The Netherlands / Audiospot

Thanks to the underground

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On September 17, 1944, five Allied planes are shot down above this area by German flak. A large number of paratroopers and crew are able to jump in time from the burning aircraft. On the ground, they are quickly helped by people from the underground. They hide the Americans and British from the Germans in these woods . Thanks to the underground, these soldiers survived and were later rescued.

On Sunday September 17 1944, a fleet of Allied aircraft en route to the drop zones at Son and Veghel appeared over this area. Paratroopers were dropped behind German lines. By means of a fast airborne attack, they wanted to clear the route that ran from Belgium through Eindhoven and Nijmegen to Arnhem, freeing it up for the British Army. German artillery in the area brought down several planes. The underground immediately helped the downed survivors of the crashes.

Risking their lives, they hid and cared for the Allied troops. Dozens of people from farms in the area hid the Allied troops in the Heieind woods and brought them food and drink. During a British action on September 22, twenty hidden troops were reunited with their units.