Only months after the Second World War ended, doomsday came knocking on mankind’s door. The massive Red Army had taken over all of Eastern Europe during the war and Stalin wasn’t done yet. Recognizing the relatively weak position of the Western Allies, he sent the Red Army across the Oder in late September. In response the U.S. dropped an A-bomb on both Moscow and Kuybyshev. Stalin and his minions escaped the blast however and they led their armies against the free world.
The Netherlands had come out of World War II as a battered nation. It’s army and navy had been decimated in the war and in Indonesia, revolution was brewing. Even so, after the Russians attacked the Dutch rallied behind the Allied cause. Knowing that the Soviets would not respect their neutrality, the Dutch politicians realized that they had little choice but to stand up and fight.
Being only a couple of hundred miles from the frontlines in Western Germany, the Dutch border was heavily fortified. All able-bodied men were either working for the war effort or drafted into the ever-growing Dutch army. The few divisions that were already in place were being rushed to the front where, together with hundreds of thousands of soldiers from all across the free world they held out against the Soviets.
On the other side of the world, the Russians had overrun the few defenders of the Korean peninsula. With nowhere else to go, the defenders were forced to retreat to the mountain island of Jeju. Only the U.S. bombers based in Japan prevented the Russians from pouring into the Pacific. In China a brutal civil war raged on, the more Western Nationalists versus the Soviet-backed Communists. In the Middle-East, the Turkish, Iraqi and Persian armies proved no match for the Soviet war machine. There was little hope for this front. All the Allied armies there could was slow the Russians do.
The same went for the Mediterranean front. The Yugoslavians moved into Italy and Greece with great ease. Only in Germany, both sides were evenly matched. After the initial surprise effect had worn off the Allies had consolidated their ranks and the frontline stabilized in time for winter.
The Dutch tried to help as best they could. But WWII had taken a heavy toll. The Dutch war industry was in shambles and the army was outfitted with outdated American and British equipment. By early 1946 there was still hope though. The new divisions and fortifications were coming along nicely Spain had joined the war and the lines in Germany and the Pacific were still holding.
The tide quickly took a turn for the worst in the spring of 1946. The Italian lines collapsed as did the Turkish and Middle-Eastern. Communist puppet states were set up in Italy, Turkey, Greece, Persia, Lebanon and Syria. Iraq was holding on by a thread and the Soviet T-34 were already moving into the Arabian deserts. With the fall of Persia, British India now had an exposed flank. Great Britain frantically moved some divisions from the Western front to the Indian subcontinent.
Their imperial pride was another nail to the coffin of the Allied cause as the northern part of the German front was weakened. The Soviets took advantage of this and pushed towards Hamburg. The American reinforcements from Bremen tried to do what they could but the damage was done. Over the next couple of weeks Denmark would be annexed and the German front even longer. The Netherlands were now in direct danger. In South Germany the numerical superior Soviets launched an offensive that broke the French defense which had been weakened by the sudden need to reinforce their own border with the now communist Italy.
During the summer the Allied position on the German front was getting worse and worse. During one push, the Soviets had only been a dozen miles from the Dutch border. With the fortifications done and the Allied lines crumbling, the Dutch government decided to make defending Dutch soil a priority. The Dutch divisions withdrew from the Allied lines and dug themselves in on the Dutch eastern border. The Soviets followed suit. The Dutch border became the new frontline. Belgium, Luxembourg and France hadn’t fortified their borders so when the Soviets punched through they could not be held. Within the next months Belgium, Luxembourg and France fell, one by one. Several Allied divisions managed to reach the Dutch lines. The extra soldiers were a welcome sight as the Netherlands were being surrounded by thousands of communist soldiers.
During 1947 the Allied situation deteriorated even further. Eventually the Iberian peninsula fell as well and the Soviets were moving into Africa and had taken over the Arabian peninsula and were fighting a bitter fight in India. The Chinese Civil War had become a part of the World War as the PLA joined the side the Soviet Union and the Nationalists joined the Allies. The Netherlands were now the last democratic bastion in continental Europa, aside from the Swiss, who had remained neutral. With the prospect of fighting in the mountains of Switzerland in mind, Stalin had simply ignored them.
The Netherlands was nothing more than a big crater by this point. Relentless bombing had destroyed many of the factories and the Dutch airforce had been neutralized. Only food shipments from Great Britain kept the soldiers and civilians in the Netherlands alive.
The only ray of hope in those dark times was the surprise invasion of northern France by the Allies. With the bulk of the Red Army fighting in Africa and Asia, the Allies had managed to punch through the Soviet defenses and had moved inland. As more and more of the enemy divisions surrounding the Netherlands moved to this new front, the Dutch saw the opportunity and grabbed it. A large part of the Dutch army broke out into the Belgian countryside and within weeks had retaken large parts of Belgium and Northern France.
Sadly the invasion force was being pushed back into the sea by the Soviets. As fast as they could, the Dutch divisions freed as much of Europe as they could. But they were too few in number. Armies from the East beat the Dutch out of the Alps and more enemies loomed on the horizon. The Dutch divisions raced back to enemy lines but some were caught, encircled and destroyed. The gamble hadn’t paid out. The army was weaker than ever and even more Soviets armies seemed to be laying in wait on the other side of the border than before.
From there it went downhill for the last bastion of freedom. A Soviet offensive took the provinces of Gelderland, Overijssel, Drenthe, Groningen and Friesland. Seeing no alternative, the Dutch army ordered a retreat into Fortress Holland, a defense line that encompassed Holland and Utrecht. Miles and miles of barbed-wire, mines and concrete prevented the Soviets from entry.
Still the Soviets did not relent. Endless bomber sorties and artillery bombardment made life inside Fortress Holland a hell. Food began running dangerously low. Soldiers received preference, causing the civilian population to starve to death.
Then in September of 1948 the war was over. Queen Wilhelmina abdicated in favor of her daughter, Juliana. Days later the new Queen surrendered to the commander of the Soviet armies.