The Helmond section of the Zuid-Willemsvaart was completed on 1 July 1825. A drawbridge will be placed at the end of the important thoroughfare Veestraat / Steenweg. The identified Veestraat bridge was modernized and widened in 1923.
To complicate the advance of the German army on May 10, 1940, the Dutch army has all bridges over the Zuid-Willemsvaart blown up. After the invasion of the Germans, a ship bridge is temporarily constructed from existing ships in the canal.
On September 22, 1944, the restored Veestraat bridge flies into the air again, now at the hands of the German army. The western and eastern part of Helmond is separated by acts of war and the military dividing line is the Zuid Wilemsvaart. There is fighting back and forth and the inhabitants of Helmond take refuge in the shelters. Still, there are deaths and injuries in the city.
The British 2nd army approaches Helmond via Someren and Asten and enters the city on September 25, 1944, around 11.00 from Deurne, via the eastern Molenstraat. After the liberation of the city, a bailey bridge is temporarily constructed. In 1947, the Veestraat Bridge was officially put back into use. The part of the canal, which is the Veestraat bridge, has no official function for shipping since 1993.
The bicycle route in Helmond is a collaboration between Death Valley De Peel of the Museum Klok & Peel, Heemkundekring Helmont, Stichting Helmond September 25, 1944 and TracesOfWar.nl. The route consists of a number of points, not all of which have a sign.
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- Text: TracesOfWar.nl
- Photos: Jeroen Koppes (1, 2), Death Valley De Peel (3)