This gives a novel picture for the American reader of some of the problems faced and conquered by the countries overrun by the Germans. Specifically, this is a fascinating story of the conquest of the sea, one of the major triumphs of hydraulic engineering in the Netherlands, when Walcheren was rescued from the invading sea, its dike gaps closed, the most powerful forces of nature defeated by grim determination, mathematical calculation, improvisation, and perspiration. In translation, little has been lost of the quality of the drama:- the men against the sea emerge as human beings; the bitter realities of life experienced by those who fled the sea and battled in homely ways against it come into awareness; the chiefs of operation ""the water wizards"" -- with their blend of scientific knowledge, familiarity with orthodox methods, concern for their own particular area as against the greater project, reluctance to accept either defeat or new ways -- they, too, stand out as individuals. Perhaps the closest analogy to any American book is George Stewart's Storm for here too the implacable force of Nature's power is really the focus of the story. Not always easy reading; primarily a book for men.