Operation Faust

At the meeting in Achterveld on April 30 both sides decided that the transport by air alone would not suffice. A second operation, codenamed Faust, would also be launched. Two hundred allied trucks from the 21st Army Group would bring food to Rhenen, starting May 2nd.  Rhenen was at that moment a city on the German side of the frontline. In Rhenen the trucks would go over in the hands of Dutch truck drivers, who would take the food further into occupied Holland. According to the plan, 1000 tons of food would be transported daily by the Wageningen - Rhenen road.

Where did all this food come from? Did the Allies have huge supplies directly behind their lines? To answer this question we have to go back to October 1944. The southern part of the Netherlands had recently been liberated and the frontline had stabilized when the airborne operation Market Garden had failed. The liberation of the south of the Netherlands had faced the Allies with some logistic problems. The port of Antwerp was still not used because the Germans still held Walcheren.

the truck corridors

Map of Holland. The food came from food dumps in Oss and Den Bosch and was transported to Rhenen through Wageningen.

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The Manna Monument at Terbregge

At the exact spot of one of the dropzones overlooking the freeway at Terbregge is the Manna monument located. It symbolizes the belly of an allied bomber filled with food parcels. The monument has been the central location of the Manna / Chowhound commemorations since its unveilling in 2006. One year later the Air Commodore Geddes footpath was opened next to the memorial.

Diary of Norman Coats

May 3 - "Another mercy mission to Holland. We went deeper into Holland today. Very low altitude. I believe I must have waved at everyone in Holland. It is really a shame the ocean being turned into Holland. The great fields of tulips are beautiful. They had, "Thank You" spelled out with rocks. They could see me waving at them because they would point each others attention to it. Some of them had American flags waving them."