"He saw the long road outside Rotterdam, the long straight road beside the dunes, and the stream of refugees moving along it"

Rotterdam, 1940
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRotterdam, 1940 - Credit: Deutsches Bundesarchiv
This was the Rotterdam Blitz of 14 May 1940, when the German air force mounted a fierce aerial bombardment of the city to support their ground troops and break Dutch resistance, forcing the Netherlands to surrender.

Alec Leamas spent part of World War II in Holland.