On a sunny Saturday, 14 May 2011 I took part in a tour through the former Peel-Raamstelling sector Mill, in beautiful Brabant, organized by STIWOT and given by Ludwig van Dijk of the foundation Traces of the War Mill. In the Dutch TV series The War part 1 is also referred at the Battle of Mill. In the early morning of 10 May 1940 when they invaded Holland, the Germans carried out a stratagem by driving an armored train through the Dutch lines. Then the train crashed when it rode against a barricade of asperges that was placed on the rail which could be passed normaly, but on 10 May 1940 during the German invasion it was hastily activated.

The German armored train derailed at Mill. Photograph from "Stichting Kennispunt Mei 1940 collectie Goossens"

The train derailed and German soldiers jumped out and attacked the Dutch soldiers who had holed up in bunkers, in the back. After one day of heavy fighting the Germans succeeded in breaking the opposition and continue to advance toward the Moerdijk bridges. But the Dutch defense had caused a delay in the advance and the German paratroopers who had landed at the Moerdijk bridges had to wait longer for re-enforcement. It was a struggle at the level of infantry. On this day we learned much more with thanks to the lecture in the Chapel Maria ten Hove in the morning and the tour on the former battlefield in the afternoon. The website www.mill1940.nl compliments it. On every 200 to 400 meters a casemate was constructed in which one could seek coverage in danger. For people who could find no place in a casemate, trenches were made​​. These bunkers provided shelter for 3 to 4 soldiers and were equipped with a machinegun. Most of these casemates had three bullet holes, 1 for a machine gun and a rifle for the other two. Thanks to the foundation Sporen van de Oorlog Mill these bunkers were not demolished, but later on even declared to be National Monument. The casemates are mainained by the foundation Traces of the War Mill.
We went looking for traces of the war. Video

In the old fire station in Mill, this beautiful model of the Battle of Mill on 10 May 1940 with the German armored train derailed. In Part 1 of the Dutch TV series The War, this model is also shown and it was shown how the armored train has derailed.

In the old fire station in Mill, this beautiful model of the Battle of Mill on 10 May 1940 with the German armored train derailed. In Part 1 of the Dutch TV series The War, this model is also shown and it was shown how the armored train has derailed.

The cause of the derailment of the German armored train was this barrier with Aspergers. Through a mechanism they pulled on a rope so the Asperges came up and barred further passage. This is the war memorial with Aspergers. The asperges are of the wrong kind, but shows how it was to have worked. The barrier has also been rebuilt as a model and can be seen together with the model of the battlefield.

Peel-Raamstelling sector Mill Model van een kazemat

Peel-Raamstelling sector Mill

Model of a casemate

Lecture by Ludwig van Dijk of the battle at Mill on 10 and 11 May 1940 in the chapel Maria Ten Hove Lecture by Ludwig van Dijk of the battle at Mill on 10 and 11 May 1940 in the chapel Maria Ten Hove

Lecture by Ludwig van Dijk of the battle at Mill on 10 and 11 May 1940 in the chapel Maria Ten Hove
 

Tongelaar castle with a memorial for the fallen in the days in May 1940

Tongelaar castle with a memorial for the fallen in the days in May 1940
 

Langs het Defensiekanaal bij Mill zijn diverse Nederlandse kazematten te zien die deel uitmaakten van de Peel-Raamstelling bij Mill

Along the Defence Canal at Mill several Dutch casemats can be seen as part of the Peel-Raamstelling

The Defence Canal which was dug in defense of the Peel-Raamstelling. At present, the former battlefield turned into a nature reserve and I photographed these people in a canoe in the Defence Channel. In this beautiful rural area around Mill there are still traces of the war, like this casemate.
The Defence Canal which was dug in defense of the Peel-Raamstelling. At present, the former battlefield turned into a nature reserve and I photographed these people in a canoe in the Defence Channel. In this beautiful rural area around Mill there are still traces of the war, like this casemate.
 
Casemate 533 seen from a recovered trench

Casemate 533 seen from a recovered trench

Recovered trench

Casemate at the Defense Canal with the church tower of Mill

Casemate at the Defense Canal with the church tower of Mill

Casemate S-438 of Blokland. Sergeant Blokland was killed here. This is a museum casemate. This casemate is of the type 'porcupine' (3 loopholes, a fire of 190 degrees equipped with a light machine gun) Left: Casemate S-438 of Blokland. Sergeant Blokland was killed here. This is a museum casemate. This casemate is of the type 'porcupine' (3 loopholes, a fire of 190 degrees equipped with a light machine gun)
Casemate 538 got three hits by German artillery and anti-tank guns and was also attacked by German Stuka bombers. Here the commander of this casemete Sgt Blokland kept courageous stand on 10 May 1940. He died at about 15:00 hours.

Source: www.oorlogsmusea.nl

The foundation Traces of the War Mill has made S-438 of bunker sgt Blokland refurbished. I made this recording. Here, much time is spent. Well done!

The foundation Traces of the War Mill has made S-438 of bunker sgt Blokland refurbished. I made this recording. Here, much time is spent. Well done!