Ooij – The IJssel Line
1950 - 1965

Cold War

The Cold War is a special time layer in Exciting History. It represents a period of time when people were preparing for a war that never came: World War III. Between 1950 and 1960, numerous installations and shelters were built in the deepest secrecy. Many of them are still hidden in the landscape and even in crowded cities.

Iron Curtain
After the gunpowder fumes of World War II were cleared, it became clear that two new power blocks have emerged in the world: the United States and the Soviet Union. Both had military allies in Europe. The continent was once again torn apart, but this time not by war, but by threat. A new border ran across Europe, the Iron Curtain. When both superpowers started experimenting with atomic weapons, the fear of an all-destructive war became almost tangible.

IJssel Line
The Dutch hastily devised a new defense plan, the IJssel Line. In the event of a Russian invasion, the river Waal at Bemmel and the river Rhine in Arnhem could be dammed, flooding a large area. This would serve as a barrier. In the deepest secrecy all kinds of installations were built to make the damming possible. Though the designers apparently did not realize that such waterlines were completely outdated as a defense. Anyway: in the Ooijpolder, Bemmel, Lent, Meinerswijk and Arnhem remains of this unimaginable mega-project can still be seen.

Bombshelters
Besides the IJssel Line, other measures were taken. Command centers, ammunition depots, underground telephone exchanges, storage areas and dozens of nuclear bunkers were built. The bunkers did not provide enough space for the entire population. Some were therefore only intended for a select group. Atomic bunkers can be found in Berg en Dal and Nijmegen, for example. Volunteers stood guard at observation posts to watch for enemy aircrafts, but the Soviets did not come. What remains are the numerous, bizarre relics of an almost incomprehensible period.

Historic Sites

Bekijk alle locaties
Bemmel – The Ijssel Line

Bemmel – The Ijssel Line

Haalderen
Lent – Defence Dike

Lent – Defence Dike

Nijmegen
Arnhem – Emergency communications bunker

Arnhem – Emergency communications bunker

Arnhem
Nijmegen – Fallout shelter

Nijmegen – Fallout shelter

Nijmegen
Doornenburg – Air surveillance station

Doornenburg – Air surveillance station

Doornenburg
Alverna – Military Mobilisation Complex

Alverna – Military Mobilisation Complex

Wijchen
Ooij – The IJssel Line

Ooij – The IJssel Line

Ooij
The Cleves enclaves

The Cleves enclaves

Zevenaar

All locations are loaded.

Something went wrong. Try to reload the page.