Today we are set to go early in the morning to the unique commemoration of airborne landings on Ginkelse Heide near Ede and Arnhem. Decided to go , for the expected number of spectators, to go on bike the last piece of the trip. On arrival it was already pretty busy. Walked to the Airborne Memorial.
In September 1944 it was the largest airborne operation during the 2nd World War. Eventually there where even more droppings than during the D-Day landings. Just like 70 years the fog also played in the today droppings. No less than 60,000 visitors had come down to this unique event.
' Wiki: The camp was built in 1939 as a Dutch army camp. Among the prisoners were also people from England, Belgium and France.After a few months the French and the Belgian were released. The English prisoners were transferred to a German camp Gleiwitz in September 1940. For about 1,900 people was the camp their first camp before being transferred to other camps. More than 1,000 of them never returned, mainly Jews and political prisoners.' http://www.kamp-schoorl.nl
See link for the: rememberance on 12th June 2014
At Robertville we made a trip from Ligneuville through La Gleize. The same route Kampfgruppe Peiper took when the German armies were to break through the US lines in the Ardennes, to cross the River Meuse and take Antwerp, cutting the Allied forces in two.
In the advance through the Ardennes they came across an American column at Malmedey. It was here the Malmedey massacre took place. We have visited it again and also the very nice museum. In our earlier trip we made already some comparing pictures. After this terrible incident the Germans advanced to Stavelot. At Stavelot the American's failed the blow the bridge at first but gained time to regroup there units. This resulted in the blowing of the bridges at Trois Pont leaving Peiper only route to La Gleize. Meanwhile the weather improved and squadrons of P-47 Mustang Aircrafts where able to attack the 20 km long column. But in the dazzling ride the Kampfgruppe were stopped at La Gleize because of lack of ammunition and fuel.
Peiper was given the use of the newest tank, the 70 ton Tiger II or King Tiger with its 7 inches of armor made it impervious to allied anti-tank weapons. However, the King Tiger had a high consumption of fuel (1/2 mile to the gallon) along with mechanical defects (mainly the tank's suspension system), which would continuously hinder Peiper's ability to reach his assigned objectives in Operation Wacht am Rhein. One of the few left Tiger Tanks is now visible at the La Gleize museum.
This weekend we went on a short trip to the Ardennes. Although we have visited it before there are many places to find and pictures to take. On the way to our B&B in Robertville we made a little detour to see the remains of the Siegfried Line near Roetgen.
It was here that the American's first entered Germany and few days later on the 13th of September they were able to cross the Siegfried Line (Westwall). Today there are still many remains of this defenses, most notable the dragon teeth's to stop the tanks from crossing it. At Roetgen we faced a closure of the road on which the picture was taken. But we found a way to cross the roadblock (almost like then :-) ) and searched for the dragon teeth's.
Much to our surprise it was all covered with plants and trees now, as the pictures we had even after the war did show a clear sight of the Line. It is now in private hand but luckily the gate was open and we were able to see the remains more in detail.
Today where are leaving Carentan and our lovely stay at the B&B . If you want to see the landing beaches and the Airborne landings this is one of the best options as you are in the center where the actions has been taking place. Nancy is running a great B&B and even makes her own bread, jam, yoghurt (I wonder what she does not make by her own). The rooms are great and large.
The nature around Carentan is very nice especially if you like Oysters. One road you should drive during dusk is the small road to left side of the river Diver to the 'Parc Naturel Regional des Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin'. Just out of Carentan you cross a side arm of the river on a original Bailey bridge. At the end of the long road you can see the sun going down in the see.
In the harbor of Carentan lies an original Landing Craft (PA30-4).
Off we go to Clecy near Caen (and the Falaise pocket)