Operation Faust

After Operation Market-Garden, a large part of the south of the Netherlands was liberated. However, the area above the major rivers was still in the hands of the German occupier. While Zeeland and the east of the Netherlands as far as Groningen and Friesland were liberated in following months, however the west of the Netherlands was still under German occupation. As the Autumn in 1944 turned into winter, food was becoming increasingly scarce. Hunger was a large problem in the major cities, despite public kitchens handing out a watery soup during those months. It is estimated that  during this winter 22,000 people starved to death, which is now referred to as the Hunger Winter of ’45. 

 

 

At the end of April in 1945, the Allies negotiated with the Germans to provide the West of food supplies. On 30th of April they came to agreement during the 2nd Food Conference at Achterveld. They agreed that British and American bombers were allowed to drop food supplies above the occupied western part of the Netherlands. These operations are known under the codenames; Manna and Chewhound. A less known operation is the food transport by road, under the codename; Faust. 

 

483th RASC Company at the 10th CAID depot located at the  ENKA  Factory (Nederlands Instituut Militaire Historie)
483th RASC Company at the 10th CAID depot located at the ENKA Factory (Nederlands Instituut Militaire Historie)

On 2 May 1945 at 7:30 am the first loads of food are brought from depots in Nijmegen with Canadian and from Ede with British trucks to the Nude. The 'No Man's Land' between Wageningen and Rhenen. There, citizens, mainly from the city of Utrecht, transferred the food out the  Allied trucks back into there own trucks. 200 Dodge trucks were donated by the allies to transport the food to Utrecht, where the food was stored for further distribution over the Western of the Netherlands. In Utrecht two main depots were formed, at the vegetable auction at the Croeselaan and the bread and flour factory the Korenschoof.

Footage of Operation Faust