Onderwerp: Grebbeberg 1940

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Categorie: Slag om de Grebbeberg en Betuwestelling / Familie- en veteranenzaken
My father Johannes, Johan/Han,van Klink living in Nieuwveen, married, and having two boys,of which I am the oldest fought at this location for 4 to 5 days. He never did discuss much about his days there.
My mother, still living and 91 years old, told me that he mentioned bullets hitting the sand at his feet as he was running. She also mentioned that he took her to the Grebbeberg shortly after the battle was over. She told me that there were many places where a rifle, topped by a helmet, were placed in the sand and many also had a picture of loved ones placed at the graveside.

I would like to know if anyone has any knowledge of my father's activities there, where exactly he fought, etc. Going through some of my parents old postcards I have established that he got his basic training in Ede and his official "title" was Tirialleur.

I do know that he had a close buddy named van Arnhem who lived in Weesp where he,his father and brother/s were painters by trade.

He also befriended a family by the name of de Kleuver in Veenendaal.
Since I wrote my previous request It has been established that his name was J.W. de Kleuver with the last known address, late 50's, was Heemskerkstraat 19 in Veenendaal. This person worked for cigar making business where he rolled cigars.

I realise I am asking a lot but I hardly ever spoke to my dad about the war because it was such a sensitive thing to him. In retrospect I am now sorry I never did get him to talk about the time. Dad wasn't very fond of the army. He passed away in July 1989.

I would appreciate hearing anything from anyone who could shed a little light on this matter. It has become more important to me to know now that I am getting older. The information will be passed on to my six sibling and there children. As immigrants we have to start
building a "new" family history and archive.

Ted Van Klink,
Georgetown, ON.,
» Dit bericht is geplaatst op 17 september 2004 04:02
Allert Goossens
It is peculiar to read a contribution like this, about a Dutch soldier serving in the Dutch army during the Maydays of 1940, undersigned by (obviously) his son with a 24 carat Dutch name – set in the English language!

It is hard to predict where your father fought exactly. You see – the Grebbeberg was part of the Grebbelinie (Grebbe – line) which had (within Dutch proportions) a considerable length. It was the Eastern defense of the heart of Holland, which began at the Ysselmeer and ended at the river Rhine. Between the rivers Rhine and Waal, it was called the Betuwestelling (Betuwe-line). Next it curved westwards. In this eastern frontline at least four divisions and some smaller units were stationed and actually saw action. To the majority of units the Grebbeberg became the shrine for the heroic fights between the Dutch and German armies along this line. The thick of the fight was indeed fought around the area of Rhenen, east, north and on the Grebbeberg (which was a hill with quite a steep eastern slope). Directly after the three days battle (11, 12 and 13 May) a courtyard was reserved to hold the graves of many defenders (around 400 KIA were initially buried there) and some 180 attackers (the majority of their KIA were transported back to Germany). These figures turned out to be quite moderate later in the war, but were considered high in respect to the area and length of the fights.

Since the Dutch military did and does not maintain full draft lists, it is hard to pinpoint your father to a certain unit. It will probably need a little more information. Please try to find out a little more about rank, stationing during pre-war mobilization and unit (commanding officers). That will help!
» Deze reactie is geplaatst op 17 september 2004 07:41
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Allert is right when he mentions the size of the Grebbelinie and the difficulty to pinpoint the exact unit, but.. there are some details that might be helpful. As there is a family De Kleuver from Veenendaal (verified, this name exists in the phonebook of Veenendaal, although none on the specified location) this might point to the 10th Infantery Regiment. This regiment was located in Veenendaal, a (small) city only a few km's North of the Grebbeberg. Unfortunately we do not have any military reports of this Regiment but i will sent an e-mail to a journalist who lives in Veenendaal and knows very mucht about this regiment, in fact, he wrote some books about it! Maybe he can tell us more.

Tirailleur means rifleman, so most probably he was armed with this Dutch rifle model 1895:

To be continued...
» Deze reactie is geplaatst op 17 september 2004 07:54
Totaal berichten: 629
Ik heb op het moment al een uitgebreid e-mailcontact met de heer Van Klink.
Hij heeft mij een aantal extra aanwijzingen gegeven, die ik op dit moment aan het nagaan ben. Zo b.v een aantal extra bijzonderheden over de genoemde familie De Kleuver.Het " stikt ", als je de Nationale Telefoongids bekijt, weliswaar van de De Kleuvers in Veenendaal, maar de aanwijzingen houden toch wel enige belofte in.Ik zal o.m Martin Brink e-mailen of hij met die gegevens iets kan aanvangen.

Ik heb hem ook al verteld dat 10 RI een belangrijke optie is.
Niet alleen vanwege de familie De Kleuver, maar ook om andere redenen.
De ( oude ) heer Van Klink heeft het later b.v ook geregeld over Scherpenzeel gehad. Verder is hij in 1932 voor het eerst onder de wapenen gekomen in Ede, wat ook al eerder wijst op 10 RI dan op 8 RI.
Ik heb inmiddels ook een aantal foto's en destijds verstuurde ansichten toegestuurd gekregen.Er is nog meer aan aanwijzingen op komst
Ik heb van de heer Van Klink begrepen dat de kwestie nu inderdaad aanhangig is gemaakt bij DARIC.
Omdat het antwoord wel even op zich zal laten wachten benut ik de tijd om ( als gezegd ) vast een aantal aanwijzingen na te gaan.
» Deze reactie is geplaatst op 17 september 2004 09:06
Totaal berichten: 2.294
Apart from 8 RI and 10 RI there's a third possibility: 22 RI.
They defended the Grebbe-line, roughly spoken, between Veenendaal and Scherpenzeel ( both cities/villages were mentioned in Mr. Van Klink's letters ). Their " home base "was EDE (just like 10 RI ).

It must be said, however, that 22 RI retreated in GOOD Order.There was no flight from the battlefield in this case, whereas some units of 10 RI were chased by the SS in the woods between Prattenburg and Amerongen on the 14th.Mr. Van Klink's letters suggest a flight.

15 RI must, in my opinion, be ruled out:their " home base " was Nijmegen.

De heer Van Klink heeft mij overigens verzekerd, dat hij, met enige reserve, Nederlands kan lezen.
» Deze reactie is geplaatst op 17 september 2004 13:24
Totaal berichten: 2.294
There's even a fourth possibility.
Pointing to the Grebbeberg this time.
46 RI originated ( as an " war-regiment " in August 1939 ) from 22 RI, a soldier who in 1932 joined 22 RI in Ede could easily have made his " come-back " in 1940 with 46 RI.
And it is certain that one batallion of 46 RI fought on the Grebbeberg.
Allthough it's certainly not my first guess, 46 RI could turn out to be the unit we're looking for. Even more so than 8 RI.This regiment has no "Ede - background" at all.
» Deze reactie is geplaatst op 19 september 2004 15:17
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