The German bombing of Rotterdam in World War II, also known as the Rotterdam Blitz, was the aerial bombardment of Rotterdam by the Luftwaffe on 14 May 1940, during the German invasion of the Netherlands in World War II. The objective was to support the German troops fighting in the city, break Dutch resistance and force the Dutch army to surrender. Almost the entire historic city centre was destroyed, nearly 900 people were killed and 85,000 more were left homeless.
The psychological and physical success of the raid, from the German perspective, led the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe to threaten to destroy the city of Utrecht if the Dutch command did not surrender. The Dutch surrendered in the late afternoon of 14 May, signing the capitulation early the next morning.