Flood sluice, Fort Vuren
Flood sluice, Fort Vuren

Water as a Weapon

The Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (New Dutch Water Line) was a military defence line that used water as primary weapon. A complex system of sluices, flood canals and dikes was used to flood the land. A shallow layer of water was deep enough to make the land difficult to pass by an enemy army, but the water level was not high enough to navigate by ship. Access points were areas of higher ground that could not be flooded. These weak points of the line were fortified by forts, bunkers, group shelters and road blocks. The Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie has been mobilized three times, but never saw any action.

I worked on Water as a Weapon from September 2009 to March 2010. It was part of my study at the Fotovakschool. During this project I experienced how satisfying it is to work on photo projects. One of my most precious moments was a visit to Fort Honswijk. This fort is not open to the public, but it’s one of the most beautiful forts of the line. With permission of the local government I had the opportunity to explore the site for three hours.

The result of the project was a collection of 26 photographs, presented in a self-printed book. I graduated with Water as a Weapon from the Fotovakschool in 2010. In 2013 I decided to continue the project. This time I will focus on lesser known parts of the line.

20 Photos of Water as a Weapon