This day was the day of the Waalcrossing. We parked the car on the Waalkade close to the bridge. We walked on the Waalkade to the railway bridge. Nowadays there is a new part on the bridge for bikers and walkers. On the other side of the Waal we walked on the dike and crossed the Waal bridge for traffic to get back to Nijmegen.
Our travel guide told us that we should have an excellent view from the roof of a tower close to the bridge. We found out that the tower wasn’t open before 12 am and when we arrived it was far from 12. We just looked from the terrace to the bridge and this was already a nice view.
Then we passed the bridge with the car and saw a relief for Jan van Hoof. Of course it wasn’t on the other side that we walked before. That is why we missed in the first place. So Marc went back to take a picture of it.
260 paratroopers crossed the wild river Waal in small boats of triples and canvas under heavy fire from the Germans on the bridge. There were heavy losses. At the other side of the river they first took the strongpoint Lent. The Germans there were shooting at them. After that the paratroopers went to the rail bridge and the traffic bridge. The Germans on the Nijmegen side were almost surrounded and left. But before leaving they first set the city of Nijmegen on fire.
With the help of a member of the resistance, Jan van Hoof was able to capture the bridge undamaged. He should have eliminated the explosives which were already on the bridge. A few days later he was shot by the Germans.
Because of the heavy resistance of the Germans in the north the liberation was stopped her for now.
With the help of Anton van Ensbergen we finally learned where the Waalcrossing exactly started. We couldn’t go to the exact place but we have been as close as possible. Of course we visited Anton at his home, he lives close to Nijmegen.