When Drenthe was liberated in 1945, the allied army was confronted with many kilometres of newly-laid anti-tank ditches. These had been dug in the autumn of 1944 and the spring of 1945. In late summer 1944 the German occupation forces had decided to put in place new lines of defence. The Todt Organisation, which was in charge of military engineering, was commissioned to lay out new defence works in the east of the country. To the east of the river IJssel, the Drentse Hoofdvaart canal, the Noord-Willemskanaal and further north towards Delfzijl, a double line of anti-tank ditches was laid. The line was called the Frieslandriegel and was built in case of a possible allied invasion from Friesland.
The anti-tank ditches were filled in at the time of liberation, except in nature areas where this was not necessary. As a result, anti-tank ditches stretching hundreds of metres can still be found, for instance in the area of Vijftig Bunder near Midlaren, on the Balloërveld, the Witterveld near Assen and further to the southwest.
Location of the Frieslandriegel
Coordinates: 53°00’35.1″N 6°38’43.2″E
- Crabbeweg 2
- 9458 TE Balloo