On 12 May 1940, the hamlet of Poeldonk was on fire. Several farms burned down. Dutch soldiers fiercely fought against the advancing Germans at Dungen bridge. An unequal battle with five casualties on the German side and at least three on the Dutch side. Among those killed was the heroic KNIL soldier Major Döbken. His death caused a collapse of morale and the remaining soldiers tried to save themselves by quickly changing their military uniforms for civilian clothing. They fled along the canal.
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