Ooij – The IJssel Line
K1
Ooij
1950

Ooij – The IJssel Line

Ooij – The IJssel Line
Ooij – The IJssel Line
Ooij – The IJssel Line
Ooij – The IJssel Line
Ooij – The IJssel Line
Ooij – The IJssel Line

The Ooij Polder still contains substantial remains of the IJssel Line, which was built during the Cold War between 1950 and 1955. In emergencies, the river Waal could be closed off by a dam, causing a small part of the polder to protrude as an island above the enormous expanse of water. You can still visit the remains of the tank bunkers, command posts and a field hospital.

IJssel Line
The success of the IJssel Line was mainly dependent on the three dams in the IJssel, Rhine and Waal rivers. After all, they had to ensure that the whole waterline could be flooded. But the dams also needed to be well protected against possible attack. A lot of work was therefore carried out on the Bemmel Bank and here in the Ooij Polder and it was carried out in utmost secrecy. The military structures in the Ooij Polder were conveniently hidden away on the site of a brickworks that was still there at the time.

Island
An additional embankment was built at the rear of the brickworks so the site would always remain dry. The embankment and the dam were protected by about 20 tank bunkers made from tanks cast in concrete, searchlights and bunkers for machine guns and anti-aircraft guns. There were also two command posts and a medical aid station. The buildings were disguised as barns, but behind the two-metre thick walls, were several concealed roomscrammed with technical devices, rooms for storage, communications, accommodation and a telephone exchange.

Hospital
The field hospital could accommodate 36 wounded patients. It had mains water and electricity, as well as access to a generator, a submersible pump and a water treatment plant. The hospital even had a fully-equipped operating room and cost around €100,000 to build, which was an enormous sum in those days. The hospital and the command postsare still there, but they are privately owned and not open to the public. Most of the other military installations have gone, and the brickworks has been demolished. Having said that, there are enough relics for a worthwhile and exciting adventure!

Ooij – The IJssel Line
Ooij – The IJssel Line
Ooij – The IJssel Line
Ooij – The IJssel Line
Ooij – The IJssel Line
Ooij – The IJssel Line

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