The Brabant village Oisterwijk and Operation Market-Garden
Attack on German air defence on 17 September
Apparently aware of allied airplanes coming in from the channel on 17 September,
two German army trucks appeared in the kerkhovensestraat in the agricultural area
west of Oisterwijk.
The two trucks, each towing along a mobile FLAK anti-aircraft cannon, stopped in
front of the farm of the Verhoeven family onwhich 15 German soldiers detrucked and
started digging pits for the two FLAK cannons.
After they were finished digging the pits the anti-aircraft cannos were brought in
Both cannons were FLAK 37mm type cannons which were able to fire 80 rounds a minute
ranging up to 4600 meters at ground level and reaching up to 4800 meters high.
When the Germans were nearing completion of their work suddenly two Allied aircraft
appeared over the area and attacked the not yet camouflaged german anti-aircraft
Apparently unsuccessful the two aircraft disappeared again and almost directly four
American Thunderbolt aircraft appeared over the area.
These four aircraft completed a big half circle and following one after the another
approached the German cannons and subsecuently attacked and completely destroy the
Pleased with the result the aircraft disappeared and shortly after German soldiers
came on site to collect their dead and wounded.
Their wounded comrades were transported to the German fielddressingstation in the
poirterstraat in the village.
About twenty minutes after the attack the large allied airborne fleet for operation
market-Garden appeared on the horizon to the west of Oisterwijk.
This fleet was heading for the dropzones at Arnhem and Nijmegen and consisted of
two groups, a third group flew across Belgiumthat day destined for dropzones near
Unable to do anything about it the Germans could only watch how the aircraft passed
by low and slow directly over their destroyed FLAK cannons.
The next day however the Germans had moved and camouflaged their FLAK positions and
were ready for action.
The Thunderbolts came over again, circled the area in search for German positions
but flew of again without the German FLAK being spotted.
Here in after an Allied airborne fleet came over the area again for day two of operation
The German anti-aircraft was now able to come into action and did this with success.