The route starts in the village of Overloon, where one of the fiercest battles of the Second World War in the Netherlands took place. After the failure of Operation Market Garden, the Germans wanted to form a solid front in the bend of the river Maas between Sambeek and Venlo. Because of the poorly passable landscape - the Peel on one side and the Maas on the other - the Allies are in danger of being dependent on a single road to Venray. They advanced towards the city.
At Overloon it comes to a first encounter between Allied and German armoured divisions: The Battle of Overloon. In Overloon itself you can find various reminders of the big battle. One of the attractions of the area is War Museum Overloon. There is also a British war cemetery and a monument: 'Sta een ogenblik stil...' On the route you also pass the remains of Castle de Hattert, which was almost completely destroyed during the Battle of Overloon.
Via Vierlingsbeek, after a small stretch of the River Maas, you arrive in the village of Holthees. The inhabitants of this village took in some 1,500 evacuated Overloon residents at the end of September 1944. After Holthees was bombed by the Allies on 30 September, the inhabitants and evacuees moved to nearby villages.
Alongside the Maas you arrive at the village of Geijsteren, where the ruins of the beautiful Castle Geijsteren remain. Baron De Weichs de Wenne, owner of the castle in 1944, hid here with his family a few people in hiding and a number of refugees in the cellars of the castle. Eventually, the baron and his family fled the castle, after which the building was razed to the ground by a British bombardment.
The route continues towards Venray. From the church tower of the Sint-Petrus' Bandenkerk the Germans kept a close eye on the Allied advance. This eventually led to British bombers bombing the church tower - 'the Keeper of the Peel'. Venray was liberated in October 1944, after the Allied victory at the Battle of Overloon. Shortly afterwards the British announced a general evacuation of the city, after which it was an uninhabited front city.
Special fact: the Peace Church is located on Kennedy Square. This building was erected after the war through the cooperation of Germany, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Central to this was the idea of forgiveness and reconciliation. Through beautiful nature you finally cycle back to Overloon.