Explosion of an ammunition train
Just before the liberation of the province of Friesland, a brave act of resistance took place. On April 12, 1945, the German army sent an ammunition train from Leeuwarden to Stavoren.
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Just before the liberation of the province of Friesland, a brave act of resistance took place. On April 12, 1945, the German army sent an ammunition train from Leeuwarden to Stavoren. But a brave sabotage action by the resistance derailed the train, rendering it useless.
The train consisted of 15 carriages with 150 tons of ammunition. The Dutch Domestic Forces (NBS) were aware of this transport and wanted to prevent this train from reaching its target. Between Hieslum and Nijhuizum (about three kilometers northeast of Workum), the resistance group Gaastmeer-Oudega (W) sabotaged the rails, causing the train to derail.
The British Royal Air Force (RAF) was informed of the derailed train via the resistance signal box. Shortly afterwards, a reconnaissance was carried out by Allied Spitfire fighters, after which the wagons were set on fire.
The shelling caused enormous explosions, which could be heard in the wide area of Workum. As a reprisal, some people in hiding were arrested and sentenced to death. Fortunately, the liberation on April 16, 1945 prevented their execution. During the clearance of the ammunition on 17 May 1945, a sixty-year-old resident of Workum was killed by an exploding grenade. To this day, farmers still encounter the old ammunition in the fields.