Saturday 18 August 2018 we made a battlefield tour by bike along the Frontline path along the Linge between Elst and Bemmel at the invitation of Bas Schoel, connected to the Museum Air Base Deelen. On the initiative of the Exoduskommittee, the history of the second war has been made visible with the construction of the Airbornepad, FrontlinePad, PatrolPad and Exoduspad.

During the German offensive in the Betuwe, attempts were made to get the Allied troops back behind the Waal. As part of the left flank of this attack, the German 10 in particular fought. SS Panzer-Division in this area. However, the attack was repelled by the Allies, who had now managed to establish a strong bridgehead.

A few days later, on 4 and 5 October 1944, troops of the 50th Northumbrian Division attacked the German positions. The aim was to reduce the enemy behind the river Linge. However, the attack quickly ground to a halt and both parties then dug in. This led to a stalemate that lasted until April 1945.

We start our route at Huissen.

One of the information panels placed along the route.

Downed Messerschmitt.

The text on the information board 'reconnaissance patrol' lutes as follows:
The Market Garden operation ended up in the Over-Betuwe region around 25 September 1944. Units of the 10th SS armoured division Frundsberg stopped at Elst the rush-hour of the 30th British Army Corps and it soon became clear that a further advance was out of the question. In the first days of October, the Germans even made frantic attempts to chase the allied troops out of the Betuwe again. But the troops of the British 52nd Infantry Division on the outskirts of Bemmel held out. In October, this division received support from the 508th Parachute Regiment (P.I.R.), also known as the "Red Devils". They were 2 soldiers of the 508th who on October 15 and 16, 1944, took out a giant piece. Their patrol has been the subject of a meticulous report which is kept in the British Historical Archive in Kew. The book "History of the 508 Parachute Infantry" depicts the experiences of corporal Heath and private Smith.
Between September 1944 and April 1945 many explorations took place on both sides. This resulted in a number of victims. The nearby chapel on "De Heuvel" was built to commemorate the horrors of war and the victims. There is also a listening area on the spot, which as part of the Liberation Route gives the possibility to obtain information.
The small river Linge formed the front line and for that reason the path along the Linge is called the Frontline Path. The cycle paths coming out at right angles to the Linge are named after a patrol: "Patrol Path North" and "Patrol Path South".
The account of an American patrol that explored the German area on 15 October 1944 is made visible in an exciting way by information panels.


Betuwe fall 1944

After the failure of the Battle of Arnhem, hell burst into the Over-Betuwe. From 1 to 4 October 1944 a fierce battle raged, in which the Germans tried to chase the Allies out of the Betuwe. That failed and the front came to lie along the Linge with Bemmel and Haalderen on the British side, the rest on the German side. The civilian population was driven out in October. On 2 October, the bowl of Huissen was hit by a heavy bombardment in which 100 people were killed.
In the autumn of 1944 Operation Market Garden got stuck in the swampy meadows of the Betuwe. The front here came to a standstill in many places. Four thousand men were left behind to protect their belongings. The Betuwe had become a 'man's island'.

The Betuwe had become a man's island after four thousand men stayed behind to protect their belongings.

Liberation Route: De Betuwe in the front line.

On 17 September 1944 Operation Market Garden, a combined surprise attack of allied airborne landing and ground forces, began. The movement of troops over the ground was not as successful as expected, so the battle for the bridge at Arnhem ended in failure. The chapel on De Heuvel in Bemmel, in honour of Mary of the Blossoming Betuwe, was built in 1946 in memory of those who lost their lives in the bloody blows that took place here in September and October 1944 and in the subsequent acts of war until liberation in the spring of 1945.

The chapel on De Heuvel (The Hill) at Bemmel.

We cycled to De Heuvel near Bemmel, the scene of heavy battles on 1 and 2 October. Behind the Linge the Germans attacked the British positions around this farm in these days.

Farm De Heuvel than and now.

German tank on De Heuvel at Bemmel.


Liberation bridge over the Linge.

Frontline Path along the river De Linge.

Foxholes on the frontline.

Frontline Path along the river De Linge.

German foxhole on the Linge.

German foxhole on the Linge.

Bridge over the Linge.

Monument 'De Vleugel' aan het Frontlijnpad. De Vleugel herinnert aan de intensieve vliegbewegingen en oorlogshandelingen in de regio Nijmegen, Over-Betuwe, Arnhem, ook wel "het NormandiŽ van Nederland" genoemd.

Monument 'De Vleugel', as seen from the Irish Guards bridge.

The Irish Guardsbrug at Monument de Vleugel at the beginning of frontlijnpad. After the failure of operatie Market Garden Hitler gave the order to destroy the Allied bridge head on Over-Betuwe (The Island) on 25 September 1944. Targets were the re-capture of Elst and following the bridge over the river Waal. The attacks in Aam came from the northeast and the north. 

The 3rd infantry battalion and the 2nd tank battalion of the Irish Guards defended Elst in the hamlet of Aam, in the Vergert and south of the Hill from 28 September to 2 October 1944. The Irish Guards had to stop the German attack in Aam at all costs. The 3rd infantry battalion had taken defensive positions on either side of the elevated earthen track of the motorway under construction. The German infantrymen attacked with motorised cannons, tanks, flame throwers and battle groups in trucks. There were tankduels and fierce man against man battles. The soldiers of the Irish Guards were doing their job. They captured 99 Germans and stood up at the expense of 170 victims, including 34 who died.

At the height of the monument 'De Vleugel' and the Irish Guardsbrug not far from the Arnhem - Nijmegen motorway, the front line path that runs parallel to the river De Linge starts in the direction of Bemmel.

It was not until 2 April 1945 that the British conquered Over-Betuwe as part of the Destroyer operation. Via Gendt and Doornenburg and over the Karbrug they went up in the direction of Huissen. When they had that place in their hands at eleven o'clock in the evening, the current Lingewaard area was liberated.