WWII in North Brabant
In 1944, North Brabant was involved in important military operations. One of the biggest Allied operations during WWII, Operation Market Garden was meant to conquer the bridges across the Meuse, Waal and Rhine rivers, avoiding the much-feared German Siegfried line. The Battle of the Scheldt to gain access to the harbors of Antwerp played out in Zeeland and the western part of North Brabant.
- Visit the biggest war museum in Holland with over 150 military vehicles and aircraft in Overloon.
- Ride along ‘Hell’s Highway’, the road the Allied forces followed from Eindhoven to Nijmegen.
- Listen to audio theater replaying events of WWII at the audio sites along the Liberation Route.
Operation Market Garden
Operation Market Garden was one of the biggest Allied operations in WWII and occurred in September 1944. The operation aimed to conquer the bridges across the Meuse, Waal and Rhine rivers in Holland. This would allow Allied troops to avoid the Siegfried line, a defense line running from Switzerland to Kleve. Parachutists and gliders landed in the area around Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem while the ground troops marched North on ‘Hell’s Highway’ to meet them. Although a big part of North Brabant was liberated, Operation Market Garden stranded near Arnhem. It was not until 1945 that all of Holland was liberated.
Battle of the Scheldt
The Battle of the Scheldt aimed to regain access to the harbor of Antwerp. Heavy fighting occurred in the western part of North Brabant. It took the Allied forces three weeks and some 13,000 dead, wounded and missing soldiers, among whom over 6,000 Canadians, to gain access to the Western Scheldt.
Places to see
The Overloon War Museum is the biggest museum covering the war in Holland. Personal stories are used to help you experience WWII. Over 150 vehicles, aircraft and cannons are on display in a huge hall. The two-day event Militracks, featuring only German army vehicles, is an annual event in May.
Museum Bevrijdende Vleugels (Liberating Wings) in Best tells the story of Market Garden with authentic military equipment, photographs and special installations. Learn all about the occupation, repression, and eventual liberation.
Liberation Route North Brabant
You will find audio pillars and big boulders, the so-called audio sites, throughout North Brabant. Here, you can listen to audio theater about the end of WWII. You can also download the stories for free via the Liberation Route Europe app or from www.liberationroute.com. The website and app also publishes routes and package deals.