Talk:German declaration of war against the Netherlands

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Copy to Wikisource[edit]

Shouldn't this go into wikisource. I hereby thank the contributors for this material. I was only aware to some extent. Andries 21:17, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

There is also some discussion of the subject and there are plenty availble sources to expand this, so it has a clear article status.--MWAK 09:00, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
The translators would first need to be identified to make sure that the translations are GFDL-compatible. Would the originals be in the public domain? --Benn Newman 01:47, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
We simply translated it ourselves — indeed the entire translation process is transparent in History :o). Identification would be highly impractical, as, of course, everyone is free to improve. When in this article the originals would obviously count as citations.--MWAK 09:06, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Staat = State or Status[edit]

Although both seem plausible, to me, "State" sounds more logical. Rex 13:29, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

No, "staat van bezit" is a single concept, here denoting the territory possessed — in its integrity, so it wouldn't be quite right to translate it simply with "territorial possession". "Territorial integrity" is exactly how both parties would have understood it. It was at the time really more of a civil law notion, the total "activa" of someone's property. This reading is also indicated by the fact that otherwise a mistake would have been made: "garanderen van" is incorrect — and apparently the person who wrote the text knew this quite well because "dynastie" is the second object, making a correct contraposition with "staat" interpreted as "State" impossible. The Germans' Dutch wasn't that poor, just their legality ;o). By the way, it just occurs to me that the Dutch citations should be given in the contemporaneous spelling, not the modern one. I'll try and find the exact wording.--MWAK 07:55, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I see there was no Dutch original of the declaration. The German ambassador had received a German telegramme that he had to fill out and translate but was unable to as he was overcome by his emotions; he simply handed over his transcription in German of it to Van Kleffens. The Dutch text found in some books is an interpretation of the German original (which I have been unable to find in German, but De Jong gives a Dutch translation) as if it were a formal declaration of war, making my comments above rather irrelevant :o). However there is now no doubt that "territorial integrity" is the correct translation; De Jong translates it as "Duitsland garandeert Europese en buiten-Europese bezittingen en de dynastie (...)". This will make for some interesting changes in the article :^).--MWAK 09:14, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Well that's settled then.Rex 15:29, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


I see you chose to use 1940s and contemporary spelling is this really a good idea? ;-) Rex 19:12, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, the official reply should be given in its literal form, thus using the old spelling. For the common unoffical translations in Dutch I have quoted later books that used the new spelling, as the literal form is irrelevant. It's true though that the original translation used the old spelling.--MWAK 16:34, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

During the battle[edit]

How many hours was the battle in progress when the declaration of war was delivered? I may be naïve and misguided, but I thought that the declaration should be delivered before the battle was started, according to law of war. Andries 09:53, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

The Germans didn't obey the treaty of versailles, the law of war wasn't high on the agenda either.Rex 12:24, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
The war had been going on for about three hours. Basically though this was an attack without any declaration of war, as the German message was just a pure invitation to become a German protectorate as Czechoslovakia and Denmark had done. Not an ultimatum, just some special favour to an old friend :o).--MWAK 16:54, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

So the name of the article is wrong then?[edit]

Germany didn't declare war on the Netherlands, but the Netherlands declared war on Germany!

Actually, I seem to recall reading an article in a newspaper on the umpteenth anniversary of the German invasion that Van Kleffen later explained his action in declaring war without consulting parliament as required by the constitution, by the consideration that he wanted to protect Dutch soldiers from being called franc-tireurs by the Germans later. This was a tactic apparently widely resorted to by the Germans against the Belgians at the start of the First World War in an attempt to undermine their morale. It didn't work of course, in fact it had the opposite effect, but quite a few Belgians who had surrendered during the early days of the German advance in August 1914 had apparently been court-martialled and shot by the Germans on the pretext that no war had been declared and that therefore, if Belgian soldiers had been caught firing on German troops, they had been operating outside the laws of war and were therefore to be regarded as franc-tireurs as the term was at the time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Recoloniser (talkcontribs) 02:24, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Strictly speaking, none declared war :o). But it is the common name for the event. In the present Dutch constitution no legal construction like "declaring war" is even present.--MWAK (talk) 09:16, 21 January 2009 (UTC)