Paesi Bassi / Museo
Almost immediately after the start of the Second World War, the German occupiers realized Scheinflughafen Kamerun (SF37). Better known in the area as 'De Kiek'. There were anti-aircraft guns, a number of searchlights, a bunker and hangars. There was even a railway track on which an illuminated wooden fake plane was propelled by a cable.
By setting up mock airports, the Germans want to tempt enemy pilots to drop their bombs there, instead of on the real target. It was the intention that the Allied pilots mistook De Kiek for the real airport Gilze-Rijen. Mock airfields were also drop points for unthrown bombs. Landing with bombs was too dangerous. Sometimes they were also training grounds.
The German troops used lighting to lure the English planes at night. As soon as the English were near, the runway lights were turned on to attract attention. Flares were also fired. The English were very quickly aware of the mock airfields and what they were intended for. Nevertheless, some English crews were still misled, despite improved navigational techniques.
Living near an airport in wartime is dangerous. Also in the vicinity of a fake airport, it was anything but safe. The Allies were indeed misled and tried to bomb the airfield. Three inhabitants of Brakel were killed in a bombing raid on 20 October 1943.
The Friends of the Kiek Foundation has brought the mock airfield back to life. Visit the bunker and discover the plane in the middle of the forest.