Articles

  • Article by Peter Kimenai
  • Published on May 19th, 2015

Air raid on Wangerooge, 25 April 1945

Seventy years ago, on 25 April 1945, the East Frisian island of Wangerooge was bombed by 482 bombers of the Royal Air Force. This was the last major allied air attack on German territory during World War Two. On this sunny April day not only many military and civilians were killed, but a large number of the present forced labourers as well.

  • Article by Wesley Dankers
  • Published on January 13th, 2017

Atomic bombs on Japan

Introduction "I am aware of the tragic impact of the atomic bomb. It is a terrible responsibility which has come to us. We thank God it has come to us instead of to our enemies and we pray He may guide us in using it in His footsteps and to His purposes." Harry S. Truman, August 9th, 1945.

  • Article by Pieter Schlebaum
  • Published on March 11th, 2016

Battle of Achouffe, 13-15 January 1945

On 16 December 1944 the Germans launched a massive attack on the allied troops in the Ardennes, a campaign which is commonly known as The Battle of the Bulge. Their aim was to split the allied armies and capture the port city of Antwerp. From 16 till 20 December German troops advanced towards Stavelot, Sankt-Vith, Houffalize and Bastogne. The allied forces managed to repel the attack. The German salient in the Ardennes was eliminated when the American 2nd and 11th Armored Divisions re-established contact near Houffalize on 16 January. By then the Germans had already started to evacuate the salient. One of these evacuation routes led trough the village of Achouffe, nowadays well-known because of the presence of a brewery.

  • Article by Peter ter Haar
  • Published on September 18th, 2015

Bombing of Dresden, 13 and 14 February 1945

Dresden is the capital of Saxony. In the course of ages, the city became known as the Florence on the Elbe, Elbflorenz, an internationally renowned city of culture.In peacetime, the city had 630,000 inhabitants and ranked as the seventh city of Germany. The city, up until 1945, was spared the tragic fates of cities like Cologne, Essen, Hamburg and Berlin.There was not much industry and the industry that was present was not considered to be vital to the German war effort. Only the railroad marshalling yards had been attacked up until February, 1945.

  • Article by Maarten C. Hoff
  • Published on November 24th, 2016

Liberation of the northeastern part of the Netherlands

"Food tourists" and "bread thieves", those were daily words in the famine winter of 1944-1945. A large part of the Dutch population was fighting for its life at that time and: "you had to stand in line to be buried," as a manner of speech. To Allied strategists, this was no reason to rearrange their priorities for the destruction of Nazi Germany. The highest policy makers with the loyal military commanders in their wake were focused entirely on the effective defeat of Berlin. All military capacity, in particular the logistic element was deployed to strike deep and fast into the heart of Germany. In all their plans, the starving nation was literally left at the wayside, the military turning their backs on her.

  • Article by Jaap Jansen
  • Published on August 3rd, 2012

Operation Amherst

During the night of Saturday 7 to Sunday 8 April 1945 the last parachutist operation in The Netherlands started over the (eastern) province of Drenthe. The dropping of 702 French (SAS) paratroopers intended to support the further advances of the Second Canadian Army Corps.

  • Article by Peter Kimenai
  • Published on May 28th, 2015

War victims on the Ems in peace time, 9 May 1945

After the devastating air raid on Wangerooge of 25 April 1945, the Dutch surviving forced labourers wanted to go home as soon as possible. The first days after the raid sporadic anti aircraft fire was heard. After that it remained silent. From 5 May on the heavy thud of the shelling on main land Germany had stopped. The attitude of the guards towards the German speaking Dutch became more communicative and in this way they heard of Germany's surrender on 5 May 1945. This only increased the desire to get home. A handful of Dutch had walked to the harbour at Westanleger which was quite far from the central village of Wangerooge, via the narrow gauge rail. They hoped to find a ship that could bring them home.