The parsonage under fire - Gasselte - LRNL602

602. The parsonage under fire

08-04-1944 - 08-04-1944

Lutkenend, Gasselte, The Netherlands
Liberation Route Europe

602. The parsonage under fire

From October 1944, the parsonage of Gasselte is the headquarters of the National Sozialistisches Kraftfahr Corps (NSKK). When French paratroopers land near Gasselte in 1945, they decide to launch an immediate attack. Mr Pronk—a member of the resistance from day one—remembers it as if it was yesterday.

he Nationaal Sozialistisches Kraftfahr Korps consists of Dutch volunteers who are looking for money or food, and work as drivers carrying out transports for the German Wehrmacht. The German commander of this unit, Obersturmführer Klaus, turns the parsonage into his headquarters and forces civilians to accommodate his staff. The authoritarian display by the NSSK and their collusion with the enemy creates tension with the local community. In the early morning of April 8, 60 French paratroopers land in the vicinity of Gasselte. They are part of Operation Amhurst in which no less than 700 French paratroopers are dropped behind German lines.

Their goals are to create chaos amongst the occupiers, organise the resistance and conquer bridges. This is all done to ease the advance of the Allied troops. That entire Sunday, the French paratroopers gather intelligence, secure dropped containers filled with weapons, ammunition and food, and attack German columns. The Germans and the NSKK think that thousands of paratroopers have landed the previous night and do not dare to venture into the woods. The intelligence the French receive from the resistance, mentions the NSKK’s German command post in the parsonage of Gasselte. The paratroopers decide to attack the vicarage and eliminate the staff.

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Lutkenend, Gasselte, The Netherlands