Arrival not as planned but she’s here: the Horsa Assault Glider

Not all always goes as planned but if the goal succeeds, the bad luck you had is not important anymore: the Horsa Assault glider is at her temporary home, next to war monument The Needle in Oosterbeek, The Netherlands.

It went wrong, right after the trucks loaded with the Horsa-parts drove from the gate of former fly base Soesterberg.

Iron pins

First an iron pillar had to be removed to make the entrance wide enough for the loaded trucks but someone forgot to mention that by doing so, four iron pins sticking up from the road were left.

The first trucks with the wing-parts missed the pins, the truck with the Horsa itself, did not. A flat tire as result and the Horsa stood still, 10 meters outside the gate.

The wing-parts drove on to their destiny. The municipality of Renkum was ready, around 21:00 hours all waiting on the arrival of the Horsa, camera’s ready, sitting on a terrace or walking around, the Mayer was ready, the field next to The Needle and in front of the Airborne Museum were full of people who were invited to witness this unique event. Or became aware of it’s coming. They saw the wing-parts arrive, but not the Horsa itself and it was half past two before anyone did. Die-hard’s waited for it, including the Mayor of Renkum: Agnes Schaap.


The men who were to escort the long truck with the Horsa had to wait for help. When help arrived, he did not have a spare tire, as he believed the truck would have one and he only had to help lifting the truck. But there was no spare tire. So an axle of the truck was lifted and one tire of it changed with the flat one.

When this was done, they still couldn’t leave. The Horsa is about 18 meters long, the truck so long it has to pass roundabouts the wrong way. The four motorcycles of the Royal Military Police were in Oosterbeek, escorted the wing-parts to Oosterbeek and had to return to Soesterberg first to help clear the road.

As soon as they arrived, the smaller team as intended followed their way. Til the highway when the axle, with the flat tire, put itself down again. They stopped, thought they fixed it and moved on. But a second stop was needed, the axle was down to stay.

The Department of Waterways and Public Waters had to close a part of the highway so at last the flat tire could be changed for a good one.

Finally, at half past two, the Horsa arrived at Oosterbeek were a lot of people were still awake. Military of Dutch Defence started right away to, with upmost care, manoeuvre the glider in her position in the big tent Defence built for it.

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