents the air over its territory, and yet remain outwardly and diplomatically neutral. But by the very nature of the idea, the defense of its neutrality can be claimed only by a state whose whole territory lies de facto outside the theater of war.

The Netherlands and Belgium, long before 10 May 1940, were no longer de facto neutral, for the air over them was in practice, with or against their will, freely at the disposal of Germany's enemies. What contribution they thus made toward Britain's military potential, that is, toward the strength of one of the belligerents, is known to everybody. One need only think of Germany's most vulnerable point, the Ruhr.

Our adversaries obviously maintained the point of view that insofar as the barrier constituted by Holland and Belgium protected Germany's industrial areas against air attacks, their neutrality was immaterial; but with regard to the protection afforded to France and England, any violation was a crime.

Jodl naturally realized the situation. His opinion on the legal aspect, was, of course, a matter of complete indifference to Hitler.
Here, too, his activity remained the normal activity of a General Staff officer.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment, please. Dr. Exner, is it your contention that it is in accordance with international law that if the air over a particular neutral state is made use of by one of the warring nations, the other warring nation can invade that neutral state without giving any warning to the neutral state?

DR. EXNER: In this respect I should like to maintain that this continual use of the air space over a neutral state-that is, for purposes of attack, for these planes flew over such territory in order to attack Germany-was a breach of neutrality. This breach of neutrality justified Germany's no longer regarding Belgium as a neutral country. Therefore, from the standpoint of the Kellogg Pact, or any previous assurance given with respect to neutrality, no charge can be made against Germany in this regard. Whether one can reproach Germany for the fact that she did not declare war in advance is something I leave open to discussion.

Incidentally, it may be presumed that the flights made by the British planes were not announced in advance either.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/07-19-46.asp


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