Available on Netflix, The Battle of the Scheldt is a war film revisiting a crucial and little-known battle of World War II. Discover the story behind this feature film, the second most expensive Dutch film in history.
Available on Netflix, The Battle of the Scheldt is a war film revisiting a historic and little-known battle of the Second World War. Discover the story behind this feature film, the second most expensive Dutch film in history.
Released in cinemas across the Netherlands in June 2021, The Battle of the Scheldt has been available on Netflix worldwide since October 15. This war film, directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., of which it is the second feature film after his remake of The Thing, quickly slipped into the top viewings in France on the platform.
It is through the fates of a British glider pilot, a Dutch soldier who joined the German forces and a reluctant recruit from the resistance that the director and screenwriter Paula van der Oest have chosen to highlight this historic and strategic battle, but often overlooked, of the Second World War.
The first Dutch film produced by Netflix, along with Levitate Film and Caviar Films, The Battle of the Scheldt was allocated a budget of 14 million euros, making it the second most expensive Dutch feature film in the world. Story behind Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book, released in 2006.
With substantial resources, a strong plot inspired by major real events and a calibrated staging, The Battle of the Scheldt is a poignant and effective war film. The film can also count on an involved cast: Tom Felton (Malfoy in Harry Potter), Gijs Blom (My life with John F. Donovan), Jan Bijvoet (Into The Night), Jamie Flatters (Avatar 2, 3 and 4), Susan Radder, Marthe Schneider and Ronald Kalter.
An essential and little-known operation of the Second World War
Also known as the Battle of the Dikes, the Battle of the Scheldt is a large military operation carried out between October and November 1944 by the Allies during World War II to take control of both shores, Belgian and Dutch, of the The Scheldt estuary, still controlled by the Wehrmacht, and reach the port of Antwerp liberated earlier in order to supply the troops assembled against the Germans.
This operation to reconquer the estuary towards the port of Antwerp was unfortunately delayed because of Operation Market Garden, an airborne attempt by the British army to seize the bridges crossing the main rivers of the Netherlands occupied by the Germans, launched on September 17, 1944 by the Allies, on the strength of their success in Normandy.
But Operation Market Garden, which required a lot of military resources, was a failure and allowed the German forces to organize their defenses. Thanks to Canadian, British and Polish troops and Belgian and Dutch resistance fighters, the Allies regained control of the Scheldt estuary and allowed ships to reach the port of Antwerp.
The Battle of the Scheldt proved to be crucial and enabled the final offensive against the Germans to be launched in World War II. This operation, completed on November 8, 1944, claimed the lives of 3,321 Allies, 2,283 civilians and 4,250 Germans. It was not until May 5, 1945 that the Netherlands were liberated.