The Netherlands / Landmark
The Rolberg in Elsloo offers a wide view of the Belgian Meuse region and witnessed the beginning and the end of the war. German troops using a pontoon bridge crossed the river Meuse into Belgium here on 10 May 1940. More than four years later, on 17 September 1944, the German route ran in the opposite direction.
Amid fierce bombardment by American fighters, the Germans withdrew on 17 September 1944, retreating towards their Heimat. In the distance, from Elsloo, the Belgian tricolour could already be seen flying in some places. In the afternoon, the Americans opened fire on the church tower because they suspected that a German observation post was located there. Both the tower and the rectory were damaged.
The Germans, in turn, blew up all the bridges over the Juliana Canal from Maastricht. The boatmen in Elsloo, who thought they were safe from attack here, were also chased away by the Germans and their ships sunk. The liberators finally arrived the following morning.
Op de Berg, Elsloo