Battlefield Tours

A battlefield tour with the Dutch Army Reserves

A battlefield tour with the Dutch Army Reserves

This battlefield tour was a nice change of pace after a number of tours with small private groups. With no less than 75 men and women from the Dutch Army Reserves we visited the Hell’s Highway area between Son en Breugel and Veghel.

The day began in Son near the bridge across the Wilhelmina canal where we began with an introduction about Operation Garden and continued with the attempt to capture the bridge. The nearly successful German counter attack by the 107th Panzer Brigade on the 19th of September was (of course) also discussed.

Son Bridge is near

We continued on and visited both the Robert Cole and the Joe Mann memorials and talked about their leadership and sacrifice. These two men were the only Medal of Honor awardees from the 101st Airborne division during the second world war. They died within 24 hours of each other and were no further than one mile apart.

The Robert Cole Memorial, you can almost see it

We continued our journey at the Monument to the Dutch in Sint-Oedenrode. This is a very special monument because it is a gift from the 101ste Airborne veterans to the Dutch who lived along the corridor. We also talked about the exploits of James Flannigan who was wounded mile up the road in the direction of Schijndel. Flannigan became famous in Normandy where a picture was taken with him holding a swastika flag.

The beautiful Monument to the Dutch

Our final two stops were in Veghel where the Germans cut the road twice, first on Black Friday, the 22nd of September and then again two days later at the Koevering.

In Veghel we talked about the crisis that faced the allies when the Germans attacked the town in force while most of the division was elsewhere. Luckily the 506th PIR was on its way to Uden and these accidental reinforcements proved instrumental in turning the tide.

At the Koevering we talked about Elgin Andross, a Glider Pilot was awarded the Silver Star for his actions right where we were standing. There on the location where the original road once was we concluded the tour with a group picture.

Group picture at the Koevering, a great day with a great group!

By Joris

My name is Joris Nieuwint and I will be your tour guide! Please allow me to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about what I've been doing over the past years. For the past 10 years I've been living in Veghel, and before that, I've lived in Arnhem for almost two decades. Living so close to the battlefields meant that Operation Market Garden always had my interest and I've been studying the battles for all those years. Sharing what I've learned over the years has been my passion and becoming a tour guide was one of my dreams. Keeping the sacrifices of these men alive by telling their stories and showing the locations where it happened is my greatest passion.

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