29. Deelen and Diogenes
Deelen airfield was one of the biggest German airfields in the Netherlands. Few people know that there are some other impressive German remains from the Second World War just a little bit further
down the road. Diogenes: a huge bunker, measuring 40 by 60 metres, over 16 metres tall, with walls with a thickness of 3 to 4 metres. The Germans brought this bunker into use in the autumn of 1943 for the purpose of air defence.
During the Second World War, The Netherlands was the frontline of the German air defences against large numbers of allied bombers based in Great Britain. In order to protect its 'Reich' from the large number of attacks from the west, night and day, they built a chain of defences that stretched from Denmark down to northern France. Radar stations, search lights and anti-aircraft guns were built on and near the coastline and the airfields where German fighter planes and night fighters were stationed. They built command centres to help the fighter planes intercept the allied bombers, including one at the airfield in Deelen.
This was the command centre for the 3rd Fighter Division (Jagd-Division 3) which was housed in a large bunker (named "Grossraumgefechtsstand Diogenes". It was built between August 1942 and July 1943 in the Hoge Veluwe National Park and gutted on 17th September 1944 when the British landed near Arnhem. The Germans destroyed everything inside the bunker. Nowadays, the bunker is used as a depot by the Dutch National Archives (Nationaal Archief).
At the junction of Deelenseweg and Hooiweg in Deelen, near the Museum Vliegbasis Deelen. GPS code: 52°03'41.50’’N 5°53’53.30’’O