136. The hardest battle

Private Patrick Wright was part of the South Saskachewan Regiment of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. It was the task of the 1st Canadian Army, to which this division belonged, to capture the banks of the Scheldt. The access roads had to be secured as well. Only then could the port of Antwerp be brought back into use. This was the priority of the Allied Command from mid-October.

From the 12th to the 24rd of October, fierce fighting took place around Huijbergen during this Battle of the Scheldt. For the Germans, it was important the Allies did not succeed.


132. The secret map

Dutch underground organisations covertly gathered information about the German defences. Huib Toebak and Eduard Janssens from Zwaluwe had drawn up an intelligence report about the defences at Moerdijk. Their intention was to hand over this report with a map to the first Allied officer they would encounter in Zwaluwe. Until then, the report was hidden behind a loose brick in the attic of the school.


128. The observation posts over the battlefield at Eerde

Eerde is the first village to be liberated by American paratroopers on the 17th of September 1944. But the village still suffers substantially. During heavy fighting on the 24th of September, the mill at Eerde and the St. Anthony Church tower are destroyed. They are much sought after observation posts and therefore much sought after targets for the enemy.


204. Venlo Hilton

Since 1941, the German Luftwaffe has been using Venlo Airfield as a major support base in the air war. Fliegerhorst Venlo-Herungen, as the Germans call it, grows into a large and important airfield from which German night fighters operate.


202. The Watchman over the Peel

In September-October 1944, persistent heavy fighting is taking place in several areas along the Dutch-German border. Similarly around Overloon and Venray. For days, British forces under General Whistler are involved in a determined fierce battle to initially liberate Overloon.


213. 'Welcome in Holland'

Following the Normandy landings on 6th June 1944, there was an unimaginable number of soldiers working day and night to liberate Europe from the German occupying forces. It took them more than three months to eventually reach the Netherlands from the beaches of Normandy.

They fought heavily with the Germans during numerous battles at different places along the way. The Germans had no intention of surrendering, and put up unexpected and stiff resistance. This made the planned advance towards the Netherlands more difficult than anticipated.


203. Whether right or wrong, we are all human

Shortly after the WWII, the Americans called for one central location for the burial and reburial of German soldiers. The Dutch government assigned a plot of land in Ysselsteyn, in the province of Limburg. Grave by grave, this plot grew into a striking cemetery where more than 31,500 German soldiers killed during World War II have been given their final resting place. The soldiers were brought here from all over the Netherlands, from Ameland to Maastricht, often without any form of identification.


124. The forgotten airfield

The Allies had the opportunity to use a small airfield near the road to Arnhem for Operation Market Garden. But this airfield was overlooked in the planning. Only when, on the first day of Market Garden, it was discovered by a U.S. patrol, was the machinery set in motion to actually put it to use. This lasted a few days. On September 26 1944, reinforcements and supplies were landed at this small airfield. In a short time, 209 Skytrains landed with 900 men and 380 tons of cargo on board. Unfortunately, this was too late for the success of Market Garden.


123. The John S. Thompson Bridge

The bridge over the Maas at Grave was an important strategic point in the route of Operation Market Garden. The 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the American 82nd Airborne Division was ordered to capture the bridge undamaged. E-Company from this regiment would storm the bridge from the Brabant side. But the company jumped too early and landed far from its goal.


70. Waiting for liberation

Liberating the Netherlands
General Crerar's 1st Canadian Army was given orders to liberate the parts of the Netherlands that were still occupied by the Germans. This went reasonably well and on 5th April, the village of Angerlo, just south of Doesburg, was liberated. In some places, the Germans left without a sound, whilst in other places, heavy fighting ensued. The German troops in Doesburg maintained their positions, hidden in the town's built up areas, and as was often the case, the civilian population bore the brunt of it.



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