This airport has its origins during the First World War, when it was built as a military airport in 1916. Schiphol was expanded during this war. After the First World War, the airport lost its military significance and was used for civil aviation.
Second World War
Schiphol was bombed by the Luftwaffe in May 1940. Some buildings were destroyed. The airport was expanded by the Germans to a 'Fliegerhorst' (main airport). It also served as command centre for the military aviation in the northern Netherlands. During the occupation of the Netherlands, three decoy airports were built: in Bennebroek, Vijfhuizen and Vogelenzang. The Germans also attached the airport to the Haarlemmermeer Railway lines and a number of heavy anti aircraft batteries were established around Schiphol.
Schiphol was bombed several times by the Allies. The heaviest bombing took place on December 13, 1943. On September 17, 1944, the day of the start of Operation Market Garden, the Germans blew up the airport and left it unusable in May 1945. Between 2 and May 7 1945, Schiphol was used as dropping site for food during Operation Chowhound.
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