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The Dutch resistance to the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II can be mainly characterized by its prominent non-violence, peaking at over 300,000 people in hiding in the autumn of 1944, tended to by some 60,000 to 200,000 illegal landlords and caretakers and tolerated knowingly by some one million people, including a few incidental individuals among German occupiers and military.Dutch resistance developed relatively slowly, but the event of the February strike and its cause, the random police harassment and deportation of over 400 Jews, greatly stimulated resistance.Slowly, this has started to change, also because of the emphasis the RIOD has been putting on individual heroism since 2005.The unique Dutch February strike of 1941, protesting deportation of Jews from the Netherlands, the only such strike to ever occur in Nazi-occupied Europe, is usually not defined as resistance by the Dutch.The German invasion therefore came as a great shock to many Dutch people.Nevertheless, the country had ordered general mobilisation in September 1939.Non-compliance with German rules, wishes or commands or German condoned Dutch rule, was also not considered resistance.
The day before, small groups of German troops wearing Dutch uniforms had entered the country.
Nevertheless, thousands of members of all the 'non-resisting' categories were arrested by the Germans and often subsequently jailed for months, tortured, sent to concentration camps or killed.
Up until the 21st century, the tendency existed in Dutch historical research and publications, not to regard passive resistance as 'real' resistance.
Many of them wore 'Dutch' helmets, some made of cardboard as there were not enough originals.
The Germans deployed about 750,000 men, three times the strength of the Dutch army; some 1,100 planes (Dutch Army Air Service: 125) and six armoured trains; they destroyed 80% of the Dutch military aircraft on the ground in one morning, mostly by bombing. In spite of all this, the Germans lost some 400 planes in the three days of the attack, 230 of them Junkers 52/3, the strategically essential transport for airborne infantry and paratroopers, a loss they would never replenish and which thwarted German plans for attacking England, Gibraltar and Malta with airborne forces.