Perhaps it was quite inevitable for so many crashes and emergency landings to have taken place within the Neder-Betuwe’s territory during the Second World War. The municipality was situated along the flight path of the allied aircraft which had taken off in the UK and which would subsequently find their way to the industries in the Ruhr and other destinations via the large river catchments.
In addition, there was nowhere else in the Netherlands where the fighting had gone on for as long and as hard as it had done in the Betuwe. Just think about Operation Market Garden and the Battle of Arnhem. The Betuwe formed part of the front line for almost 200 days.
It’s therefore no surprise that the German anti-aircraft guns and German fighter planes caused great losses among the allies. But the crashes within the Neder-Betuwe territory certainly also included German aircraft.
Would you like to find out more about this underexposed episode in our history? You can find all possible information about the air war during the Second World War on the Dutch Study Group Air War 1939-1945 website.
The Betuwe War Information Centre Foundation website will provide you with detailed information about how the Betuwe in particular fared during the Second World War. And the http://www.opheusden1944.nl website actually zooms in even further: on the war in Neder-Betuwe.
You can find more information about the Betuwe's position during the 1940 May days here and here.