World War 2 in your backyard

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Marcel, May 15, 2013.

  1. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,977
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    Last month when I was visiting Chris, I showed him some pictures of my kids playing in a WW2 bunker, close to my house. He said envious that we had all those relics near to us while there is none in the US. That gave me the idea of this thread. I guess (apart from Chris ;) ) there are more people who, like me live in an area where you can see traces of World War 2, in your backyard so to speak. I thought it would be nice to share some photo's and if possible, together with a short story to describe what happened there. Sometimes it is really interesting to get more knowledge of the history of your own environment and maybe also a good read for other people. In this way you'll quite often see some of the lesser known parts of WW2.

    In the next post I'll kick off with a part of my area.
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,772
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Oh I can post a ton of them, from living in Germany. Hell I used to live near the center of it all.

    I will try and post some up soon.
     
  3. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,977
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    #3 Marcel, May 15, 2013
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
    I live in Dordrecht, a not very large city, near to Rotterdam. Many things happened here in WW2, but I will focus on May 1940 as Dordrecht played a key role in the defeat of the Dutch army.
    I live on the south border of the city, where the city changes into what we call polder. In this area was a part of the Dutch Waterline, the secondary defense line of the Netherlands. This was meant as a last resort line if the main line in Brabant and the Grebbe would collapse. It was also meant to defend the Moerdijk bridges, just 3 km south west of my house. Unfortunately these were the main target for the Fallschirmjäger of II./FJR.1. The Dutch defenders were totally surprised, ammunition was still stowed away and was not available to the troops when the attack began. The Germans quickly conquered the bridge and only had to wait until the cavalry arrived. Moerdijk proved to be Achilles heel of the Netherlands. The fall of the bridges contributed more to the surrender than the bombs on Rotterdam.

    The defense-line was hastily build in the last months before the war and consist mainly of little concrete pillboxes, called “pyramides” here. They are used as shelter for troops. Many of these little bunkers can still be seen close to my house.

    The pictures below are made by me this afternoon.
    An idea of how the polder looks like. Everywhere you see these little bunkers in the middle of the field, like here, just between the trees.
    IMG_1448.jpg

    Here one next to a creek. The area is very wet, Dordrecht is surrounded by rivers and marshes (Biesbosch)
    IMG_1452.jpg

    Close up
    IMG_1454.jpg

    Another view of the battle area, close to the Moerdijk bridge. You can just see another bridge in the distance. This is the new railway bridge over the river Maas. The old one was accidentally blown up by the Germans in September 1944.
    IMG_1465.jpg

    The row of bunkers against the Dyke of the Merwede River, the Moerdijk bridge can just be seen on the left of the second bunker from the left.
    IMG_1468.jpg

    Another bunker, to the right te Moerdijk bridge.
    IMG_1474.jpg


    The first bunker of the row, you can see the year of build, 1940, just in time.
    IMG_1476.jpg

    Same bunker from the other side, and some of the following bunkers.
    IMG_1477.jpg

    One of the two greater bunkers that guarded the bridge. The other one has been sacrificed for the high speed railroad to Paris. In this or the other bunker, Dutch Military Police troops held the Germans for a couple of hours, until the whole bunker was undermined with explosives.
    The bunker ws converted to a German FLAK bunker later in the war.
    IMG_1481.jpg

    Memorial for Ben Swagerman. He piloted the last Fokker T.V in a desparate attempt to bomb the bridges before the tanks would pass. His T.V and on escorting G-1 crashed in the neighbourhood, after being chased by a few dosen BF109's. All hands were lost. The Germans ruled the skies at that time.
    IMG_1482.jpg
     
  4. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,977
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    I know Chris, I look forward to them :thumbright:
     
  5. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,811
    Likes Received:
    181
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    nice marcel.....yeah you guys are very lucky in that respect.....but unfortunate that the reason you have all these treasures was a horrific war spread over your land. keep the pics coming.
     
  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,790
    Likes Received:
    519
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Cool shots Marcel!

    Looking forward to others ones too.
     
  7. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    Gentleman
    Location:
    Limousin
    Twin+machine+gun+post%2C+Blythbrough.JPG

    These are the two Vickers gun pillboxes my grandfather would have been defending with his Home Guard Platoon had Hitler invaded Suffolk.
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,727
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Great idea, and great pics. I have some somewhere, including some of the defences on the Northumberland coast, and on the island of Jersey, which I'll post once I've found and scanned them.
     
  9. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Cool thread and excellent pics Marcel!!
     
  10. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,977
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    nice :thumbright:

    It's amazing how many of these kind of bunkers are still there. the Netherlands is litered with them if you care to look for them.
     
  11. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Intrigued by this in Marcel's post

    "Another view of the battle area, close to the Moerdijk bridge. You can just see another bridge in the distance. This is the new railway bridge over the river Maas. The old one was accidentally blown up by the Germans in September 1944."

    Curious very curious
     
  12. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    14,640
    Likes Received:
    427
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Head chef
    Location:
    billingham nr middlesbrough uk
    got a few little bunkers around here, they guard some of the roads to and from the coast near Hartlepool and Redcar.

    will try and get some pics
     
  13. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Will check mine too, suspect most are stored in Pécs though.

    Great thread Marcel!
     
  14. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,977
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    The bridge was undermined when the Allies approached the rivers in The Netherlands in September 1944. At "Dolle Dinsdag" (Crazy Tuesday, 5 September 1944) the Germans totally paniced. One of them accidentely "pushed the button" so to say and all hell broke loose. Many houses in the neighbourhood were damaged.
    spoorb7.JPG
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,727
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
  16. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,287
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Plymouth, England
    This is a good thread and I look forward to seeing peoples pictures.
    I'm getting some stuff together showing pre war, post war and what evidence of war there is in Plymouth.
    Cheers
    John
     
  17. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    What's the legal status of these bunkers? Are they being preserved? Is it illegal to enter them?
     
  18. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,977
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    That differs between the bunkers. Many of these little bunkers here are on private land and thus owned by their respective owners. If this is not the case, they are owned by the city. Almost all of the bunkers are sealed, so you cannot enter. This is so that they will not be abused by homeless people or drugs users. Some owners turned them into a shed for themselves. I believe the big bunker on the photo's has been rented to a motor club by the city.
    It's not the same anywhere in the Netherlands. I once played with a band that had it's practice room in a big Atlantik Wall bunker at Hoek van Holland. Some bunkers have been turned into museums And some are simply there because it's too expensive to get rid of them, but will be demolished when the need arrises, like the one for the highspeed train.
     
  19. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Thanks, Marcel. That explains a lot. I guess I'm just kind of wondering what some of these look like inside.
     
  20. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,977
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    #20 Marcel, May 16, 2013
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
    I kow the sentiment. In the past I sticked my camera inside with flash. I still might have one or two of those. But that'll have to wait until next week.
     
Loading...

Share This Page