Roel Dekkers

Accredited Guide Number: 95

I have been interested in the stories of the Second World War since I was a child. This interest continued during my career as an officer in the Royal Netherlands Army; I was especially interested in comparing the military actions of now and then. Living in an area where, in September 1944, one of the largest airborne operations took place and where, in February of 1945, the largest land operation started on Dutch soil, I started to study these operations.
By giving battlefield tours from 2014 around the Rhineland I introduced people to a relatively unknown battle (Operations Veritable, Blockbuster, Plunder and Varsity) which was the beginning of the Allied advance over the River Rhine and the further advance to the northern Netherlands and towards Berlin.

Other specialisms:

On special request of individual family members of mostly deceased veterans, I provide a special tour where their relative spent their time during the battle for the Rhineland.
I also provide tours for specific military units.
I also give presentations to schools about the Second World War in general, special presentations about specific battles, and presentations about my efforts in crisis areas during my military career.

Battles

Hürtgen ForestWWIIOperation VERITABLEArnhemEindhoven & NijmegenLiberation of HollandOperation Market GardenOperation PLUNDERReichswald ForestRhine CrossingScheldt Estuary - Breskens Pocket & Walcheren

Countries

GermanyNetherlands

Caters For

Adult Coach GroupsBespoke GroupCollege GroupsFamiliesIndividualsMilitary & VeteranSchool GroupsSmall Groups

Areas of Expertise

Operation Veritable (Reichswald Forest) February 8 to March 11, 1945
• Canadian part of the battle (II Canadian Corps)
• British part of the battle (XXX Corps), especially 51st (Highland) Division

Operation Blockbuster February 23 to March 3, 1945
• Hochwald gap and the capture of Xanten on the Rhine River

Operation Plunder 23–27 March 1945
• Military operation to cross the Rhine at Rees, Wesel

Operation Varsity 24 March 1945
• An Allied Airborne operation on the east bank of the Rhine in support of Operation Plunder, consisting of U.S. XVIII Airborne Corps, the British 6th and the U.S. 17th Airborne Divisions.

Operation Aintree 30 September – 18 October 1944
• After a failed attack on Overloon by the U.S. 7th Armored Division, the British 3rd Infantry Division and the British 11th Armoured Division took over to destroying the German bridgehead west of the Meuse.

Operation Market Garden
• 82nd Airborne Division September 1944, particularly operations around Grave, Groesbeek and Nijmegen.