13 September Memorial Stone

The Netherlands




The liberation of Maastricht was not achieved without a struggle. German troops had set up roadblocks on the south side of the adjoining village of Heer the previous day. On 13 September 1944, the Americans launched an attack under the command of Captain Harold F. Hoppe, sub-commander of the illustrious Old Hickory Division, and managed to clear the obstacles. The fighting nearly led to the destruction of the unique Torenmolen in the hamlet of Vroendaal near Gronsveld.

A fierce gun battle broke out around the windmill. German soldiers manned three machine-gun nests there and put up stiff resistance against the Americans. They wanted to keep the connecting road between Maastricht and Gronsveld open for as long as possible.

It has never been explained how it happened, but soon flames erupted from the barn, the stables, and the mill. The early 17th-century tower could barely be preserved. This makes it the oldest surviving windmill in Limburg and one of the four intact tower windmills in the Netherlands.


Rijksweg 2, 6227 SV Maastricht