Royal Air Force Station Laarbruch
THE ABANDONED MILITARY SITE
The former ‘Royal Air Force Station Laarbruch’, more commonly known as RAF Laarbruch was a Royal Air Force station. The military airfield was located in Germany on its border with the Netherlands.
The Station’s motto was “Ein feste Burg” translated “A Mighty Fortress”. The British army built the landing strip during the Second World War, in preparation for the final push across the Rhine River, in early 1945. The infrastructure was straightforward and simple: a 1,1 km runway with a parallel grass emergency runway.
In 1954 the Royal Air Force in Germany rebuilt the Second World War airfield as RAF Laarbruch due to the outbreak of the Cold War. Laarbruch was home to various first-line squadrons. After the first Gulf War, many of the squadrons were relocated. After closing in 1999, the airfield found a new use as the budget airline airport Flughafen Niederrhein. The airport is today known as Airport Weeze, after the nearest large settlement. Civil operations began in May 2003. Many buildings are in use by the fire brigade as a training center. I took these photos of the ‘Royal Air Force Station Laarbruch’ in 2007 and 2016.