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Escaping Holland...in a kayak

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by GRW, Sep 21, 2021.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Intrepid is probably the best description for these guys.
    "Whenever Niels Peteri visits a beach, he thinks of his father, Henri. He was one of the "Engelandvaarders" who, on 21 September 1941, stepped back upon land having paddled across the North Sea from the Nazi-occupied Netherlands to join the UK's war effort.
    Niels Peteri was a teenager when he first learned of his father's dangerous 56-hour voyage across the North Sea.
    Like most of his generation, Henri Peteri spoke little about World War Two or his role in it.
    Eighty years on from the crossing, Niels remembers how he was told the whole story in one go. It was, he says, a story of inauspicious beginnings, brotherhood and incredible bravery.
    A keen university rower, the 22-year-old Henri Peteri had heard of fellow Dutchmen trying to escape to the UK by fishing boat.
    He also knew that many had either been caught before reaching the coast or killed when Nazi coastal patrols sank their vessels.
    But he had also heard of people managing to reach the UK from Scandinavian countries by canoe.
    Might he too, he wondered, cross the North Sea in a craft far smaller than a fishing boat?
    Henri talked his brother Willem into taking a chance.
    He bought a folding German-made kayak in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam before the pair made their way to a guest house in the village of Katwijk, a village the brothers knew well because they had holidayed there previously.
    As night fell, the brothers began putting the kayak together.

    Who were the Engelandvaarders?
    [​IMG]
    More than 2,000 men and women arrived in the UK from the Netherlands during World War Two - of which about 1,700 made the journey by sea.
    Many others drowned at sea or were arrested, imprisoned or shot while preparing to leave.
    Many of those who made the journey enlisted in the British or Dutch armed forces, the merchant navy or went to work for the government.
    More than 100 Engelandvaarders - the word translates as "England-farers" - went back to the Nazi-occupied country as secret agents. Nearly half were caught."
    www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-57205877
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Absolute classic movie.
     
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  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Yep, one of the "You have to be kidding me!" classics.
     

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