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Is The Forgotten Battle Based On A True Story?

"The Forgotten Battle," which is the latest film from the director of 2011's "The Thing" prequel film, debuted on Netflix on October 15. Shortly after its premiere, the first Dutch flick on Netflix leapt into the streaming service's Top 10 charts in a number of countries worldwide, including Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. (via Forbes).

Plot-wise, "The Forgotten Battle" takes place during World War II, and is divided into three separate but interconnected storylines. Its principal characters are a Dutch soldier enlisted in the Nazi army, an English pilot fighting for the Allies, and a Dutch girl who joins the local resistance army.

Because of its historical subject matter, some of the growing audience of "The Forgotten Battle" may be wondering whether it depicts the particulars of an actual WWII engagement, or is simply a piece of ultra-realistic historical fiction. In short, the answer is somewhere in between those two extremes.

The Forgotten Battle is based on the Battle of the Scheldt

Netflix's synopsis for "The Forgotten Battle" describes the movie as taking place "during WWII's crucial Battle of the Scheldt." This was indeed the name of a World War II engagement, which an article on Dutch Review describes as "one of the longest and fiercest battles fought during WWII on Dutch soil," and "considered by some historians to have been waged on the most difficult battlefield of the Second World War."

In that sense, then, the setting and action of "The Forgotten Battle" are rooted directly in history. Its principal characters, however, are fictional, representing different factions in the Battle of the Scheldt rather than functioning as portrayals of real-life individuals who fought in said battle. Dutch soldier Marinus van Staveren (Gijs Blom), for example, is explicitly described as a fictional character on a fan wiki for WWII combatants in film.

Viewers hoping to glean some historical insight from "The Forgotten Battle" can thus learn plenty about the Battle of the Scheldt from the film, provided an understanding that its individual characters never existed.