Command post for aerodrome

Back Kloosterweg, Nieuw-Haamstede

In the immediate vicinity of the former traffic control tower of Haamstede Airfield (the current Duinhotel Burgh-Haamstede) there is a former German command bunker of the airfield command post type.

Haamstede Airfield opened in 1931 as Westenschouwen Airfield, although the name was soon changed to Haamstede Airfield. In September 1939, following the announcement of mobilisation, the Army Aviation Group’s flyer training was moved from Soesterberg to Haamstede. On 13 March 1940, by order of Defence, the airfield acquired an exclusively military function.

In the early days of the war the Luftwaffe made some airborne attacks on the airfield, destroying around 20 Fokkers and Koolhovens. Op 13 May the airfield had to be evacuated by order of Zeeland Command. The personnel were stationed between Scharendijke and Serooskerke, but shortly afterwards the Netherlands capitulated.

The Luftwaffe soon repaired the airfield and the Germans put the airfield to good use in the defence of their naval convoys along the coast. Between 1940 and mid-1942 there were usually one or two squadrons of fighters stationed at Haamstede. As the course of the war altered and the Germans had to make a priority of defending the coast elsewhere, it became less and less used and was eventually shut down in 1943. To prevent allied landings the airfield was inactivated.
To divert the attention of the allies the Germans even built a ‘mock airfield’ between Burgh-Haamstede and Renesse, on Vroonweg, Mock Airfield 33.
Apart from the command bunker for the airfield, the Luftwaffe also built another 10 to 20 bunkers in the dune area around the airfield, principally for the defence of the airfield. For the most part they included personnel bunkers and positions for anti-aircraft guns. For as long as the airfield was operational, the Luftwaffe shared responsibility with the Army and the Navy for the three shore artillery batteries at Westenschouwen, Renesse and near the lighthouse.

 

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