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Killed during the liberation of the Netherlands (in numbers)

Soldiers and civilians were killed during the liberation of the Netherlands (mid-September 1944 - May 1945).

Between mid-September 1944 and May 1945, approximately 13,000 Allied soldiers died in battle in the Netherlands. The soldiers who died from illnesses and accidents directly related to military operations are included in this number. Our sources do not allow for a more precise estimate. Moreover, several factors complicate the count. Firstly, with regard to the battles that took place in the border regions, it is sometimes difficult to establish whether or not a soldier died on Dutch soil. Secondly, several soldiers died in hospitals across the border from injuries sustained in Holland. The British lost about 6,700 men, the Canadians about 4,100, the Americans 1,135, and the Poles 630. Forty Dutch soldiers of the Princess Irene Brigade and No. 2 (Dutch) Troop (a commando unit) were killed in the Netherlands, as were 102 members of the Stoottroepen (‘storm troops’). The French lost 32 men, the Belgians 36. Nine Norwegian commandos died in Walcheren (Zeeland Province). 

The casualty statistics of the German Wehrmacht show large gaps. It is likely that the total number for the German troops in our country is between 15,000 and 20,000 deaths. 

During the liberation of the Netherlands, 23,000 civilians lost their lives as a result of acts of war. (Source: Christ Klep, Ben Schoenmaker (eds.), De bevrijding van Nederland 1944-1945; Oorlog op de flank (‘The Liberation of the Netherlands 1944-1945; War on the flank’, The Hague 1995) pp. 325 and 340.)

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