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Picardie 71
6591JB Gennep

Netherlands

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From my childhood I was already fascinated by the history of our country in school.

My special attention went to the Second World War after hearing the stories of my grandfather what he had made with him in the vicinity of Boxmeer.

The German invasion, the occupation helping the Underdivers and allied pilots and the liberation Grandpa had made it all with it and can also tell fascinating about it.

All this was later fueled by the fact that I went to work in Dutch Defence Organisation and was confronted with the Second World War in various areas.

I was going to read more and more books about World War II and especially of the cities or villages I lived at that time, it intrigued me more and more.

Until I came to Gennep 12 years ago, a town with a rich history lived and I deeded in the Second World War of Gennep.

I found out that on May 7, 1940 the Germans had been handed over the bridge over the Meuse by means of a martial list, and so the Germans had access to Brabant.

I found out that one of the biggest operations of the Second World War which is often called the Forgotten battle on 8 Feb 1945 started in Groesbeek and by Gennep walked to pull through the Rijkswald to conquer the Rhineland in order to strike as another bridge over  The Rhine did not succeed in Sept. 1944.

This operation called Operation Veritable was succeeded by Operation Blockbuster and the eventual transition over the Rhine Operation Plunder and Varsity.

After that I became acquainted with my good friend Bert a few years ago, I was impressed in the giving of Battlefield tours.

Bert has been doing this for some years in Groesbeek and surroundings with Operation Market Garden as the subject and specially the corridors and experiences of the 82th  Airborne division.

I continued digging into the experiences in the Rhineland and after I joined the Guild of Battlefield Guids I started to finish my assessments for getting my coveted Batch that I ended up on 17 Sept 2019 (No 95)  The eighth in the Netherlands.

From that date, I may call myself an accredited Battlefield guide.

I also give tours in the Rhineland area see www.rhinelandbattlefieldtours.nl  where you can find a range of tours each with its own character and completely to your liking.

 

Roel Dekkers is a member off The International Guild of Battlefield Guides.