The Little Belt (Lille Bælte ) Bridge
This bridge has played an important part in the story of the crash of W7531 LS-F MacRobert's Reply, as you may have read on the MRR Stirling 2 page . I thought it would be good to provide a page dedicated to the bridge, and it's part in the story. My thanks to Finn Buch for the original photographs; the first one is from my own camera.
The original iron bridge that was so central to the crash of W7531 is in the foreground, and was built in the late 1930's. It is now called the 'Old Bridge'. The newer bridge in the distance now carries the 'Little Belt' name, although it was built much later to carry the E20 motorway link to Jutland.
The Original Guns
This is one of the flak positions on the bridge approach. The gunners of 3./lei Flak Abt 844 (II and IV Zug) received credit for shooting W7531 down, and who knows may even be shown in this photograph.
It was also known that the Germans had positioned heavy machine guns on the bridge, and no doubt these were also brought to bear on the stricken plane as it plunged into Gals Klint forest.
This gun is placed almost immediately above the line that W7531 must have flown when it came in from the Danish Sound, as it is almost directly in line with the crash site. Perhaps a shell from this gun added to the damage inflicted on the 'Reply'?
This tower was close to the bridge on the edge of Gals Klint forest. Its a new image (May 2005) found in the archives of Middelfart Museum by a good friend of this site, Lisbeth Behrendt.
Were guns on this platform responsible for bringing down W7531 on that fateful day in May 1942?
My father, Sgt Donald Jeffs, sole survivor of the crash of W7531 MacRobert's Reply in reflective mood on the Little Belt bridge in 2003.
It is hard to imagine his feelings standing at the spot where the plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire, and a little further west crashed into Gals Klint forest where all of the other crew members were killed.
It certainly brought a lump to my throat taking the picture, but I am glad I did as it will always be a powerful reminder of the suffering and sacrifice made during the war. I hope we never forget.