A50 motorway (Netherlands)

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The A50 is a highway in the Netherlands, running from Eindhoven in the southeast up to Zwolle in the northeast of the country.

It passes the cities of Eindhoven, close to (15 km) Den Bosch, Oss, Nijmegen, Arnhem, Apeldoorn and Zwolle.

During the Second World War the Highway was known as Highway 69. Since 1969 it is known as N69, and now remains so named only between the border of Noord-Brabant province and the E34 Freeway.

The highway was an important and only avenue of advance during Operation Market Garden, and after the fighting along its length between Allied and Wehrmacht forces it was named "Hell's Highway"[1] so named because of the effective artillery fire directed at it by the German forces in the area.[2] During the fighting some 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) of the highway south of Eindhoven was jammed with wrecks of vehicles being attacked by up to 200 Luftwaffe bombers[3] requiring bulldozers and blade-equipped tanks to roam the length, pushing them off the surface to keep traffic moving. The wrecks on the soft shoulders of the highway prevented its use by other vehicles,[4] in effect converting the highway into a narrow corridor, and slowing the movement on it to a crawl for the Allied drivers.

The fighting along N69 is depicted in a recent computer game Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway.

References[edit]

  1. ^ p.87, Koskimaki
  2. ^ p.125, Ambrose
  3. ^ p.125, Ambrose
  4. ^ p.125, Ambrose

Bibliography[edit]

  • Koskimaki, George E., Hell's highway: chronicle of the 101st Airborne Division in the Holland Campaign, September - November 1944, Casemate, Havertown, 2003
  • Ambrose, Stephen E., Citizen Soldiers: The U. S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, Part One, Chapter 4, Touchstone, New York, 1997

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 51°58′12″N 5°46′4″E / 51.97000°N 5.76778°E / 51.97000; 5.76778