Route Noarderleech

Practice field in the marshlands

On 13 August 1940, 100 Germans arrived on the Noarderleech (Noorderleeg) with wheelbarrows to build a practice field for the bombers. In this area outside of the dike, livestock was tended and grass was sold. The polhoeder (caretaker) Roeda said that the area flooded regularly during storms but this did not deter the Germans.


Dummy airport

The practice field belonged to Fliegerhorst, the airport in Leeuwarden, and was given the name SF 10 Marrum. SF stands for Scheinflugplatz, which means 'dummy airport'. German pilots practised dropping bombs above the dummy airport, where two ships with wooden frames had been built as targets. When they were practising, the polhoeder had to make sure there were no animals or people present. When they were finished, he had to fill up the holes made by the practice bombs.


Shot-down aircraft

Air battles were fierce above the Wadden Sea. The German air force tried to stop the allied bombers on their way to Germany here. Along this cycling route, you will discover how the air battles affected northern Friesland. The route takes you past several locations where planes were shot down. You will also pass places where bunkers once stood or still remain as well as other locations related to the Wadden during the war.


The detailed route provides a great deal of information about the history of the Noarderleech and surrounding area during WWII, including the planes that were shot down, their crew and their fate.