War belongs in the museum. That is the motto of the War Museum Overloon. The War Museum Overloon presents the history of the Second World War. Here, you see how it can be that in five years’ time more than fifty million people lost their lives, but also how an oppressed people resourcefully coped with restrictions and shortages. There is attention to the opposition, but also to the persecution. Finally, there is, of course, also attention paid to the liberation, with special attention to the Battle of Overloon.
What happened here?
In September 1944, the British general Montgomery conceived of the attack plan Market Garden. With air landings at Arnhem and the liberation of a narrow corridor through South Netherlands, it would be possible for the Allies to make a further advance to Berlin. However, the plan only partially succeeded. The Allied forces wanted to broaden and strengthen their corridor, but the German opponent in turn tried to cut the Allies off. On 30 September, the two parties clashed in the vicinity of Overloon. German Panther tanks and American Sherman tanks attacked each other continuously. About a week later, British troops got involved in the fight. Ultimately, it took nearly three weeks before Overloon and Venray were liberated.
The Battle of Overloon is known as the most intense tank battle that ever took place on Dutch soil. In the museum, you will find several vehicles from the battle, such as a German Panther tank and British and American tanks and cannons. The museum was opened on May 25th, 1946, making it one of the oldest museums in Europe dedicated to the Second World War. It is set in 14 hectares (over 34 acres) of woodland. A feature of the museum is the large number of military vehicles and equipment on display, both German and Allied.
The Dutch Travel advisor organizes a great Second World War day-tour that combines the Overloon War Museum with the equally interesting Airborne Museum: