Germany Highlights 'Forgotten Base' As RAF Celebrates Centenary

RAF Laarbruch formed a network of frontline facilities during Cold War.

A museum on the site of a former airbase in Germany has been highlighting the lesser-known role played by the Royal Air Force during the Cold War.

RAF Laarbruch was sited on Germany's border with the Netherlands and operated from 1945 until 1999 and is now a civilian airport.

Rod Hawkins, a former RAF navigator, is a founder member of the Laarbruch-Weeze museum.

He believes visitors to the RAF Museum at Cosford would learn little of the role played by RAF Germany during the Cold War:

"The only mention of RAF Germany is on a TV screen at the back of a Belfast and I find that absolutely amazing when you think how powerful this force was.”

RAF Laarbruch was part of a network of bases that formed a frontline during the Cold War. 

The museum contains former jets that flew with the squadrons based there.

Replica of a Squadron Bar at RAF Laarbruch museum in Germany
The museum also features a replica of a bar within the station.

Visitors to the museum were also treated to a performance by local people who like to re-enact the British post-war presence in Germany. 

Kerstin Maske says she has fond memories of the RAF in Germany:

“It’s like an adult is remembering his childhood. It’s the remembering of the past.”

Re-enactors at RAF Laarbruch museum in Germany