Zweed From Netherlands, joined Apr 2004, 455 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1765 times:
I am thinking of travelling around the Netherlands/Belgium this summer and look at some WWII sites. If there are any.
So I need your help, is there anything to see?
I remember I saw american tombstones somewhere near Bergen Op Zoom.
Petertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3270 posts, RR: 12 Reply 1, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 1749 times:
National war and resistance museum at Overloon (near Arnhem) would be a must. The museum is located on a site that had part of the fighting of operation Market Garden. http://www.oorlogsmuseum-overloon.nl/nl/
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13604 posts, RR: 63 Reply 3, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 1740 times:
There is the Airborne museum in Oosterbeeck close to Arnhem, then there exists a museum of the Dutch resistance in Amsterdam. Also you´ll see lots of old pillboxes around in Holland back from 1940, when the Dutch Army tried to use the canals as defense lines.
I think there are museums in Nijmegen and Eindhoven as well. Don´t forget about the Princess Irene Brigade Museum in Oirschot near Eindhoven (it is sited in an Army barracks though, I don´t know in how far you can get access). I was there a few weeks ago and it was really neat.
Then there are several living history groups in the Netherlands:
Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 20 Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 1736 times:
There's a war cemetery in the village of Dieren.
There's a small museum near Twente Airbase just outside Enschede.
Similar near Deelen AB.
RNthAF museum at Kamp Zeist near Soesterberg has WW2 equipment from both the European and Pacific theater.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13604 posts, RR: 63 Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 1734 times:
According to my friend, who is running the joeri.net site and who is heavily doing research about the Dutch resistance and civilian population it happened, but was mostly carried out by what the Dutch call "September Knights", people who collaborated for most of the time the Germans were occupying the country and who though in September 1944 that the Allies were advancing, so they suddenly shifted their loyalities and had to prove how "patriotic" they were, mostly by attacking poor women. But during the whole time when resistance was dangerous they just collaborated.
BTW, I liked the "Band of Brothers" series, because it stayed mostly away from the stereotypes. I just watched "The Longest Day" a few days ago and I was deeply disappointed.
L-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29514 posts, RR: 59 Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 1729 times:
The longest day?
The old Darryl Zanuck picture.
That is a film that you have to keep in mind the times in which it was made. A lot of the guys that made that film, no doubt where actually there. So for them to make an impartial film was not happening.
Besides the original Cornelius Ryan book is a better read anyway.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13604 posts, RR: 63 Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1725 times:
There is probably a memorial somewhere in Rotterdam, because this city was bombed to rubble after the Dutch troops there surrendered back in 1940.
Down across the Belgian border near Maastricht lies the fortress Eben Emael, which was taken by surprise by German paratroopers in 1940.
Then the eastern zone of the Netherlands (Gelderland, Friesland?) was the jumping off point for operation "Veritable", the attack on the Northern German plains, the northern end of the Siegfried line, many British, Canadians and Polish died there.
Concerning the Longest Day,
I know that there were quite a few actors and advisers who´ve been there in person, but seeing John Wayne celebrating himself, well, I didn´t like it very much. Many dialoques seemed to me to be too stereotypical.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13604 posts, RR: 63 Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1714 times:
James Coburn fought in Iwo Jima.
Back to the Netherlands:
I think in Amersfort was a huge prison, where the Germans kept and executed many resistance fighters, esp. during the time of the "Englandspiel", when the Abwehr managed through capturing a few key radio operators to control almost the whole Dutch resistance. Agents dropped by parachute by the RAF were captured the moment they touched the ground.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13604 posts, RR: 63 Reply 14, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1707 times:
Those people are very friendly! A few weeks ago our group did a living history display at the Princess Irene Museum, I hope the start of a good cooperation! They seemed to have been impressed that a group of 30 amateurs can setz up such a display with tents, radio equipment, trucks, motor bikes, uniforms etc.. Later they loaned us some stuff for our display, like a Bren machine gun, a 25 pounder artillery piece and a PIAT anti tank grenade launcher.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13604 posts, RR: 63 Reply 15, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1697 times:
Concerning Montgomery and "Market Garden":
Market Garden was a gamble. The idea was to get the bridges over the Maas, the Waal and the Nederrijn to get access to the Northern German plain, to encircle and cut off the Ruhr area with it´s heavy industry and maybe reach Berlin before Stalin to get a better bargaining position in the post war talks between the western allies and the Russians. At the same time it was hoped to shorten the war by a few months.
It was planned to be a combined operation of the British 2nd Army, coming up from the Belgian border through a narrow corridor in German occupied Netherlands, together with airborne assaults on the cities of Eindhoven, Veghel, Son (American 101. Airborne Division); Nijmegen, Grave (American 82nd Airborne) and Arnhem (British 1st Airborne Division and the Polish Independend Parachute Brigade).
There were several problems at Arnhem, the last and farthest bridge:
1) The drop zones were about 8 to 9 miles away from the objective. The RAF refused a closer drop to the bridge, because they claimed that a lot of AA artillery was based around Arnhem town.
2) Due to a lack of planes, the RAF could only provide two drops a day.
The first two drops were on time, but later supply drops were delayed due to bad weather.
3) The narrow corridor through German held territory. The road was in places too soft to carry heavy equipment, and in many places it was under German artillery fire. This delayed the arrival of the British 2nd Army, which was supposed to relieve the airborne soldiers in Arnhem.
The biggest problemn was that the British and Polish airborne soldiers landed right in the middle of two SS armoured divisions, which have been posted there a short while before for rest and training. Also this region of the Netherlands was very Nazi friendly, with many collabotators, including a school for Dutch SS volunteers.
The Dutch resistance tried to warn the British military about the presence of those SS units, but after the experiences of the "Englandspiel" (The German military intelligence Abwehr succeded through the capture of a few key SOE ansd resistance radio operators to control almost the whole resistance network and to feed false information to their British controllers, aided by easily breakable codes, they forced the radio operators for almost one year to send false messages to the British SOE. Read "Between Silk and Cyanide" by Leo Marks)
Information from the Dutch resistance wasn´t trusted anymore after the whole plot has been discovered.
The airborne managed to capture the bridge intact, but had to withdraw from it after a few days of fighting. Finaly the British and Polish Airborne got surounded at Oosterbeeck. When the 2nd Army finaly arrived, it couldn´t help them anymore, except by covering their retreat across the Nederrijn.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13604 posts, RR: 63 Reply 17, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1682 times:
I was there last february. Some veterans of the Queen´s Own Rifles, who are too old to travel to Europe, asked us to place some flowers at the grave of a soldiers who earned a VC,for all of their friends who died during the campaign. It is sobering to see this row of about 25 headstones, all between 19 and 27, all of them died on the same day (February 26th, 1945), at the same place, a battle for a fortified farm near Kleve. A whole platoon got wiped out. The seargeant won his VC for climbing on the turret of the last remaining tank to direct the fire against German machine gun nests and an 88mm cannon, enabling the remains of this platoon to capture this farm (Mooshof). Unfortunately he was shot dead by a sniper a few minutes after the capture. Don´t forget, all of the Canadian soldiers were volunteers, except for some drafted close to the end of the war (called zombies by their comrades).