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A bunker in Groede

Bunker village Groede

An artillery unit disguised as a village

The German army spared no expense to give the eleven bunkers of Stützpunkt Groede the appearance of a cozy Dutch village.

The concrete walls were painted with colorful windows or disguised as a German café. However, that cheerful camouflage hid a military fortification that was part of the Atlantic Wall during World War II.

Stützpunkt in the Proostpolder

The German defense line had to protect the European coasts from France to Norway against a possible Allied attack. That is why the Proostpolder in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen was reinforced in 1942 with a so-called Stützpunkt. About 250 soldiers found shelter there.

During Operation Switchback, the conquest of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade captured the bunker village of Groede.

Deer Park

After the Second World War, instead of pumping money into the demolition of the bunkers, the then-mayor of Groede decided to throw soil against the bunkers and plant them with shrubs and house deer.

'Where the anti-aircraft crowd played cards on lonely evenings, now the red and fallow deer find a warm and sheltered shelter at night,' said a tourist report in the early 1950s.

Only in 2006 did the bunkers and their camouflage resurface after the redevelopment of the domain into Groede Podium, a play and activity park where you will encounter traces of the Second World War.

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