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  #1  
Old 09-11-13, 22:45
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default Deelen Dump, Holland

This location has become famous for Canadian Military Vehicle buffs because of the presence at the end of the war of the large vehicle depot established there. Can anyone provide some background history of the location?

Over the years I have seen it referred to as a large piece of farm property, government land, and an airfield. If it was an airfield, was it a prewar Dutch air base, or was it an air field built by the Germans during the war? It is hard to tell from most photos of the vehicles in storage there, that it might have been an airfield. Always seems to be lots of trees and rolling ground in the photos.

David
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  #2  
Old 09-11-13, 22:57
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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David,

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deelen_Air_Base for a short history of the airfield. It is still in use as an airbase, albeit not a very important / active one.

HTH,
Hanno
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  #3  
Old 13-04-20, 01:42
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Hanno.

Curiosity question(s).

Were the vehicles stored at Deelen at the end of the war always the property of the Canadian Government? This would imply either some form of limited Canadian bureaucratic presence there to oversee sales, or Dutch personnel acting as sales agents for the Canadian Government.

Alternatively, at some point the Canadian Government might have transferred these vehicle assets directly to the Dutch Government for disposal.

Or, perhaps, a combination of the two.

I am just trying to wrap my head around how Canada sold large blocks of specific vehicles and related spares to other countries after the war, if most of this equipment was sitting in Europe in depots like Deelen.

David
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  #4  
Old 13-04-20, 11:04
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Default Dutch Dumps and Demob Parks

Hello David,

I tried to find some reliable sources on this subject:


1) In July 1945 1 and 2 Cdn Demobilization Depot were mobilized under the command of the First Canadian Army - see https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/org.../rcocorbat.htm
These units were tasked with demobilizing Canadian troops in NWE. One of the tasks at hand must have been demobilizing not only troops but also vehicles and other Canadian Army assets.


2) Canadian Army Newsreel no.105 mentions RCEME units were tasked with documenting and classifying each unit of transport, which were then handed over to the Canadian Army Vehicle Demob Park at Arnhem Airport (Deelen is close to Arnhem). The reporter notes that "approx. 36,000 vehicles were stored at the Park and more ariving daily. When the assembly was completed the contents of the Park were turned over to the War Assets Board, which will sell it to bring money back to the Treasury. France, Belgium and Holland were bargaining for the whole establishment."

Quote:
105.5 Army Vehicles Demobbed
Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers classify trucks as they drive by; close-ups of shields, signs, numbers on vehicles. Trucks, armoured cars, tanks, jeeps and other military vehicles parked on a large military vehicle parking lot at the Arnhem Airport, Holland.
Click image for larger version

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3) The No. 1 Demob Vehicle Park is also mentioned in War Junk: Munitions Disposal and Postwar Reconstruction in Canada by Alex Souchen:
Click image for larger version

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4) Note that there were several locations where the vehicles were stored, as described in Wheels & Tracks magazine (Bart Vanderveen worked as a conscript on one of the vehicle parks):
Quote:
ISSUE No. 55 (April 1996)
Canadian Disposals and Returns - Canada-Europe; some vehicles did it twice.
The Dutch Inheritance (1) - Deelen Demob Vehicle Park.
The Dutch Inheritance (2) - The Enschede Dump.
Holland's Vehicle Parks - Soesterberg: 1 VP, Stroe: 2 VP.

5) A search on this forum yields generic info, plus a few people mentioning their relatives worked at Deelen after the war.


To answer your question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dunlop View Post
I am just trying to wrap my head around how Canada sold large blocks of specific vehicles and related spares to other countries after the war, if most of this equipment was sitting in Europe in depots like Deelen.
As far as I can tell the Canadian government did not sell blocks of vehicles, but rather their entire inventory one year after the war ended. They transferred all the vehicles assembled in Dutch depots in a deal struck with the Dutch government. They agreed on a (partial) trade against the costs the Dutch government was making for billeting and repatriating Canadian troops. I will see if I can find more sources on this subject later.

Hope this helps to give you some more insights.

PS: I think the upcoming book War Junk (https://www.ubcpress.ca/war-junk) will have more indepth insights into this subject.

Last edited by Hanno Spoelstra; 13-04-20 at 12:00. Reason: edited for clarity
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  #5  
Old 13-04-20, 12:22
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Default War Assets Corporation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
They agreed on a (partial) trade against the costs the Dutch government was making for billeting and repatriating Canadian troops. I will see if I can find more sources on this subject later.
From Alex Souchen's dissertation "Peace Dividend: The War Assets Corporation and the Disposal of Canada's Munitions and Supplies, 1943-1948":
Quote:
Later in May 1946 (and as part of the war claims settlement), the Dutch purchased all the remaining medical and dental supplies situated in the Netherlands (mostly at Alverna), Canadian General Hospitals No. 2, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 21, and all the remaining armoured and unarmoured vehicles located at the Deelen airfield.
It is worthwile to download Souchen's disseration for a good read on how Canada disposed of its Army's assets.
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  #6  
Old 16-09-20, 14:08
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The vehicles supplied by UNRRA to Czechoslovakia came from the Deelen dump before the remainder was sold the the Netherlands government:

https://youtu.be/Y4JDvvPVJeQ
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  #7  
Old 16-09-20, 14:58
Bruce Parker Bruce Parker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
The vehicles supplied by UNRRA to Czechoslovakia came from the Deelen dump before the remainder was sold the the Netherlands government:

https://youtu.be/Y4JDvvPVJeQ
My wife's dad drove a 60cwt from Holland to Czechoslovakia waiting to demob. Maybe he was in that film?
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  #8  
Old 16-09-20, 21:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Parker View Post
My wife's dad drove a 60cwt from Holland to Czechoslovakia waiting to demob. Maybe he was in that film?
That would be amazing if you could recognize him.... I know the feeling!
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