The Battle of Rotterdam was a Second World War battle fought during the Battle of the Netherlands. Fought between 10–14 May 1940, it was a German attempt to seize the Dutch city. It ended in a German victory, following the Rotterdam Blitz.
Rotterdam had no prepared defences and had not been included in any strategic defence plan. It was relatively far from the boundaries of Fortress Holland and some distance from the coast. The troops stationed in Rotterdam belonged to training establishments and some smaller miscellaneous units. A modern artillery battalion with twelve 105 mm guns was located in Hillegersberg. Its guns had a range of over 16,000 m , sufficient for almost anywhere around Rotterdam. The garrison commander was a military engineer, Colonel P.W. Scharroo. The garrison consisted of about 7,000 men; only 1,000 had a combat function . Around the Nieuwe Maas seven platoons of light anti-aircraft artillery were deployed; they were equipped with heavy machine guns and Oerlikon 20 mm cannons and Scottis. One battery of heavy AAA was stationed north of the Nieuwe Maas. There were also two more batteries of heavy AAA and four AAA platoons in the Waalhaven area. The Waalhaven Airbase was also the home of the "3rd Java" squadron of the Royal Netherlands Air Force equipped with Fokker G.I heavy fighters. Eleven operational G.Is, fully armed and fuelled, were stationed at Waalhaven on 10 May. During the bombing of the airfield, nine of these managed to take off and attack the German bombers.
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