Scheveningen

forbidden access

A warning sign, behind it the cut down Scheveningse Bosjes

During the construction of the Atlantikwall emphasis was put on strategically important locations such as harbors and estuaries. The occupier also saw the harbor of Scheveningen as a potential target for an invasion. Partly because of that, The Hague was given the second highest defense status. The bunker complexes, scattered over much of the Hague and Wassenaar territory, were jointly named Stützpunktgruppe Scheveningen. The area was cleared and became Sperrgebiet (For most citizens prohibited area) explained. 140,000 Inhabitants had to leave The Hague. For the construction of the bunkers and barricades and the clearing of fields of fire, a total of approximately 30,000 buildings were demolished and approximately 50,000 trees were cut down.

Clingendael

Adjacent to Stützpunktgruppe Scheveningen lay another heavily defended area: Stützpunkt Clingendael. Because Reichskommisar Arthur Seyss-Inquart was going to reside in the spacious manor on the Clingendael estate, a large area around the estate had to be defended by numerous bunkers and barricades. Despite the fact that Stützpunkt Clingendael seems to belong to Stützpunktgruppe Scheveningen , the two did stay seperated in wartime. The mutual boundary stretched from the Wittebrug (Raamweg) over the Kwekerijvaart to the Van Alkemadelaan and then through the military training area to the Hauptkampflinie (Main battle front).

Complexes

According to a SSmap of August 24, 1944, on the coastal side along the Hauptkampflinie , there were 8 Stützpunkte and 3 Widerstandsnester. The coastal batteries Stp. XXXX ML – Marine Seeziel-Batterie Scheveningen Nord and Stp. XXXXIV M – Marine Seeziel-Batterie Westduin were the strongest complexes. Next to the latter complex lay an important anti-aircraft battery, which was occupied by troops of the SS and was named Stp. XXXXIIIc H – Batterie Westduinen Flak. Furthermore, there were two radar complexes that could detect enemy movements at great distances over the sea, Stp. XXXXV L – Mammut Gerät and Wn. 66 HM. Near the Waterpartij in the Van Stolkpark was an European command center of the German Kriegsmarine situated, located in Wn. 311 (Führer der Schnellboote). There were many more complexes, each with their own function, which made The Hague an almost impenetrable fortress.

Defences

Within the Stützpunkte and along the Hauptkampflinie lay many defenses. The strengths varied and were mainly related to the function of the complex. The bunkers varied between simple brick bunkers with 22 cm thick walls, to Ständige (back then bomb-free) bunkers with walls and roofs of up to 3.5 meters solid reinforced concrete. Furthermore there were many barriers, including tank walls, tank ditches, dragon's teeth, mines and mobile obstacles.

Command

From May 6, 1943, SS Oberführer Erwin Tzschoppe became the Kommandeur des Verteidigungstabes Scheveningen, this means that he was charged with the command of the entire Stützpunktgruppe. He and his staff settled in a villa at the Nieuwe Parklaan 81. In case of an enemy threat he could retreat into the nearby command bunker type 608 (Bataillons-, Abteilungs oder Regiments-Gefechtsstand) in Wn. 318.

Occupation

Map of the distribution of troops in Stützpunktgruppe Scheveningen

From February 1941 the 82. Infanterie-Division was stationed in Scheveningen, which was in April 1942 replaced by the 167. Infanterie-Division. This division was sent to the front in Russia in February 1943 and replaced by a division consisting of initial ground staff of the German Luftwaffe. This was the 16. Luftwaffe Feld Division, of this division a total of about 1,000 troops were stationed in Stützpunktgruppe Scheveningen and Stützpunkt Clingendael . From September 3, 1944, the last complete infantry division was withdrawn from the coastal defense wich caused a minimal occupation at the coast. In the defense of the Stützpunktgruppe , a total of 3348 soldiers were involved. In addition to the deployment of troops on the coastal batteries, artillery and infantry, other German military and semi-military personnel became charged with defensive tasks in the Widerstandsnester.