Libération Musée Zélande

Back Coudorp 41 – 4455AH Nieuwdorp

Suffolk was crossed by numerous ‘Stop Line’ defences, which were intended both an anti-tank barriers and places from which British counter-attacks could be launched on any invading German columns. The most heavily fortified line was the ‘Eastern Command’ or ‘Corps’ Line, which originated at Colchester in Essex, entered Suffolk at Bures and ran north through the east of the county, passing Sudbury, Lavenham, Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall, before heading further west and joining the river Great Ouse. The piilboxes along the line were modifications of standard designs that were almost certainly drawn up by Royal Engineers based at Colchester. They tend to fall into ‘bullet proof’ and ‘shell proof’ types and are often referred to as Type 27 pillboxes. The example at Lavenham is a good example of a bullet proof modified Type 27 with a central well for the mounting of a machine gun in an anti-aircraft role.

The Liberation Museum Zeeland takes us back to a special piere of Zeeland's history. During the Second World War Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen of various different nationalities united in the fight against the German occupation forces. This resulted in a lot of dead and wounded on both sides. The local population in Zeeland also suffered heavy casualties.

The museum offers a tour along important events during the Second World War. The exhibition starts in the Reception area where in 1939 Kees Sinke says goodbye to his mother. Kees Sinke was called up in 1939 during the mobilization. If you look care fully you can see that his mother is wiping away a tear. The story of Kees Sinke, who after the war in The Netherlands was also sent out to the Dutch East Indies, runs as a red thread right through the exhibition.

The route leads us into the cellar. Here an impressive film is shown. Then the route goes from below upstairs to where we are taken step-by-step towards the Liberation of Zeeland.

The Liberation museum aims to get people thinking. Therefore all through the museum there are all sorts of connections made with the present day, each time focused on people. In this way the museum pays tribute to all the forces who have fought for the peace and freedom in which we live today.

Battle for the Scheldt The Battle for the Scheldt occupies a prominent place in the exhibition. During this so often "forgotten battle" that was fought at the end of 1944, the area around the Western Scheldt provided the scene of action: action that was geared to the crucial to open up the waterway into Antwerp, which had already been liberated. Bacause the airbourne landings known as operation "Market Garden" near Arnhem and Nijmegen had failed, the opening up of the harbour in Antwerp was of vital importance for the shipping in of troops and essential supplies for rapid transportation to the front. Thus the Battle for the Scheldt played a key róle in the liberation of The Netherlands and the ending of the Second World War.

The Zeeland Battalion The museum also pays attention to the Zeeland Battalion. This Battalion was mainly formed by volunteers who after the liberation of Zeeland wanted to fight with the forces still endeavouring to free The Neterlands and Western Europe from the yoke of the occupational forces. Actually after the end of the Second World War the Battalion was sent out to the Dutch East Indies to bring law and order there.


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