Café Slomp under fire - Westerbork - LRNL603

603. Café Slomp under fire

07-04-1945 - 08-04-1945

Hoofdstraat 21, Westerbork, The Netherlands
Keywords for this historic location
Destruction Fighting Memory
Liberation Route Europe

603. Café Slomp under fire

In October 1940, General De Gaulle decides to start a parachute regiment: 1st Compagnie d’infanterie de l’air. The soldiers receive their training in England, after which they jump into France as agents and carry out operations against the German Africa Corps in Libya, Egypt, and Italy. Soon they become part of the British SAS and the French squadron participates in all missions.

In the years that follow, all kinds of people join the 2nd and 3rd Regiment de Chasseurs Parachutisten. Veterans from Libya, De Gaulle supporters, refugees from France, and volunteers from all over the world receive intensive training in England or Scotland to be deployed at any time. Their task is to obstruct or disrupt the German occupiers as much as possible, which they successfully do in Normandy, Burgundy, at the Battle of the Bulge, and ultimately in the Netherlands.

In the night of 7/8 April 1945, the two French regiments are dropped with about 700 people above Drenthe and Southeast Friesland. Operation Amherst has started. They must conquer bridges, secure airports, stimulate local resistance, and cause as much confusion as possible. Bad weather hugely influences the drops and once on the ground, the French paratroopers have to improvise. They quickly seek contact with the locals in order to find their bearings.
Major Puech-Samson and Captain Betbèze are in luck when they meet Mr Van Lohuizen, director of the KNMI’s geomagnetic station in Witteveen, who speaks French.

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Hoofdstraat 21, Westerbork, The Netherlands