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Last modified: 5/12/2021

The Defence Line - Victualling

Committees Provision
Name Appointed Report
Drinking water 1895 1899
Grain and Wheat 1900 1902
Fuels 1902 1907
Cattle 1904 1905
Care requirements 1905 1910
Care (and Distribution) 1913 -

On January 1st, 1904 the Defence Line was meant to resist an attack of half a year. That means there had to be taken care of all the water, food and fuel for the soldiers and civilians. But also for the livestock, straw, hay, fodder and animal medicine.

Several sub committees were formed, they worked e.g. with statistical figures made since 1888 by the commander of the Defence Line.

The "Royal Committee established by Order in Council at February 24th, 1902 number 24, for supplying information to the Minister of War about the most economical way at which could be foreseen in the need of fuel and lighting materials in the case of siege of the Defence Line of Amsterdam in wartime" (after here named "Fuels Committee"), estimated that there was 410,000 tons of coal needed. One should imagine that almost everything worked at steam in those days.

For military reasons, the water supply areas in the dunes outside the Defence Line, could not be used when under siege. Also the small river Vecht lay uncomfortable on the edge of the Defence Line and the water that was transported through a pipeline made in 1888, was not suited for human consumption.
After many failures in the period 1887-1889 they found in 1890 near the old Fort at the Nieuwe Meer enough groundwater. This water was disapproved in first instance, because of its chemical composition. The Water Committee later said that this location in the Riekerpolder could produce the needed 15,000 m3 water each day and that it was suited for consumption after cleaning and deferrization.

The Cattle Committee proposed about the keeping of enough cattle. They advised to make emergency stables for cattle that was brought extra inside the Defence Line. For about 5,000 head of cattle 20 emergency stables would be needed.

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Defence Line of Amsterdam. A city wall of water.
UNESCO Werelderfgoed sinds 1996
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