May 1940: Three armoured cars in the Sysselt forest
On the morning of Friday, 10 May 1940, a short firefight took place at Zuid-Ginkel Inn. Following this a motorised SS formation with five armoured cars – a unit of SS Regiment Der Führer – approached the positions of the 4th Regiment of Dutch Hussars. At the edge of the De Sysselt woods, they were engaged by mounted hussars and a squadron of three armoured cars. The German attack was repelled and the German troops withdrew temporarily.
With this achievement, the hussars had fulfilled their mission and were ordered to withdraw behind the Grebbe Line. Moving along state highway 24 (now the N224 main road) and alongside the Arnhem-Utrecht railway line, they travelled via Ede towards De Klomp. By the evening, Ede had been occupied by the vanguard of the SS regiment, now also reinforced by anti-tank guns.
The squadron in De Sysselt still hadn’t received orders to withdraw. Squadron commander Lieutenant Moolenburgh sent out a motorised orderly (messenger) to the headquarters of the 4th Regiment of Hussars in Hotel Pension de Langenberg in order to get more information, but this soldier was captured by the Germans en route. A second orderly discovered that German units were already in Ede, and on hearing this news Lieutenant Moolenburgh decided to attempt a withdrawal to De Klomp at dawn.
Because the squadron in De Sysselt came under artillery fire from their own side during the night, the lieutenant decided to head for De Klomp while it was still dark. Unfortunately, the first vehicle became stuck in a ditch at the side of the road. But at dawn on 11 May, travelling in the other armoured cars, they reached their own units at De Klomp.
This Whitsun weekend the fighting continued to the west of Ede. On Monday morning 13 May, the Dutch troops were forced to withdraw from the Grebbe Line. On 14 May, they took up new positions on the New Dutch Waterline, and on 15 May, the Netherlands capitulated.
Do you want to experience this story on its original location? Visit the information panel at the bike path on Remkumseweg (52.032194, 5.714833).