British War Cemetery Harlingen

In response to the air raids on London and other places, the British government ordered the bombing of German cities and industrial areas. On their bombing route to Germany, the Allies used the IJsselmeer as a flight path.

The route across the IJsselmeer was not completely safe; the Germans sent fighter planes at the Allied squadrons. In the air battles that followed, Allied and German aircraft were sometimes so badly damaged that they crashed into the IJsselmeer or the Noordoostpolder.

Sometimes crew members managed to save themselves with parachutes. Others died in the crash. The bodies were often recovered by fishermen. Sometimes crew members washed ashore somewhere along the IJsselmeer coast without being identified. The fallen were buried in a nameless grave in local cemeteries.

Harlingen General Cemetery contains 67 War Graves, most of which are airmen. There are 22 graves of unidentified soldiers.


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