Shortly after the liberation of Ede on 17 April 1945, the Allied advance stopped, while the western Netherlands remained occupied by German forces. Due to food and fuel shortages in the ‘Hunger Winter’ of 1944-1945, thousands of people had already died there, and this number was growing alarmingly, day by day. The Dutch government in London appealed urgently to the Allies for help.
On 25 April, the Allied commander-in-chief, the American General Eisenhower, gave the order to negotiate with the Germans to end this deadly famine.
On 28 April, the German and Allied authorities negotiated about food aid. On 30 April, the delegations met for a second time, in the Sint Jozef School in Achterveld. And so these meetings became known as the Achterveld Conference.
Even before an official agreement had been reached between the Germans and the Allies, a first flight of 242 British planes already began dropping food over the occupied territory on 29 April. This marked the start of Operation Manna. From 1 May, the Americans joined the operation with 400 aircraft; the name they gave to this operation was ‘Chowhound’. The food drops lasted for eight days.