Operation Varsity Places nowadays

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by MoeA, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. MoeA

    MoeA Member

    Arnold I received your E-Mail with the map and will check out the area tomorrow to let you know what it looks like nowadays.
     
  2. Helen Arnold

    Helen Arnold Member

    Thats very kind Moe.
    Thank you
    Helen
     
  3. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi,

    The house at 26 Grenzweg caught my eye. It appears to be in a similar location to a building that shows up on maps that is the closest to the grave site here.The actual gravesite could have been closer to the road? Of course it could be a modern building that has replaced the original.

    Dingden 4205- Edition 3.jpg Dingden 4205- Edition 5.jpg 26 Grenzweg.jpg

    As for the glider landing site it is given as 17055200? which I reduced to 170520 here. So hopefully that is correct. Since there is some doubt as to location another possibility is 170510 which is one grid box south and where a glider is shown very near that point.

    If any of this turns out to off I'll edit to remove

    Regards ...
     
  4. Helen Arnold

    Helen Arnold Member

    Thanks Cee. Alex has the co-ordinates to the building below that one. I’ll see if I can crop the image to get it smaller.
     
  5. Helen Arnold

    Helen Arnold Member

    Hurrah! I have kept in the set of coordinates that were on there for you.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Hello!
    That’s where I plotted it and I back my map reading skills!
    Cee, as a point of interest this location is only a couple of hundred yards north of “Fortnum”

    Alex.
     
  7. MoeA

    MoeA Member

    I went there this morning and found the following: Grenzweg 26 still looks like being the old house thats been there back then! Its currently getting torn appart and renovated but some parts are still there. Sadly there isnt much you can see around it, the fields that you can see on the Maps are now all occupied by houses and gardens.
     

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  8. MoeA

    MoeA Member

    Cee and Alex,

    those two pictures show the possible landing site you talked about. The first one is 170520 the 2nd one is 170510.
     

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  9. MoeA

    MoeA Member

    1st Picture: Drope Zone Whisky near Flüren
    2nd Picture: House "Constanze" (3rd Battalion moved here after landing in DZ-W to secure and hold it.
    3rd Picture: Diersfordt Castle (German stronghold which was later secured by the paras, two german tanks rolled down south towards 3rd Battalion from here)
    4th Picture: A barn near Diersfordt Castle, its private property so I couldnt get any closer. I talked to a local and he said the barn has been there ever since. To me it looks like it has never been renovated after WW2 except for the windows (you can see how the angle of the walls and windows look weird). This is just pure speculations but those missing bricks in the walls could be from possible gunfire. Since its right next to the castle it couldve had some german resistance in it.
     

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  10. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    That’s up by the Am Wasserwerk Straße North West of Hamminkeln right? I spoke with a farmer up there a few years ago and he said British troops were on his farm. I’ve never got back there and spoke to him. Will have to try now!
     
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  11. Helen Arnold

    Helen Arnold Member

    Hi Moe,
    Thanks very much for that.

    I agree with Alex that his marking of the the field graves on the old map is correct. I think that would suggest they are actually on Waldestrasse by measuring between some landmarks with my ruler and pencil! But maybe Moe has a more accurate way of comparing them. I only have an ipad not my laptop as its being upgraded to W10 at the moment. However, the photo on Grenzweg of the house in its old state is useful to have in case I am incorrect.

    I would certainly agree with your comment about gunfire on those bricks being plausible, Moe.
    Helen
     
  12. MoeA

    MoeA Member

    Alex, that's correct that's the Wasserwerk Straße, the other one is from that lower grid that you mentioned. I used your exact coordinates to get there.

    Helen, no worries Im happy to help yall out. I assume it's another street then according to the older map, I can check that one out as well to see if I can take some pictures from that area as well.
     
  13. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Moe,

    Wow that was fast and all very interesting. Well done! There is a good possibility the house shown (26 Grenzweg) was in existence during WW2. Whether it is the one where the Capt. Thomas party made their stand is another question. Generally field graves were close to where the men fell. In the case where a number were killed the bodies would have been collected from the battle area and buried together. Capt. Thomas made an effort to bring the wounded into the house so there is a possibility some may have subsequently died there.

    The landing site photos were interesting as well. Took me a bit to orient myself but eventually got it. The 170510 location (LS2) is speculative on my part. It was interesting to see that wooden double poled power lines and short fence posts are still common in the area.

    I'm not familiar with your photos in post #49 so won't comment on those for the moment.

    Great work Moe!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  14. MoeA

    MoeA Member

    Thanks Cee,

    I looked around the place and that was definitely the only old house standing in Grenzweg, all the other ones were newer houses and this one really shined out between all the others due to its old look. I couldn't get hold of the owners but I'll try to get in contact with them next time I'm there maybe they know more.

    The 2nd post I made with those 4 pictures in it is DZ Whisky with different objectives 3rd Battalion took after landing and advancing north according to some research in books I own. The library opens up in May again and the have the *Luftlandung* book there which I'll definitely rent to dig into some more research, I guess that's by far the best book to get to get some more details. If there's more you guys need in happy to help out!
     
    Cee likes this.
  15. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Moe,

    I don't have "Die Luftlandung" but have found bits and pieces here and there that have helped out in other investigations. I believe there was a translation of the book that covered the American side of Varsity only. It was by Jos Bex, titled "The 17th Airborne During Operation Varsity". It might be available at the Scions site though not cheap?

    Regards ...
     
  16. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    I have Die Luftlandung.
     
  17. MoeA

    MoeA Member

    Cee I'll definitely check that one out, thanks!

    Alex, would you recommend it for research? Does it come with some nice maps?
     
  18. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    A few maps but I’d say from a German perspective it’s probably the best book to get.
     
  19. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    I have a signed copy of the book :cool:
     
  20. Helen Arnold

    Helen Arnold Member

    Moe,
    A pity the library is closed and really good of you to talk to others, as time goes on there will be fewer and fewer. I did try to see if there were any museums that might have information, but didn’t think about libraries. Unfortunately I don’t speak any German so someone bilingual is a real asset!

    I have uploaded the satellite for comparison of the field graves. I have included the crossroads at the North and the junction at the south of Grenzweg as they provide the reference points to compare the old and new if anyone wants to have a look. If we look at the intersection of Grezweg and Waldestrasse, there is a rectangular plot on the south side with a building on it on the old map. The road dips slightly south towards that building as well. On the satellite Wakdestrasse looks straighter, perhaps keeping the original access to that plot of land private and thus making a straight tarmac road when they built all those new houses. The plot of land seems to still be intact if those locations are a correct match. That house and land would be worth photographing in the future, along with the view from Grenzweg up Waldestrasse, as that most likely would encompass the field grave if it was there.

    On a side note, I was trying to find out more about L Bdr Edward Johnson to try to find his glider as another reference. I found his son Keith posted in Pegasus Archives asking for more info but there is no date for how long ago (other posts were 2015/16/17) and his email listed is no longer in use. He said Edward was in a glider and believed he died shortly after landing. I have also been trying to link glider to dots in the 1700/ 5100 square from Cee’s picture but not having much luck. 8 digits would provide a reference wouldn't it. So 1705 5200 would put glider 347 in the square bounded by 17 and 52, right on the 52 line and just in from the 17 line. No dot there on map 10...... I found the complete map in an old post elsewhere by Cee. I think the file size allowed for upload may have been bigger in the past.

    Helen
     

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