Airfield On the trail of The Duits Lijntje
It is September 1944. Over four years ago Germany invaded our country. The invaders used the Duits Lijntje a lot to transport soldiers and war material. By now the much desired end of the war is (literally) in the air.
The local resistance sabotage the railway track to cross the transport of German equipment. Earlier on they have stolen a case of hand grenades here. In the night of 8 to 9 September they blew up the railway track between Schijndel and Veghel with those explosives. A German train also derails now. In the Geronimo museum in Eerde windmill some plundered things of this train can be seen.
On September 9 th the mayors of both Veghel and Schijndel receive a compelling order from the German occupant. Civilians have to guard the railway track every night from now on. Horrible sanctions are put forward if the requirements aren’t met. From every ten men, thirty women and one hundred children one will be shot or hanged on the Market Place. Fortunately it didn’t get this far.
On Sunday, September 17 th 1944 local residents see something unimaginable. Hundreds of paratroopers of the 101 st Airborne Division jump from low flying Dakota’s. The soldiers land near Eerde, on Brabant soil for the first time. This region played a crucial part in Operation Market Garden. Veghel and Sint Oedenrode are quickly taken. Eerde is being fought hard. On September 24 th German soldiers attack the corridor there, the small supply route of the allied forces due north. The Germans also occupy the supply route north east of Veghel. The advance of British jeeps, tanks and other material was delayed enormously. The allied forces fail to conquer the bridge near Arnhem. Operation Market Garden fails. In this area the railway track forms a frontline for weeks. By the end of October, after the destructive grenade weeks, Schijndel is liberated as part of Operation Pheasant.
By the end of 1944 the allies started building Airfield B.85 at the Vlagheide, just south of the railway track. The airfield gets one runway which is 1500 metres ( approximately 1 mile ) long and 40 metres ( approximately 130 feet ) wide. One hundred and fifty spitfires from England, Norway, France, The Netherlands and other places are stationed at the airfield. They offer air support over occupied Holland and they bomb Germany. On the Vlagheide the spitfire monument on which kids can play reminds us of Schijndel airfield.
Do you want to read more about the Duits Lijntje? Go (back) to the translations of the other locations on the railway track in Meierijstad.Go to other translations