76. Unexploded mortar shells

Liberation
As the Allied troops made their way across the east of the Netherlands, they encountered unexpected and heavy opposition from German troops. Some of the attacks were particularly fierce. Many of the children in Baak had been forced into hiding in the week prior to the liberation: until 2nd April 1945, when the Canadian's finally arrived. The streets filled with Canadian armoured cars and the Allies chased the last of the German soldiers out of their bunkers using flame throwers, and took them captive. Baak had been liberated.

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59. The secret village

During the Second World War, a secret village had been hidden deep in the forest near Vierhouten, near the house named 'Pas Op' (Beware). It was built to provide shelter for more than 80 refugees who lived there for more than a year. It started with a couple of Jewish people in a workman's hut in the forest. Then nine huts were built where Jews, British airmen, German deserters and other refugees could be hidden. Grandpa Bakker and his wife, Aunt Cor were responsible for finding food. Others helped to find clothes, stoves, pots and pans as well as medical supplies.

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57. The Man with Two Hats

Even though The Netherlands was liberated by many different nationalities like the British, American, French, Belgian, Polish and Norwegian, the Canadians have a special place in the Dutch people's hearts. Apeldoorn also has a special relationship with the Canadians, because the last Canadian headquarters had been stationed in the royal palace in Apeldoorn at the end of the war. The war ended on 5th May 1945 but not all of the allied troops could be repatriated. Large numbers of Canadian troops were forced to stay here for another six months or more.

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56. The last major battle in the Netherlands

After the failure of Operation Market Garden in September 1944 the Allied forces shifted their attention to the last line of German defenses in front of the river Rhine (Westwall). The liberation of the Northern part of the Netherlands would have to wait for a while. After the breakthrough at the Rhine the Allied forces where split into three groups. One of these groups, made up of mostly Canadian forces, swung round and started the liberation from the Netherlands from the east.

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52. The German capitulation

On 4 May 1945 Field Marshal Montgomery accepted the official surrender of the German army in North-West Europe at his headquarters on Lüneburger Heath in Germany. Then, on 5 May 1945, while Germany had already officially surrendered, General Foulkes, commander of the 1st Canadian Army, decided to draw up a separate surrender document. He summoned the German general Blaskowitz to Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen to sign the capitulation. 

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31. The key to success

By the evening of 20th September 1944, the bridge over the Waal in Nijmegen had fallen into Allied hands. It had remained undamaged and it was now up to the British ground forces to push on towards Arnhem to complete the last phase of Operation Market Garden. It was 11 o'clock on the 21st September however, when the British troops finally started its advance. By that time, the Germans had already set up an ambush to the south of Elst, which the British soon stumbled upon.

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26. Urquhart presumed dead

Zwarteweg 14 is just like any other terraced house in Arnhem West, but in September 1944, it played a crucial role in the Battle of Arnhem when British commander Major-General Urquhart spent about 24 hours hiding in Anton Derksen's attic. Shortly after the British paratroops landed near Arnhem on 17th September, radio communication failed and Major-General Urquhart decided to leave his headquarters to find out what was going on.

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217. Risking his life

In the morning of the 23rd of January 1945, marines of the British 1st Commando Brigade advance on Maasbracht and Brachterbeek. The streets are empty and it is eerily quiet. They soon reach the centre of Maasbracht. They then decide to push on towards the station and the Vlootbeek. A few minutes later, all hell breaks loose and the British come under heavy mortar and machinegun fire.

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389. Operation Mallard

To support the stalled offensive of the Second Canadian Infantry Division on the Sloedam Causeway, it is decided to surprise the German units on the Walcheren side by means of a night attack across the water and the mud slabs of the Sloe. During the night of Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd, 1944 Scottish soldiers of the 6th Battalion The Cameronians cross the waters and the mud slabs of the Sloe;2 kilometres south of the Causeway. This secretattack, codenamed operation Mallard, is successful. The Germans do not expect this and have to withdraw.

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209. Raids and betrayal

At the end of December 1944, Roermond has become a city in the front line. The Allies have liberated part of Zuid-Limburg but their advance has stalled. For some time, Ulrich Matthaeas, has been the German commander of the Roermand-Linne military sector. He is a fanatic. He has fought throughout Europe and Russia and made a career in the German army. He now holds the rank of Major and is commander of the first battalion of the Fallschirmjäger Regiment 24 Hübner.

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