Operation Manna 1945

Discussion in 'Stories' started by Marcel, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    With all the destruction the bombing caused, in the Netherlands the heavies are still remembered as live savers. This is because of operation manna, which started on April 29th 1945.

    The fact that the northern part of the Netherlands was not liberated after the failure of Market Garden had severe consequences for the big cities in Western Netherlands. As revenge for the rail road strike in 1944, German authorities prevented all food transport to western Holland. The cites entered the worst winter of the war, called the Hunger winter. Hardly any food or fuel was available. Trees were cut down, to be burned for heat and many people, mainly women travelled hundred of kilometres on bike to get some food from the farmers in the eastern part of the country.

    After months of negotiations, the german authorities allowed te alles to help these people by dropping supplies from the air. On april 29th, 1945, hundreds of Lancaster bombers dropped 535 tonns of food and supplies, later joined by the B17's of the USAAF. The Germans agreed not to fire on the a/c, although some minor incidents occured, mainly with light weapons. In total 11000 tonns of supplies were dropped during 8 days by 30 RAF and 11 USAAF squadrons. After those 8 days, the German army had surrendered and supplies could be transported in other ways to the hungry dutch.
     

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  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Interesting facts I'm aware of was the now author Farley Mowat and a fellow officer of the Canadian Hasty Pees regiment walked through German lines to attempt to get to see the German General Blaskowitz in hopes he would allow food drops , as far as I know the walk was not authorized but after more then a little booze they suceeded in getting the german s permission .The first aircraft was RCAF an it was a Lanc named Bad Penny (always comes back) it was a test to see if the Germans would fire at the lo level lanc.
    They are restoring Lancaster FM 212 in Windsor Ontario in the markings of Bad Penny
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I thought some of the C-47s used for Market Garden were also used in this effort. Did the US drop supplies?
     
  4. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Sure did they did I believe about 30%
     
  5. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    In my post:
    Bomber Command did 3100 sorties and USAAF 2200. So they did drop indeed, although the British slightly more. In fact, the had zones where they dropped. Bomber Command flew on Valkenburg, Duindigt, Ypenburg, Terbregge, Park De Twee Heuvels and Gouda, mostly airfields and the US bombers on Schiphol, Vogelenzang, Bergen, Hilversum and Utrecht.
     
  6. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Good info, that I didn't know about, Mon Ami... Thanks for posting...

    Charles
     
  7. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

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    My Mom lived in Holland at that time remembers the air drops. she herself was in northren holland(Groningen) I believe last major Dutch city to be liberated. she remembers eating tulip bulbs and other stuff one wouldn't normally eat
     
  8. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bernhart, that's a coincidence, I originally come from Groningen, too. Groningen is in the middle of farmland, so it was just a very short distance to the farmers where people could get food and they also weren't part of the food transport blockade. So imagine what it was like in the big cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam, where women had to travel 80 km or more on bike in order to get to a farm. I have a story from my wife's grandmother who lived in Rotterdam at the time, about one of these jouries, on Christmas 1944.
     
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