WORKSHOP DEFENSE LINES 2012
A small group of Landrover enthusiasts made a weekend workshop tour along the old defense lines Grebbelinie and Peel-Raam stelling.
Guided by maps of the battle situations, army battle reports, and witness reports, the participants studied the exact events, that took place
at various locations along these defense lines, when the Germans attacked Holland in May 1940.

The traditional start of the weekend, with Elna's apple pie. The famous Lightweigt is also present again on this activity. Arrived at the camping ground. Gathering at the only dry spot at Dan's folding camper wagon tent.
With rainy weather it is nice to have some warm soup. On route to the first battle location, a defect head light, must be fixed right away. An open Landrover hood leads to all kinds of bold tales. Always happy faces in a Landrover.
The first battle field location. Explaining, that, the initial fast and furious Dutch actions in front of the defense line, lead to deviation of the German Attack plan. A rare Dutch anti tank obstruction, made of concrete. All others were made of train track steel bars, embedded in concrete foundations. Study of the defense line set-up, with trenches and small concrete casemates.
One casemate is restored to former glory.
The camouflage seems a bit strange.
Experiencing the small entrance and the tight interior space. The standard Dutch casemate (bunker), a so called hedge-hog casemate, was armed with a light machine gun and 2 rifles. Study of the German 227 ID attack with 2 SS battalions at point, after an artillery barrage, with 74 artillery pieces.
Experiencing the Dutch trenches, with machine gun nests and shelter holes. An older fort in de Grebbe defense line. As it was in Napoleonic times around 1800. At the spot, were the last stand was made of the Dutch Grebbe hill pre-defense squads. The set-up of the pre-defenses is explained and how the German SS troops of the 207 ID, attacked them from the left flank.
A witness report of the German attack on the main defense line, at the foot of the Grebbe hill is discussed. A Hedge-Hog casemate at a strategic spot at the stop line, in the woods. A stop line trench. The stop line was situated behind the main defense line, to stop a break through. Pointing at a location in the stop line, were mortars and a battery of old 12cm cannon from 1878 were positioned.
Reading out loud a witness report from a lieutenant in the stop line. After chaotic fights, suffering some dead and wounded, they were run over by the Germans. The monument at the graveyard of honor, for all killed in action. Lunch at the foot of the Grebbe hill. Back on the camping, there is a good meal and a nice cold beer.
A Dutch river casemate at the bridge over the river Meuse, near the small town of Grave. In the Casemate, existing out of two stories, there is a small museum. The black and white pattern, is to disguise the location of the shooting holes.  Reading another witness report in the Peel-Raam defense line.
The Germans penetrated the line at night, with an armored train, at the village Mill. And two German divisions attacked during the day. The thinly manned line held one day and night. The advancing Germans had a fire fight with the Hedge-Hog casemates, all afternoon, evening and night. The concrete is peeled off by machine gun fire and small anti tank guns. Even the embedded armor plate around each shooting hole became exposed and was penetrated by armor piercing rounds. Most casemate crews held out, until they were killed. In remembrance of all, that were killed in this battle.

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This page was last updated on 18-okt-2012.