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Ammunition explosion in Tuil



Indicazioni stradali

In autumn 1944, Den Bosch had been liberated and the Allies were close to the river Meuse. The Germans expected the Allies to break through between Tiel and Zaltbommel and ordered the population east of the Utrecht-Den Bosch railway line to evacuate. The Van Bommel family from Opijnen thus ended up with the Satter family in Tuil. On 6 February 1945, German soldiers drove a truck into the family's yard. They wanted to pick up the ammunition, which was stored in the farm's laundry room, to relocate it somewhere else. Due to a mistake of one of the four German soldiers, a huge explosion caused the laundry room and back house of the farmhouse to fly into the air. This killed three civilians and the four German soldiers involved.

When four German soldiers were moving ammunition on 6 February 1945, mother Van Bommel was hanging laundry in the garden. Suddenly she heard a strange sound and at the same time a huge bang followed and she saw the washroom and the of the back house fly into the air. It was a huge havoc around her and everything in her surroundings had disappeared. Miraculously, she herself had not suffered a scratch, but her little daughter Reijertje had just finished the dishes. As she walked out from the kitchen she was hit by a huge blast and air pressure and died on the spot.

In the kitchen was 86-year-old 'grandma Satter' and she had fallen on the stove as a result of the explosion and suffered severe burns. She was transported to the hospital in Zaltbommel in the afternoon but died on the way.

Outside, the neighbour's 8-year-old evacuee, Jannie de Jongh, was hit by flying shrapnel and died instantly.

The four German soldiers involved were all killed. It was a terrible sight for the neighbours, as their bodies were torn apart and pieces had landed here and there.

The soldiers all belonged to the German anti-aircraft battery (Flak) of Haaften. They were first buried in a collective grave in Zaltbommel and transferred to the German Cemetery in Ysselsteyn after the war.

On 5 May 2015, a memorial stone was placed at the bottom of the Waalband dike in the floodplains of Waardenburg in memory of the perished girls.

Richard van de Velde: