WWII Aged Steel Sign - Nijmegen (33" x 12")
New Made Item: No two signs are exactly the same. Why? Each one is individually handcrafted in 18 gauge steel, aged, distressed and totally unique with battlescars and even bullet holes!
Approximately measures: 32.8 L x 12 H (833mm x 300mm).
In 1940, the Netherlands was invaded by Germany with Nijmegen being the first Dutch city to fall into German hands. On 22 February, 1944, Nijmegen was heavily bombed by American planes, causing great damage to the city centre. The American pilots thought they were bombing the German city of Kleve. Alleged by the Germans to have been a deliberate act, the NIOD announced in January 2005 that its study of the incident confirmed that it was an accident caused by poor communications and chaos in the airspace. Over 750 people died in the bombardment.
During September 1944, the city saw heavy fighting during Operation Market Garden. The objective in Nijmegen was mainly to prevent the Germans from destroying the bridges. Capturing the road bridge allowed the British Army XXX Corp to attempt to reach the1st British Airborne Division in Arnhem. The bridge was heavily defended by over 300 German troops on both the north and south sides with close to 20 anti-tank guns and two anti-aircraft guns, supported with artillery.
The Germans' late attempt to blow the road bridge was possibly foiled by a local Dutch resistance hero, Jan van Hoof, who is said to have cut the wires to the bridge.
The Germans made repeated attacks on the bridge using bombs attached to driftwood, midget submarines and later resorted to shelling the bridge with 88mm barrages. Troops were positioned on the bridge giving an excellent arc of fire in case of attack. Troops that couldn't fit onto the bridge were positioned in a bombed-out house slightly upstream of the bridge. During the shelling, the house was hit, killing six soldiers and wounding one more.
Nijmegen was liberated from German occupation by the British Grenadier Gaurds of the Guards Armoured Division, as well as elements of the American 82nd Airborne Division in September 1944. The city would later be used as a springboard for Operation Veritable, the invasion across the Rhine River by Allied Troops.
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