Water as a Weapon – Driel

Type: Bike route
Distance: 42.0 km

Water as a Weapon – Driel

Type: Bike route
Distance: 42.0 km

In October 1944 the German troops decide to flood a large part of the Dutch-German border area to avert an attack from the Allies.

Take a look

Two cycling routes along old tracks
In October 1944 the German troops decide to flood a large part of the Dutch-German border area to avert an attack from the Allies. In December 1944, when the water in the Rhine is at a high, German soldiers use heavy explosives to make a hole in the dyke in Driel. Their actions cause a huge flood which has grave consequences for the people living there, the warring factions and a few barge owners. In early February of 1945, dykes in the vicinity of Kleve in Germany are blown up, but, fortunately, do not stop the Allied advance. There are two locations with information panels about water being used as a weapon. Go to www.liberationroute.nl for more information and the accompanying audio stories (L89: Water as a weapon Rindern; L67 Water as a weapon Elden).

Driel | Elden - Doornenburg 
The Information Centre ‘De Polen van Driel’ is the starting point and ending point of this route. It highlights the battle of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade that fought here during Operation Market Garden. Across the street from the Information Centre, you will find L19: The Poles of Driel.
Cycling along the dyke in Driel, with a beautiful view of the Rhine, you arrive at L67: Elden (located between junctions 27 and 28). This is where German soldiers blew a hole in the dyke to flood the Betuwe to prevent the Allied advance. In one of the stories, an inhabitant of the Betuwe tells about the major consequences of this flooding. The impressive castle of Doornenburg, which is also the link between the two cycle routes, is located at junction 77. Take a break from your bike and roam the freely accessible outer castle, which was held by the Germans during the Second World War. L43: Destruction and Sorrow is located here. From the castle, you cycle from junction 77 to 98 over the Goudsbloempath (Marigold Path). The marigold symbolises the suffering of civilians in wartime, and the path follows the German line of defence. Elst (L31) and its surroundings were under heavy fire at the beginning of October 1944. Defensive German troops and advancing Allies fought hard. The muddy open terrain and high water level made it difficult to advance and take cover. The tower of the Great Church of Elst was set on fire. The strategic Linge bridges are fiercely fought over. At the end of 1944, the Germans flood a large part of the region.

Distance
42.0 km

Sights on this route

Starting point: Station Elst
Energieweg 12
Elst
17 18 19 21 33 26

Drielse Rijndijk 57 A
6665 LP Driel
59 27 28 31 31 07 02 01 30 66 67 75 76 76 77 77 87 92 92 98 26 26 30 29 16
End point: Station Elst
Energieweg 12
Elst
17
18
19
21
33
26
59
27
28
31
31
07
02
01
30
66
67
75
76
76
77
77
87
92
92
98
26
26
30
29
16