Dr. Lou de Jong
“The Kingdom on The Netherlands
in World War Two”, Part 10a,
“The Last Year I”, first half,
The Hague Staatsui
tgeverij, 1981.
Pages 369 to 371:

(Translation from Dutch original text by Battledetective.com)

"It struck the contemporary - who had been unaware of Model's orders and could, in general, not oversee what had occurred at the battle in Nijmegen at all- as a miracle that the road bridge had not been blown by the Germans and against this backdrop, shortly after the events, many people in Nijmegen were inclined to assume that the traffic bridge had been saved because of the courageous actions of a twenty two year old citizen of Nijmegen, Jan Jozef Lambert van Hoof, who had succeeded, so it was said, in sabotaging the lines to the explosive charges (these were electrical lines and blasting wires whose 'beginning point' was situated in a casemate near the bridge’s ramp in Lent). On the bridge a plaque was revealed in 1946 on which Van Hoof, who was awarded the Dutch Military Willems Order medal posthumously, was named the savior of the bridge.
Without a doubt Jan van Hoof had been a young man with a strong urge for action and with an honest character. He had been an enterprising scout, later became an active member of the Dutch Union, had escaped the German labor conscription, had become a regular distributor of various illegal periodicals, had joined the espionage group named Secret Service Netherlands in the beginning of 1944 (he led a group of scouts in Nijmegen), and had already offered his services to the 82nd Airborne on the 17th of September, he was shot dead by the Germans on the afternoon of September 19 when he rode along on a British armored car, which after the occupation of the main post office of Nijmegen, had penetrated deeper into the inner city on its own, presumably to reach a café from which, as Van Hoof assumed, the Germans could blow the railway bridge.

After the liberation, and especially after the revealing of the plaque, Nijmegen became divided into two sides: some maintained that Van Hoof had in fact been the savior of the large road bridge, others claimed to consider it impossible that anybody could have managed to penetrate through to the explosive lines. In order to obtain more certainty the Minister of War at the time created a committee of five retired generals: J.J. G. baron van Voorst tot Voorst (chairman), W.F. Sillevis, J. Zwart, H. Koot and D.A. Hilten. The committee questioned seventy one people, almost all of them under oath, and obtained written statements of an additional fifty nine people. It filed its report in November 1951.

The committee considered it a fact that the road bridge at Nijmegen had remained intact as a result of Model’s decision. But if one assumes that Model had changed his decision in time, could the demolition of the bridge have been prevented by the sabotage acts of Jan van Hoof?

Concerning his activities relating to this sabotage, the committee determined:

- that Van Hoof and his group of scouts had made great efforts in finding out how the Germans had prepared the demolition of the railway bridge and the (much more vital) road bridge across the Waal river;
- that he had decided to prevent this demolition personally;
- that in the first half of September 1944, he had received, on his own request, the official mission from the OD- [resistance; battledetective.com] officials in Nijmegen to, if possible, save the road bridge;
- that on Monday morning September 18th (the morning when an American company had tried to reach the bridge) at approximately eleven o'clock he had left the house of his parents, wearing brown coveralls and that he had returned there at approximately two o’clock in the afternoon, tired and dirty.

Subsequently he had told eleven people that one no longer had to fear that the bridge would be blown – on the other hand he had not reported anything about this when he, on Tuesday, before his last and fatal ride, participated in a conference with American officers that had the Waal river bridge as the main topic. Had he succeeded in getting under the bridge's road deck and cut the lines there, while the attention of the bridge's guards was focused on combat around it? The committee who had studied the situation on the spot, did not reach a unanimous verdict: van Hilten doubted it, the other four generals were convinced with a "probability, bordering certainty".

If one follows the conviction of the largest possible majority of the committee, it still remains a fact that the road bridge was not saved because of that act of sabotage. The committee referred to Model's order – and also to some clues that the Germans had discovered that the lines were sabotaged and that the damage had been repaired."

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