Mock airfield De Kiek - Tiel
At the beginning of World War II, the Germans created Scheinflughafen Kamerun (SF37), also known locally as 'De Kiek'. This mock airfield was intended to mislead Allied pilots by making them think it was Gilze-Rijen airbase, hoping they would drop their bombs there instead of on the real target. From the air, the mock De Kiek airfield looks very much like the real one. There were anti-aircraft guns, some searchlights, a bunker and hangars. Moreover, like Gilze-Rijen, it was located on a railway line - the Bels Line - over which the Germans moved a fake wooden plane with full lights via a cable.
Although the British soon realised that the Germans were making mock airfields, 'De Kiek' still suffered a few bombings. Not surprising, when you imagine that the pilots were often tired and disoriented, and the Germans tried to attract their attention by illuminating the runway and even firing flares.
Many fake airfields have since disappeared, but 'De Kiek' has largely survived. During the Cold War, people used the bunker as a military listening post. Now the site, now fenced off, is used as a 'jumping-off place' to defuse bombs and as a military training ground.
You can still visit the bunker.
Photo: ©E. Voskens-Van Nunen, via VisitBrabant Routebureau