At dawn of May 10, 1940, the German attack on Holland was loosed in all its fury. After live days of bitter fighting, the Dutch Army, terribly outnumbered, had to lay down its arms. But those five days gave the Government and part of the Navy a chance to escape to Britain, whence they at once renewed the struggle. For 19 months they waged a stubborn fight against Germany and Italy. Then Japan struck—at Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, and Malaya. Realizing the threat to the Netherlands East Indies, the Dutch promptly declared war. They fought tenaciously in defense of their rich possessions and were finally crushed only by superior strength. More than half their surface ships went down in the waters about Java, but the remaining units proceeded to Ceylon and Australia, where they joined British and American forces. This long and gallant fight by Holland’s little Navy has won the admiration of all the peoples of the United Nations.
The Netherlands Navy Fights On
By Walton L. Robinson