Paesi Bassi / Storia

The liberation of Ede



Indicazioni stradali

On April 16, 1945, late in the afternoon, the British infantry division 'Polar Bears' departs from Arnhem to liberate the towns of Ede, Bennekom, and Wageningen with the support of nearly eighty Canadian tanks. The troops advance along the Rijksweg 24 (nowadays N224) and reach restaurant 'Planken Wambuis' in the adjacent nature reserve after encountering five roadblocks by seven o'clock in the evening.

Beyond the bend, a shot from German anti-tank artillery rings out, but this cannon is quickly silenced. The Canadian tanks proceed along the edge of the forest and reach the road again at Kruislaan. Once more, shots are fired; a Sherman tank is hit, and the driver is killed. The German gun is disabled, but the advance is halted for the night of April 16 to 17. The troops withdraw into the Planken Wambuis nature reserve.

Approximately three hundred German SS soldiers occupy defensive positions east of Ede. These positions are located near the former Simon Stevin Barracks from 1938, which was renamed the Langenberg Kaserne by the occupiers during the war and expanded with observation towers and shelters. The Germans conceal themselves in the forest edge of the Sysselt forest area and in the forest edge of the Traa north of Rijksweg 24 (now N224). Additionally, the Germans have set up an advanced position on De Drieberg, allowing them to oversee the Rijksweg effectively and engage if necessary.

During the night, the village of Ede is under fire from British artillery. Many residents seek refuge in shelters. On Tuesday, April 17, the Allied advance resumes. At six o'clock in the morning, the first Sherman tanks reach the eastern edge of the Eder Heide. They thunder through a smokescreen towards the western edge in a line. Along the way, they capture fourteen SS soldiers at De Drieberg. German resistance from the positions south of the Rijksweg halts the Allied advance over the Ginkelse Heide for some time.

British artillery bombardments follow on the barracks and the village of Ede. Here, a 14-year-old boy is killed on Veenderweg, and the water tower is damaged. Then, four tanks storm the Langenberg Kaserne barracks. Bren carriers with flamethrowers follow the tanks and drive the SS soldiers out of their trenches. In their flight, they leave behind dozens of dead. Over fifty SS soldiers are captured.

Tuesday afternoon, April 17, infantrymen from the British 'Polar Bears' infantry division, with support from the Canadian tank brigade, enter Ede via Arnhemseweg. During the liberation of Ede, six Allied soldiers are killed. The Sherman tank at Langenberg serves as a reminder of the liberation of Ede and commemorates the fallen victims. Earlier, in September 1944, in preparation for the airborne landings of Operation Market Garden, the barracks of Ede were also bombed. During this event, over seventy residents of Ede as well as twenty-five German soldiers lost their lives.


Arnhemseweg 120 6711 HJ Ede