Emergency Food Drops
April 29 to May 8th, 1945
The harsh winter of 1944-45, is known by the Dutch as the Hongerwinter (‘Hunger Winter’). A number of factors combined to create the Dutch famine which impacted 3.5 million people. By April 1945 about 20,000 Dutch people had died of starvation.
- Netherlands was one of the main western battlefields
- the winter of 1944-45 was unusually harsh
- widespread dislocation and destruction of the war
- the retreating German army destroyed locks and bridges to flood the country
- agricultural land ruined by the flooding
- transport of existing food stocks difficult due to damage to transport infrastructure
- They lived on Tulip bulbs and anything they could find. hongertochten, as they were called
Operation Mana- British and Canadian
April 29 1945 involved 242 Lancasters to drop the food and 8 Mosquitoes to mark the drop zones.
During the next week over 3,000 sorties were flown dropping some 7,000 tons of food to the Dutch.
Operation Chowhound- US
May 1 flew 2200 sorties by the American Air Force
Total: 11,000 tons of food were dropped in the ten days of the operation
Listen to CBC Reporter relay the story of the Dutch famine
Watch Audio Soundslide