The Forgotten Battle

The Forgotten Battle

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Three young people are irrevocably linked during a ferocious battle at the end of World War II. If Allied forces can seize control of the strategically vital waterways around Antwerp, it will deal a crucial blow to the Nazi occupation of Holland and help bring the war to an end.

With a budget of €14 million, ‘The Forgotten Battle' is the Netherlands' second most expensive movie production. The film deals with the Battle of the Scheldt, a lesser-known clash between the Allies and Germans towards the end of World War Two.

We've already seen big-budget movies about D-Day, Pearl Harbor, and Dunkirk. But, until now, the Battle of the Scheldt has been neglected by filmmakers. Probably due to the fact that outside of Holland and Canada, not many people know about this brutal engagement.

Despite the Allies suffering more than 12,000 casualties (including 6000 Canadians) throughout the month-long fighting in the Scheldt estuary, other engagements such as Operation Market Garden have received more historical analysis. Thus, ‘The Forgotten Battle' appears to be a fitting title for the film.

The movie had a screening premiere in December 2020. It also enjoyed a small run in Dutch theatres around the same time. However, as Netflix part-financed this movie, they will be streaming it on their platform from 15th October 2021.

‘The Forgotten Battle' is Netflix's first Dutch film; it was produced in collaboration with local broadcasters and other investors. The story of the battle is told through three main characters: Teuntje, Marinus and William.

Marinus is a Dutchman serving in the German army, Teuntje is a reluctant resistance girl, and William is an Allied soldier fighting to overcome the entrenched Germans.

The film's writers opted for a mosaic storytelling style for ‘The Forgotten Battle'. By opting for this technique, the action occasionally loses pace and the story becomes difficult to follow in places. Although, it's not detrimental to the overall enjoyment of the movie.

Teuntje (Susan Radder) is a young resistance fighter whose brother has vital intelligence to assist the Allied forces in their fight against the Nazis. Getting this information to the resistance appears impossible, as our young heroine doesn't know who she can trust.

Tom Felton, better known for his portrait of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, stars a British glider pilot. Interestingly, Felton is not the only Harry Potter star to appear in a foreign-made war film. In 2012, Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) took a lead role in the Norwegian World War Two flick ‘Into The White ‘.

Gijs Blom plays Marinus van Staveren, a Dutch Nazi wounded on the Eastern Front and sent to Zeeland for an administrative position.

The use of the three characters creates a more nuanced film than the usual ‘us' against ‘them' scenario, which is common in most war movies today.

The drama was directed and partly written by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. He was previously known for Directing the sci-fi movie ‘The Thing' in 2011. This film shows the horrors of this war from three different angles in an authentic way. The film's main protagonist's weave the various elements of the story together neatly, and their paths cross toward the end of the movie.

Overall, ‘The Forgotten Battle' (De Slag om de Schelde) is a good mix of storytelling and action with solid cast performances. This film is visually impressive, and it could easily pass for a Hollywood production. If you enjoy war movies, you'll appreciate this well-made Dutch war story.


Following the Allied victory in Normandy, Allied troops launched a series of rapid advances into the Low Countries. But, as they advanced, their supply lines became dangerously stretched.

The Allies needed a large port to supply their armies. Antwerp was the obvious choice. British troops seized the City and Port on September 4th 1944. However, a German force holding positions across the Scheldt estuary prevented Allied shipping from reaching the docks. Canadian soldiers were given the task of clearing the Nazis' from their stronghold.

The Allies and Nazi Germany fought the Battle of the Scheldt to control the strategic waterways between Antwerp and Rotterdam. The battle, which sealed Germany's fate during the Second World War, is regarded as one of the most crucial in the conflict. It was a vital phase in the liberation of Europe. However, it has received very little attention over the years. ‘The Forgotten Battle' aims to shine a light on this critical engagement.


  • Visually Good
  • Hollywood Quality
  • Deeper Than Most War Movies


  • Confusing At Times
  • Limited Action Scenes



  1. I was pleasantly suprised at the quality of the movie but remained disappoinnted. True to the title, they forgot the battle. You can have 2 kinds of war movies; about the battle or about the human experience in a battle. The first focuses on the telling of the battle; Midway, Bridge Too Far, Dunkirk, Battle of the Bulge, Gettysburg. Characters are only used to explain key dynamics of the battle. The second is a human drama of one or a few people and the battle is only a stage that forces them into their personal dilema; Platoon, Deer Hunter, Saving Private Ryan, Alls Quiet on the Western Front, Hurt Locker. In fact with the second, the battle is almost irrelevant as you could play out much the same story in any battle, in any war in human history. This movie falls into the later. It’s a good human drama movie but tells you virtually nothing about the Scheldt Campaign. In fact the main combatant, the Canadian Army, is essentially not even in the movie other than a few cameos. Sort of like making a movie about The Battle of Britain without the RAF. Good movie but the Forgotten Battle, one of the most brutal on the western front, remains forgotten.

    • I think that’s a fair point. I felt that the film tried to tell too many stories. It wasn’t a ‘resistance’ movie or a ‘battle’ epic. The strongest story and the most interesting was that of the Dutchman (Marinus van Staveren) fighting in the German army.

    • Might have been a good idea to put correct markings on the Canadian military vehicles , rather than the star , which was an American marking . Forgotten indeed

      • Actually, Canadian WW2 military vehicles in the ETO from D-Day to end of war 1944-45 used the white star insignia. Google will provide you plenty of images for Canadian vehicles in action. The purpose of this of course was aerial identification.
        In the MTO in Italy, they tended to follow the British practice of using the RAF roundel on the tops of the tank turrets and vehicle engine hoods.

      • The Canadian Army in the ETO used the white star marking on their vehicles. You can easily confirm this with Google and a plethora of historical visual documentation.

  2. I’m a purist with WW2 films – this is a masterpiece. That is all.

  3. The helments used by the Canadian soldiers look like East Germany Army’s helments. No the British helments of WWII

    • Well spotted! I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong with the Canadian uniforms. The British Mk. II helmet was the standard Canadian helmet at the time of the battle. Those helmets used in the film do look like the East German ‘M56-76’ Helmets or Russian maybe.

    • It’s a Mark III helmet, sometimes called a “turtle” helmet. It’s accurate, and was used by Canadians and British after D-Day.

    • Agreed. East German helmets was all I could think of during those scenes.

    • The helmet is correct. The Mk III Helmet was a steel military combat helmet first developed for the British Army in 1941 by the Medical Research Council. First worn in combat by British and Canadian troops on D-Day, the Mk III and Mk IV were used alongside the Brodie helmet for the remainder of the Second World War.

    • That is the MK III ‘turtle’ helmet issued to British and Canadian soldiers from D-Day forward. Not all Canadian troops received the MK III. Initially, only the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division D-Day troops were issued the Mk III, then more received the new helmet in 1944-45. You will see in photographs 1944-45 a mixture of MKII and Mk III helmets on Canadian infantry, depending on their unit.

  4. I am a real WW2 enthusiast. I strongly prefer British or European productions of WW2 stories and events. I disagree with the reference to “a Hollywood production” comparison…. and I didn’t notice a single swear word ( overly used in “Hollywood productions!) This movie was beautifully presented and directed. I agree with some ‘confusing parts’, but the story line held true and the closing parts of the story helped clear up any confusion. I was very moved by this movie and turned my television off at the end and just sat quietly for some moments. If I had been in a theatre I am sure I would have been asked to leave.
    Thank you Netflix for your interest in this production, I’m sure it will get the audience that it deserves.


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