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Battlefield Tours offers a unique tour in an authentic World War II Willy's Jeep! An unforgettable experience in the city of Groningen!
Join us in an authentic World War II Willy’s Jeep!
During this tour you will be transported in an authentic Willys Jeep from 1942. This jeep is not only a war hero, it has also won many hearts over the years. Our expert guide will explain the battles that took place in April 1945 and show you the traces of these battles that can still be seen in Groningen today. This jeep tour is a unique way to see and feel the war history of Groningen! An experience not to be missed!
The battle of Groningen
The first major battle fought by 2nd Canadian Division in northeast Holland began on 13 April when lead elements reached the outskirst of Groningen. By midnight on Friday april 13th the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry with the aid of a local resistance volunteer, had cleared the outskirst around the Paterswoldseweg, but the cost of the day’s combat – eight killed and twenty wounded – suggested that Groningen might be a difficult problem. Major-General Bruce Matthews met with his brigadiers and decided te commit the entire division, hoping to overwhelm the enemy as quickly as possible.
The German command in Groningen structure was poor and the defenders had never exercised together, however, the Canadians had to fight four days to liberate the city of Groningen. The heaviest fighting took place around the central market square, where the enemy had fortified the houses along the north side of the largest open space in the inner city. These positions were overcome by manoeuvring tanks into position to destroy the buildings occupied by German Troops.
The German garrison commander finally agreed to surrender at noon on 16 April; the next day the last holdouts put down their weapons and joined their comrades in prisoner-of-war cages, which held 95 officers and 5,117 other ranks. The 2nd Division reported 43 fatal casualties and 166 wounded in the battle of Groningen. This was a high price to pay at this stage of the war, and the deaths of 110 civilians caught in the crossfire added to the tragedy.
During this jeep tour we follow the Canadian advance route from the Paterswoldseweg to the Grote Markt. We then end up at the encirclement of the German troops in the former State Archives in Sint Jansstraat. For more background information about the Battle of Groningen, click here.
The tours in Groningen takes your right up to the fields, streets, and the bridges all so heavily fought over.
|Vrij t/m zo||Seizoen 2023||08:00 – 18:00||€ 300,-||2 spots*|
Included in the tour:
The tour is led by Joël Stoppels and Harold de Jong, Battlefield Tour guides and members of The International Guild of Battlefield Guides
*More people are possible. This means that we have to use an extra jeep with driver. The price may differ for tailor-made tours. For tours longer than the standard time of 2 hours, we charge an additional cost of € 60.00 per hour. Ask for the possibilities during your reservation!
Please note when booking:
It is also possible to tailor the jeep tour. During a custom battlefield tour you follow a unique route and we only visit places that are important to you. Your tour can depart at any time of the year (subject to availability) and can be as short or as long as you like. Ask for the possibilities when booking!
Price, bookings and payment
Different prices for a private tour may apply depending on group size. Prices, terms and conditions can be found here. You can easily book the tour via the booking form on this page, or by contacting us directly. By submitting a booking you agree to our terms and conditions. After receipt of you booking request we will verify availability on the tour date(s) requested. If needed we will contact you to discuss details or other options. Presuming a requested tour date is possible we will sent you a confirmation email containing an invoice stating the total amount due and the deposit amount (if applicable) needed to complete your booking. Full payment is due 10 days prior to the start date of the tour.
Transport and pick up location
We can start the Jeep tours from from various locations in Groningen. If you arrive by plane, you will probably fly to Schiphol, Amsterdam’s airport. The easiest way to get to Groningen is by train. There is a direct train from Schiphol to Groningen, which leaves every hour. You can plan your train using the journey planner of the Dutch railways. You should select Schiphol as your departure station and Groningen as your destination. Groningen has an excellent public transport system. From the Central Station it only takes you several minutes to walk to the city centre. Just cross the Werkmanbridge connecting the station and the Groninger Museum. You can also take a bus or taxi. All busses depart from the Central Station. Overnight accommodation is as varied as the city and province of Groningen itself. A small selection includes nostalgic renovated farms, camping out on a farm, and the four-star De Ville hotel. Book overnight accommodation via this website.
Watch our documentary about the liberation of Groningen!