French parachutists - hotspots

French parachutists

Forestry warden Pronk must have stood in amazement when, on Sunday morning 8th April 1945, he saw several soldiers in strange uniforms standing in front of him. One of them held a letter announcing that the liberation was underway and requesting all possible help for these allied soldiers. The para’s had no idea where they were as their maps were not very accurate. They were lucky, because Pronk was a member of the Resistance.

Monument for the parachutists

The landing did not remain secret for very long. On Monday there was an attack on the Staff Headquarters of a German army unit in the vicarage in Gasselte. The Germans were eventually forced to flee; they landed straight in the arms of the French and were tied to trees in the woods with parachute cord.  Some nosey inhabitants of Gasselte fell to plundering the abandoned vicarage. But there were still German soldiers hiding in the building who saw what they were doing. When more Germans suddenly appeared, the fun was quickly over. All the men were locked in the church. Mayor Tuin barely managed to prevent their death and the sixteen looters were taken to Assen in a refrigerated truck. There they remained unharmed until they were released on 13th April, the same day that Canadian tanks rolled into Gasselte.

Location of the hotspot

Coordinates: 52°58’18.0″N 6°47’14.0″E

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