The Battle of Maastricht was one of the first battles that took place during the German Campaign on the Western Front during World War II. Maastricht was a key city in order to capture the Belgian Fort Eben-Emael and split the allied armies in half.
The ancient city of Maastricht – the most southern Dutch city [with its Roman roots] – would see a lot of dramatic events on the first day of the war. The main-bridges over the Maas [in the city of Maastricht itself] were some of the main targets in the German invasion plan. These three bridges were the St. Servaesbrug, Wilhelminabrug and the railway bridge to the north. It was considered imperative to take these bridges intact. The German 4th Tank Division – with its 343 tanks – was supposed to make use of these heavy river crossings