On June 6th, 1944 the long-awaited invasion finally began. American and British troops landed on the shores of Normandy. On August 4th they reached Paris, and on September 3rd Brussels. The liberation of the Netherlands seemed imminent. But after failed airborne landings near Arnhem, the Allied advance came to a halt at the Rhine.
Winter of hardship
The bulk of the Netherlands had a winter of hardship ahead before the liberation finally came in May 1945. After the airborne landings, the area around Arnhem was evacuated. Dire food shortages afflicted the western part of the Netherlands. The Germans became increasingly ruthless. They forced Dutch men to lay German defence lines. Resistance actions were followed by harsh reprisals.