i like to comment on the lw's terror bombing and damage of rotterdam. i believe it was rotterdam they bombed heavily. excellent commentary is found on wikipedia as follows: The situation in Rotterdam on the morning of 13 May 1940 was stalemate. Dutch garrison forces under Colonel Scharroo held the north bank of the Nieuwe Maas River, which runs through the city, and prevented the Germans from crossing; German forces included airborne forces of General Student and newly arrived ground forces under General Schmidt, based on the 9th Panzer Division and the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, a motorized "SS" regiment.
Schmidt used the threat of destruction of Rotterdam to attempt to force Colonel Scharroo to surrender the city without a fight. Rotterdam (also the largest industrial target in the Netherlands and of major strategic importance to the Germans) was to be bombed, and if that would not break Dutch resistance, Amsterdam (capital) and The Hague (seat of government) were to follow the same fate. Scharroo refused and stretched out negotiations. The start for the attack had been set for 13:20. Schmidt postponed this to 16:20. However, just as the Dutch negotiator was crossing the Willemsbrug to relay this information, the drone of heavy bombers was heard.
A total of 90 bombers from Kampfgeschwader 54 (54th Bomber Regiment) were sent over the city. German forces in the city fired flares to warn the bombers off, but only 33 bombers turned back; the rest proceeded with their attack, dropping low to release 97 tonnes of bombs, mostly in the heart of the city. Some ignited vegetable oil tanks on the dockside, the fires spreading into the city centre. Why the formation had not received the abort mission order sooner remains controversial. The red flare, which the Germans claimed was meant to signal abort but which the most pilots failed to see, is said to have been used by the Germans to show their location in the city to avoid friendly fire rather than avoid the bombing at all ; some argue this is backed up by the fact that German troops firing the flare were unaware of the time the bombers would attack, let alone that a ceasefire was in effect. However, this argument fails to explain why about one-third of the German bombers turned back before the attack.
Although exact numbers are not known, 800 to 900 people were killed and 80,000 made homeless. Around 2.6 square kilometres (1 square mile) of the city was almost levelled. 24,978 homes, 24 churches, 2,320 stores, 775 warehouses and 62 schools were destroyed.
Germany threatened to bomb other Dutch cities, but started with Rotterdam due to its unrivalled strategic and industrial importance for the Netherlands and the rest of the region. This included Germany's enemies like France, but also Germany itself, since Rotterdam is the gateway to the sea due to its situation on the great European rivers Rhine and Meuse (Maas).
The Dutch Army had no means of stopping the bombers (the Dutch Air Force was practically non-existent), and the Dutch government decided to capitulate rather than suffer a repeat of Rotterdam in Amsterdam or The Hague. In retrospect, this has triggered the remark that the Dutch government used Rotterdam and its inhabitants as a "bargaining chip".
As World War II began in 1939, the president of the United States, then a neutral power, Franklin D. Roosevelt, asked the major belligerents to confine air raids to military targets. The French and the British agreed to abide by the request which included the provision "that these same rules of warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents".
The United Kingdom had a policy of bombing only military targets and infrastructure such as ports and railways which were of military importance. While it was acknowledged that bombing of Germany would cause civilian casualties, the British renounced the deliberate bombing of civilian property, outside combat zones, as a military tactic. This policy was abandoned on 15 May 1940, one day after the Rotterdam Blitz, when the RAF was given permission to attack the Ruhr area, including oil plants and other civilian industrial targets which aided the war effort, such as blast furnaces. The first RAF raid on the interior of Germany took place on the night of 15 May - 16 May.
i believe this to be another serious mistake on hitler's part. failing to recognize that the allies would do the same in retaliation or that the fortunes of war could change, as they did, decimating german cities one after another and killing hundreds of thousands in the horrific allied bombing that was to come. i was told by a relative of a german citizen who was there that for a time after the war if an army aircorps pilot or crew entered a german establishment all the germans, or most, would get up and leave.