On Saturday, September 10th, 2016, we have viewed Museum Deelen Airbase. From the outside you would not say that there is so much in the museum. Full of history and stories about this airbase. During the war it was a base for the German night fighters. After the liberation the adjacent grounds of the museum were filled with put Canadian military equipment. There are still many things to see. But from the ground are incredibly many remnants of crashed planes brought on display. Each object has its story. A museum full of stories, but also the guide of the museum had to tell us a lot about his experiences as a young boy when he was evacuated from Arnhem with his parents. We listened fascinated to his story. In short, a very interesting history lesson in beautiful surroundings with exceptional weather.
Deelen Air Base is located just north of the city of Arnhem in the Gelderland province. It is a former Dutch military assistance airfield that was completed just before the First World War. In the Second World War on behalf of the Luftwaffe the airport was thoroughly renovated into Fliegerhorst Fliegerhorst Deelen. It was the largest German airport in the Netherlands. After the liberation it became an airbase of the Royal Air Force. The site is for the most part on the territory of the municipality of Ede and to a lesser extent that of Arnhem.
History

On Wikipedia.org you can read the fascinating history of Deelen airbase, where the focus is on the function it had in the war, which is the largest German Fliegerhorst in the Netherlands. It was home to the Focke Wulf FW-190, but also the Messerschmitt Bf-110 night fighter. The night fighters were deployed at the large numbers of British bombers that carried out night bombing raids on the German ports, factories and cities. They were guided by radar stations on the ground, the Teerose I and II near Fliegerhorst Deelen. The air war over Netherlands was further directed from the huge bunker Diogenes, not far from there in Schaarsbergen. This bunker was a huge glass plate. From the radar stations so called Blitzmädchen (Nachtrichtenhelferinnen) were transmitted the position of their own and enemy aircraft. They then shined the glass map and thereby gave with colored lights, the position of the aircraft. On the other side of the glass were the officers who gave their orders on the basis of the positions indicated airfields where German night fighters were stationed as Fliegerhorst Deelen on the Veluwe Fliegerhorst and Leeuwarden in Friesland.

In July 1913 the aviation departent of the Royal Netherlands Army (LVA) was established at Soesterberg and its task was to patrol the country's borders in order to maintain neutrality. For the performance of that task the Soesterberg airport was inadequate. Therefore auxiliary airfields were established at Arnhem, New Milligen, Gilze-Rijen, Venlo and Vlissingen. The air base of the LVA was directly northeast of estate Vrijland in Arnhem. The unpaved runways them were plowed in April 1940 to prevent use by the Germans.
Between May 1940 and September 1944 northwest of Vacant Land - in the municipality of Ede, partly on 2,000 hectares of national park De Hoge Veluwe - a new airport was built on 4,000 hectares with a perimeter of 25 km constructed under the name Fliegerhorst Deelen (codename : Alster). It became the largest German airfield of the Netherlands, but was hierarchically under "Leithorst Schiphol. Netherlands - referred to by the Luftwaffe as Luftgau Holland, was one of the main operating bases of the Air Force for the attacks on England and the first line of defense against the Allied air raids on Nazi Germany.
German device

The design was according to the Luftwaffe modern standards, including bomb rotection and far-reaching integrated camouflage. Deelen also paved the starting runway was constructed in the form of a capital A:. One lane of 1700, and two runways of 1,300 m There were 60 covered aircraft parking and 100 other buildings, including in two villages. Furthermore two "Werfte 'heated repair halls for extensive repairs, such as replacement of complete engines. These buildings were built by Dutch contractors and (voluntary) Dutch workers. Construction was largely carried out by the Conba (combination Barracks Building Arnhem), a collaboration of Arnhem contractors. The buildings were mostly the appearance of farms, but had walls of 50 cm concrete. Also founded a real farm for food and farming i.a. for angora fur lining. Later, the southern airport was also built the bunker Diogenes, the operational control center for the Netherlands, Belgium and northern France, and the first German radio sentinel (Teerose I, II and III) were built towards Terlet. Because these devices there were three groups of anti-aircraft guns. At the height of the air war over the Netherlands were 110 German aircraft stationed here in 1943, more than in any other German airport in the Netherlands too. It employed when the base against 3,000 German soldiers.

Rail

From 1942, the Fliegerhorst was also accessible by rail, which was a requirement for German main airports. Wolfheze (starting in the western part of the railway yard) full track was laid, the so-called bombs line. were sidings, multiple loading and unloading platforms and two large storage sheds (Hobaghalle Juncker and Halle) on the south side of the airport.
There was driven from the yard in Arnhem to the airport daily with a diesel-electric loco motor of the type Sik. For heavy transport steam locomotives were used.
One branch of the railway line ran north into the Park Hoge Veluwe. Since there were fuel and ammunition depots with own loading dock. Another branch went south to the (hydrocarbon exploration) Farm Rijzenburg and served for the construction of the Grossraum-Gefechtsstand: the vast, surviving Diogenes Bunker. Here, the operational data of Allied and German aircraft were coordinated and given orders.

 
Buildings in the base area
  • Klein-Heidekamp (In WWII Klein-Heidelager)
    Served as an officer camp. Then there were the Army Air Observer School (LLWS), later changed to Training Centre Ground-Air Cooperation (OCGLS) and the Royal. Military Police Brigade Schaarsbergen located there. The other buildings were rented to families of guards for the adjacent storage and mobilization of personnel-mainly officieren- Air Force. However, from 2008 the Little Heidekamp is completely rebuilt in order to accommodate guests of the Air Brigade. Before that all residents had -the most lived there for decades years- leave their home.
    Bunker Diogenes (during WWII battle command center
  • Kop van Deelen
    During and after World War II command center of the airbase. Was from the mid 90s to 2004 refugee center. The old officer mess is now Deelen Airbase Museum Whole Cup Deelen has been sold to the youth care institution Hoenderloo Group.
  • Bunker Diogenes, tijdens WOII gevechtsleidingscentrum, Nu in gebruik als depot van het Rijksarchief.
  • Teerosen I, II en III were no part of Fliegerhorst Deelen but were field positions on Terlet, Rheder- en Worth-Rheder heide and Imbosch. These were radio sentinel to locate Allied bombers towards the Ruhr region after they were intercepted.
  • Kaderschool (Koningsweg). Station of the German Luftnachrichtenhelferinnen working in Diogenes during the war years. After the war there was established the Radio Radar School of the Airforce.
From the outside it looked like a small museum, but we were impressed of the collection in the museum which gave a picture of the turbulent history of the airport. During World War II the largest Fliegerhorst of the German Luftwaffe in the Netherlands. After the liberation Canadians dumped their military equipment on the ground next to the museum. In subsequent years, during the cold war, it was an airfield of the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

 

De dikke veldmaarschalk Hermann Göring, hoofd van de Luftwaffe, kwam een keer kijken op Fliegerhorst Deelen.

Here you see a farmer hiding a crashed allied pilot. Together full of tention they listen to the news broadcast on Radio Oranje, announcing the beginning of Operation Market Garden.

In this show-case new additions of the museum.

Model of the Wurzburg Riese, radar to support the night hunting.

Here are the lights that were hanging in the large bunker Diogenes. This bunker was the command center of the Third yacht Division (3. Jagddivision) of the Luftwaffe. During World War Two it was the nerve center of the air defence of The Netherlands and tne northern part of Belgium, the Ruhr area and a strip Germany along the Dutch eastern border. Diogenes was in direct contact with the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in Berlin. The Germans had more of such command centers, like bunkers at Stade near Hamburg, in Grove and Metz.

Bunker Diogenes bij Schaarsbergen

A German night fighter attacking a British bomber from below. In bunker Diogenes they know the positions of the bombers, that are displayed on a glass wall by Blitzmädchen. The night fighters are led to their target with the aid of Würzburg radar.

In the museum attention to the air war over the Netherlands with many found aircraft debris.

Logbook of a German airman

On April 15, 1945 the airfield was captures by Canadian soldiers. They established an army dump, where war material was gathared. In the museum attention is paid to this period.

After the liberation in 1945 the terrain stood full of Canadian military equipment.
From the window overlooking the grounds which was filled with Canadian army vehicles in 1945. To see the beautiful surroundings today where the museum stands.

Behind the museum is the radar which was on the traffic building of  Deelen airbase.

 

Here are pictures of Fliegerhorst Deelen.

This was a hangar of Fliegerhorst Deelen for the Messerschmitt BF-110.

The staff of Fliegerhorst Deelen looking for fun in the Wehrmachtheim in the building called Musis Sacrum at Arnhem.

Also the fighter Focke Wulf 190 was stationed on Fliegerhorst Deelen.

From 1941 to 1943 Major Wolfgang Falck was the commander.

Officers party of Fliegerhorst Deelen at Arnhem.

During a break the pilots enjoy the coffee at Fliegerhorst Deelen.

Bunker Diogenes

Nachtrichtenhelfering, also called Blitzmädchen. She was serving in bunker Diogenes and was shining with a lamp on the glass wall to indicate the position of a German fighter or an enemy bomber. Following the flight command could send the German fighter to its target with the aid of the radar.
Bunker Diogenes as found after the war. The interior was destroyed by the Germans.

Canadian military dump Deelen.