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Querdamm sluices

During Operation Market Garden and Veritable in 1944, a number of dikes were destroyed on the 2nd of December by the German occupying forces, in order to flood the entire plain. This was done in order to delay the advancement of the Allied armies.

Heavy rainfall, that had started a few days before the major attack on the Rhine area, had resulted in rising water levels in de river. On the 8th of February 1945, at the start of Operation Veritable, the polders began to fill with rising water. Shortly after that, a section of the Querdamm collapsed as a result of the pressure caused by the rapidly rising water in combination with its poor condition due to foxholes and grenade fire.

The southern Querdamm sluice at the foot of the Duivelsberg was destroyed quite shortly after the first attack in February of 1945. This was partly due to the Canadians, who used explosive charges to create a passage for their amphibious vessels to advance towards Niel.

The area at the northern sluice near the Thornsche mill was known as a “strong point”. Several stories speak of a small bunker that could only be captured after three attacks by major forces and which, after a fierce battle, was eventually destroyed by grenade fire. To this day, no traces of a bunker have been found in that area. However, during ammunition research, large pieces of basalt were found at the location where the sluice used to be, so chances are that this used to be the supposed bunker.


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