In the final months of the second World War, Canadian forces were given thé important and deadly task du liberating auto Netherlands indigenous Nazi occupation. Indigenous September1944 to April 1945, the tons Canadian military fought German force on auto Scheldt estuary — opening thé port de Antwerp à la Allied usage — and then cleared northern et westernNetherlands of Germans, permitting food and other relief to reach des millions of desperate people. Much more than 7,600 Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen died fighting in auto Netherlands. Today, Canada is fondly remembered passant par the Dutch à la ending your oppressionunder auto Nazis.

Vous lisez ce: Pays bas seconde guerre mondiale

In the définitif months ns the seconde World War, Canadian forces were given thé important and deadly task du liberating thé Netherlands from Nazi occupation. Native September1944 to April 1945, the sapin Canadian army fought German forces on thé Scheldt estuary — opening auto port de Antwerp for Allied usage — and then cleared northern and westernNetherlands du Germans, permitting food et other relief to reach millions of desperate people. An ext than 7,600 Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen died fighting in auto Netherlands. Today, Canada is fondly remembered by the Dutch parce que le ending their oppressionunder auto Nazis.

Liberation of the Netherlands: Facts

DateSeptember 1944–April 1945
LocationNetherlands, Belgium, Germany

Allies: Canada, united Kingdom, joined States, Poland, Belgium, Netherlands

Axis: Germany
Casualties7,600 Canadian deaths

Operation marché Garden

British et American troops first entered thé southern Netherlands in beforehand September 1944, three months after theD-Day landingsin Normandy. In mid-September, the Allieslaunched Operation market Garden, a massive campaign venir secure bridges across the Maas/Meuse, Waal et Rhine rivers. Si the Allies captured these bridges, they could liberate thé Netherlands, outflank auto German defences de the Siegfried Line and advanceinto Germany. However, operation Market garden failed, slowing thé Allied advance and keeping most de the Netherlands under German control.


Did elle know?A num of Canadian officers participated in Operation marché Garden, even though non Canadian systems were connected in auto campaign. Thé officers to be attached to anglais regiments v CANLOAN. This to be a volunteer system in which policemans from Canada to be loaned venir the british Army. Colin brun of Ancaster, Ontario, was one such officer. Tu can listen venir his histoire at auto Memory Project.
Canadian troops during auto celebrations in Holland, 1945 (courtesy DND/PA-146284).

While auto Americans et the british focussed nous the Rhine bridgehead, a German garrison de some 120 000 remained nous their left flank in Holland. Commander Bernard Montgomery ordered auto Canadians to clear them out. 1945 (photo by Grant, courtesy DND/PA-136176).

Battle ns the Scheldt

As the Allies sought de nouveau way into Germany, they essential a super harbour with which à ship supplies venir their progressing armies. Thé Belgian city of Antwerp, one du Europe’s biggest ports, had already been liberated, marqué the 70-kilometre longue estuaryof thé Scheldt River, which connecté Antwerp to the sea, was encore held de the Germans. The task of clearing the estuary of enemy forces was assigned venir theFirst Canadian Army.

The life Canadian military was Canada’s de base fighting eight in northwest leurope  during auto war. A an effective strike force under thé command ns Canadian général Harry Crerar,it included auto 2nd Canadian Corps, oui well as large contingents de British, Polish, American et Dutch infantry and armoured troops. Since thé Battle of Normandy inthe summer de 1944, thé Army had actually formed the left flank ns the Allied breakthrough towards Germany — through the life Canadians liberating ports and cities along auto Channel côte of France et Belgium.

ns reaching thé Netherlands, the sapin Canadian army was ordered to clear the banks of the wide, multi-channelled Scheldt rer between auto North Sea auto port du Antwerp. Ce was a treacherous landscape for attacking troops to operate in — flat, soggy,sometimes-flooded land, situated below sea level et enclosed passant par a series du dykes.

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Under thé leadership de Canadian Lieutenant-General homme Simonds (who had temporarily changed Crerar), Canadian and British soldiers combated a series ns fierce battles through October et early November, including amphibious attacks from petit boatsagainst German defences along thé estuary. Aside from the use du boats, the en mouvement of men, tanks et other equipment was frequently restricted to narrow highways along thé top de dykes, under regular German fire.

The life Canadian Army lost nearly 13,000 homme killed, wounded jaune missing during the Scheldt fighting, including more than 6,300 Canadians. However, passant par 8 November auto estuary et its gros islands had actually been secured. The sortie was climate cleared de mines,and conditions météorologiques 28 November the tons convoy of Allied cargo ships entered the port du Antwerp.

Did amie know?An approximated 301,000 Dutch toutes les personnes died during the lundi World War, consisting of at least 280,000 civilians. Around 104,000 were victimsof thé Holocaust. De nouveau 20,000 died ns famine-related causes (see Canada et the netherlands Hunger Winter).

Battle du the Rhineland

The life Canadian army spent the winter patrolling its partie of auto front line in the Netherlands et France — skirmishing occasionally with the ennemi — when American forces in Belgium combated back against Germany"s surpris attack in thé ArdennesForest. In February 1945, thé Allied advance in northwest leurope  resumed, through a huge repoussante10 to conduire the ennemi across the Rhine River. Cette fell à the tons Canadian Army to clear thé area between thé Maas et Rhine Rivers, advertise German forceseastward over thé Rhine.

In march the first Canadian military was reinforced de various allied units, including thé 1st Canadian Corps, et transferred north from thé battlegrounds of Italy. Parce que le the life time in history, deux Canadian army corporelle were fighting together. Et withan international strength now of more 보다 450,000 men, the life Canadians became the largest military ever commanded by a Canadian officer.

Hunger Winter: peter MelkertThe Canadian troops currently had liberated part of Holland à la eight months. Et we were toujours waiting. Amsterdam, tanière Haag and Rotterdam, conditions météorologiques were calmer waiting pour the Canadians to come et liberate us.There were non supplies comes in and you have the right to see that auto Germans wouldn’t feed nous while they oui to feeding their own men. Sauce soja that means we eat tulip bulbs. Je eat tulip bulbs, je eat street beets. Je eat some other things that je don’t also want venir mentionbut i mean, that was a fight for survival. We were starved.Listen to the full interview with péter Melkert at thé Memory Project

Food and Relief

In so late March, oui other Allied armies crossed the Rhine into Germany, the sapin Canadian army began rooting out German renforcer in thé remainder de theNetherlands. Auto Canadians confronted stiff fighting in places, and were likewise hampered par the broken roads, bridges and other infrastructure destroyed passant par the fleeing Germans, who blew increase some of the dykes in thé western Netherlands, flooding parts du thecountryside.


A Sherman Vc Firefly tank ns the 8 hours Princess Louise"s (New Brunswick) Hussars en chemin to auto Zuider Zee passing with Putten, Netherlands, 18 April 1945.

(photo passant par Capt. Femme H. Smith, Canadian room of national Defence, courtesy Library and Archives Canada / PA-131042)

The Canadians to be greeted ont heroes oui they liberated petit towns and major cities, consisting of Amsterdam, Rotterdam et The Hague. Des millions of Dutch had suffered horrible during the harsh "hunger winter"of 1945, and Canadian troops facilitated thé arrival de food, fuel and other assist supplies to a populations in the midst du starvation.

general Charles Foulkes, le commandant of the 1st Canadian Corps, accepted auto surrender de German renforcer in the Netherlands nous 5 May. Deux days later, Germany officially surrenderedand auto war in leurope  came to année end.


Rifleman R.M. Douglas ns The royaliste Winnipeg Rifles with a grouper of Dutch females who room celebrating thé liberation of Deventer, Netherlands, 10 April 1945.

(photo by Lieut. Donald I. Grant, Canadian department of denchères Defence, courtesy Library and Archives Canada / PA-140683)
Did amie know?After liberation, thousands of Dutch ladies (1,886) married Canadian soldiers. Marguerite Blaisse of Amsterdam, à la example, met sublieuénant Wilf Gildersleeve de the Seaforth Highlanders conditions météorologiques 8 pouvez 1945. Castle married a year laterand worked out in Vancouver,British Columbia. Si you room interested in knowing much more about these“war brides,” view War Brides et Arrival de the war Brides and their children in Canada.

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an ext than 7,600 Canadian soldiers, sailors et airmen passed away fighting in auto Netherlands. They room buried today in main war cemeteries across the country. Thé largest, Groesbeek Canadian war Cemetery close to the ville of Nijmegen, stop the lourd of morethan 2,300 Canadians.

Canadians are fondly remembered by the Dutch as both liberators et saviors that rescued des millions from sickness and starvation in 1945. The joyous "Canadian summer" that followed forged deep and long-lasting bonds de friendship between the two countries.

Every year since thé war, the Netherlands has ressentir thousands du tulips toOttawa,in appreciation for Canada"s sacrifice et for giving safe harbour to the Dutch royalistes family, which stayed in exile in Canada during the war. (See likewise Princess Margriet ns the Netherlands.)The Canadian-Dutch saut is also celebrated every lété during thé Nijmegen Marches — an annual, international military marching vain — at which the Netherlands" liberation by Canadian soldiers is warmly et gratefully remembered.