Radio Kootwijk – Kootwijkerzand, Netherlands


Posted: , Last update: December 7 2015, in Weapons Industry & Facilities, Radar & Radio Stations, Netherlands. 1 Comment

Radio Kootwijk, Kootwijkerzand

In 1920 a Dutch goverment architect Julius Luthmann got the task of developing a suitable building to house the large generator of an ultramodern long wave frequency radiotransmitter, which was destined to be built on an open plain called Kootwijkerzand in the forest near Apeldoorn, Holland. The building was called ‘Building A’ of Radio Kootwijk. Luthmann was not allowed to use wood or metal in his design, so he chose to construct the whole building out of concrete (yes, even the windowcells) in an Art Deco style. The place, the material en the Art Deco all add up to create a weird atmosphere in the middle of a quiet forest.

German invasion

In the Second World War the transmitter was used by the German Kriegsmarine to contact U-boats in the Atlantic Ocean. FLAK positions were placed on several of the buildings of Radio Kootwijk and some buildings were outfitted with bombshelters, etc. When on April 6th and 7th of 1945 the Canadian Army made its advance, the Germans blew up the towers of the station and removed or disabled the stations radio equipment. Also they tried to destruct building ‘A’ by blowing up a transmitter tower and let it fall onto the building, but this attempt resulted in little damage.
After the liberation Radio Kootwijk was taken back into service by the Dutch Postal, Telegraph and Telephone company. A large part of the stolen equipment was found in East Germany at the end of the war and returned to the radio station on fourteen trainwagons in April 1947. After 1999 Radio Kootwijk lost it’s function as a radiostation and is currently property of Staatsbosbeheer. Once a month there are guided tours around and inside the building.

In front of building A of Radio Kootwijk
The gate at the right of the entrance with beautiful details
Doors at the front entrance. You can have a look inside on appointment.




One thought on “Radio Kootwijk – Kootwijkerzand, Netherlands

  1. This site provides a little known aspect of the war that Germany waged during the 40s. My interest in the Kootwijk radio transmitter started with a reference to this site as a target for the Dutch SOE agents in the book, “London Calling North Pole” by H. J. Giskes. Giskes was a German Abwehr officer who successfully compromised SOEs operations in Holland. In the same book was another reference to the Eureka radio homing beacons. As a side note, a question that is still unanswered to this day concerns SOE’s continued sending of agents from England to Holland when they had a strong suspicion that their agents had been compromised. The answers lies in Briitish archives that are still sealed. If I were to visit Holland, the transmitter building would be the type of site, I would have to visit before I would look ar the popular tourist sites. For example, on a visit to Prague two years ago, I was able to see the church crypt where the Czech paratroopers who had assinated the SS governor had died during a pitched battle with the SD. I also paid my respects at the site of the the Village of Ludice that the SD had destroyed on Hitler’s orders for the assination.

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