Dirk Hoekendijk

Dirk Hoekendijk

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Liberation Route Europe

Dirk Hoekendijk

In 2009 at the end of a 39-year army-career, Dirk moved to Arnhem to retire. While researching his family tree, he learned that one of three Dutchmen buried at the Airborne cemetery was a distant cousin of his wife. This sparked renewed interest in what had happened in September 1944.

The Market Garden Operation itself is well-known to Dirk, as he served as an army tactics teacher at both the Army Staff College and the Royal Military Academy. Also military history has been a keen professional interest for many years. After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, he was a member of an army study group tasked with rewriting Dutch army doctrine. Another position worth mentioning is his operational posting as Commander 15 Armoured Air Defence Battalion.

With that background Dirk conducted some private tours for friends and family in the past from his home in Ede. Often this was the retracing the steps of many map- and field-exercises with (candidate-) officers. Interested in what happened to the British, he started studying the German opposition to the airborne troops in order to better understand both sides of the operation. This gives him a unique dual perspective on the events around Arnhem in September 1944.

Since mid-2015 Dirk is conducting battlefield tours with his own Battlefield Tours Arnhem 1944 (BTA44). Besides specific German-perspective tours, Dirk also conducts battlefield tours around the Ede -Wolfheze - Oosterbeek - Arnhem area from the Airborne perspective. He has experience with both small and large groups, as well as short and long tours, including custom-made private tours. He is an accredited Guide of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides.

Dirk is an Army-veteran, having served as full colonel, a 7-month tour with the NATO Training Mission in Iraq from early August 2006 till the end of February 2007.

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