Sunday, 5 June 2016

I have been to....the Netherlands

Last summer we went on a cycling holiday in the Netherlands. It was slightly unusual in that major parts of it were on the islands located to the north of the Ijsselmeer, and we travelled between them on  a schooner, the Wapen am Friesland. While I put up a photo blog on Facebook, I've concentrated on the more military aspects here.

The naval museum in Amsterdam had this rather grand reproduction of an eighteenth century Dutch battleship.

Lined up and ready to go on a rather nice sunny morning from the port at Enkhuizen. Lots and lots of sailing ships in evidence.

Unfortunately sailing to Texel the weather was a little less kind. Another ship passes in the opposite direction crashing into the waves.

Texel is pretty flat, very flat indeed. There is one hill on the island, which the Germans obviously noticed when they occupied it. 

The entire hill was a network of Tobruk pits, bunkers, trenches etc. This view looking west, bunker on the ridge.

More bunkers covering the (south facing) beach.

A huge command bunker dug into the south east side of the hill.

The weather improved when we sailed to Terschilling. A Dutch navy warship in the harbour.

Terschilling is quite large and surrounded by treacherous sandbanks. It has a museum of naval wreckage which includes lots of debris from Jutland. This is a British destroyer wheel (I forget which ship now).  

Shell casings of various calibres.

Another ships wheel, a cruiser this time. Again, I can't recall which (possibly the Black Prince).

Debris from a shipping container. A whole beach full of trainers.

A WW1 era U-Boat conning tower. There are lots and lots of wrecked U-Boats around the island. The scrap metal on the right are parts of HMS Invincible.  

A Tobruk pit on the north side of the island (there was quite a complex of these).

Another conning tower, minus its outer shell.

And another, I think it is is a WW2 one. It is better preserved and still has some outer components.

A pleasant day at sea heading for Friesland, bikes strapped to the deck.

A medium sized bunker on the eastern side of the Ijsselmeer.

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