The DEK at Ladbergen

The story of the canal at Ladbergen is rather confusing and most accounts contain a range of inaccuracies. The original canal in this area was built with a single lane but during the widening projects of the 1930s it became two lanes. This was the state of the canal when it was attacked during the war. After the war the "new route" was repaired and the original canal was filled in. The image opposite is made from two maps. The left hand map shows the repaired "new" route as it was from 1950. The right hand map shows the present day. By looking at the coloured circles on each map you can see how the present day canal has moved closer to the village and now runs along the course of the original canal. The two maps of Ladbergen show how the canal has moved (Click to enlarge)
A wartime photograph of the two lanes of the DEK at Ladbergen. The Ladbergener Mühlenbach (Mill Stream) has been camouflaged but shows in the lower part of the photograph as a series of small rectangles left to right across the photograph. The Germans immediately realised the vulnerability of the canal at this point where an "aqueduct" carries the canal over the stream.

The two branches of the DEK. North is at the top of the picture (Click to enlarge)
The photograph shows the aqueduct over the Mühlenbach. A more accurate description of this structure would be a "culvert".
The Germans realised that they would have to attempt to camouflage the stream in order to avoid the RAF being able to pinpoint the target.

The Mühlenbach aqueduct (Click to enlarge)
Camouflage netting was spread over the stream on both sides of the canal. This picture shows the netting viewed from a similar location to the picture above.

The netting over the Mühlenbach (Click to enlarge)
The Mühlenbach continues to trickle peacefully by.....who would believe that this area had the greatest concentration of bombs dropped on it of any targets in WW2.
The same location seen today (2003) with a completely new structure.

The modern aqueduct (Click to enlarge)
When surveying the area for the latest widening projects it was realised that they would need to follow the course of the original canal (which was now filled in!).
This photograph was taken looking North (below point F on the map) with the village of Ladbergen on the right and the Münster-Osnabrück Airport on the left. The barges on the left are using the repaired 1930s route and, on the right, the latest construction follows the track of the original 19th Century canal.

 The rebuilding at Ladbergen (Click to enlarge)
The finishing touches were being put to the new canal in 2002 and it is now impossible to see how the track of the canal has been altered.

The present day (Click to enlarge)