The Battle(s) of Holtwick (originally "Help on GSGS maps Antwerp and Holtwick?")

Discussion in 'General' started by 8RB, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. SDP

    SDP Senior Member Patron


    Post #5 mentions the Bocholt map. That ostensibly has the correct grid type and will provide the map reference albeit not quite as accurate as the 1:50000 scale map mentioned on the graves report.

    Hope that helps. Note: I'm still away so can't be more specific at the moment.
  2. SDP

    SDP Senior Member Patron


    Now have access to my files etc.

    Holtwick is mentioned only in passing in Taurus Pursuant so no significant information there.

    I've checked the map references mentioned in the grave report and it would appear that, on the basis of the Bocholt 1:100000 map, the two casualties were buried on opposite sides of the main road leading from Gescher to Holtwick and just short of a Y junction.
  3. 8RB

    8RB Active Member

    Thanks again. Although I am not yet completely convinced, I have worked out a theory. As he was killed instantly and therefore most likely buried nearest to the spot where he fell, I have focussed on the spot where Cpl. Trevett was buried: 562785. Indicated by red arrow on map on left (1:100,000 map). After that I have tried to find the same spot on the 1:25,000 GSGS 4414 map (which unfortunately dates from 1955) which is shown on the right. I think the red arrow there marks the same location.


    The picture below shows the same location, with what I think may possibly have happened. As I say I still have doubts. Much of this matches with the story, but some details do not. And I must say I do not get the part of the story describing the location of the Dingo and the incident relative to the Y-junction.

    stolpi likes this.
  4. SDP

    SDP Senior Member Patron

    I'm not familiar enough with the various accounts but doesn't he say at one stage that he was on the other side of a thin wood and moving roughly parallel to the road? There is a very thin wood (wide rows of trees?) a short distance to the right of the Y junction on the northern side of the road on the 1:25000 scale map. Just a thought.
  5. SDP

    SDP Senior Member Patron


    This has to be the area where the battle happened. There is a 'country crossroads' with a Y junction further on where the right turn leads into Holtwick proper. We now just need to narrow it all down to the precise wood!
  6. 8RB

    8RB Active Member

    O.k. So that is another theory (worked out in a little map below). I think is also far more logical and closer to the text (see reply #7) than mine.

    The only real issue I can see is that the "strip of wood" maybe is a bit too narrow and not clearly hatched as being wood (possibly to narrow to show hatching) and there is no cart track shown next to it (line with short perpendicular lines means "fence wooden"). But then again this is the situation ten years later, in 1955 (CSGC 4414, Ahaus, 1:25,000, 1955). I would love to see the wartime version of this map!

    Please let me know if this is what you had in mind:
    stolpi likes this.
  7. SDP

    SDP Senior Member Patron


    That's one possibility. Of course we can only speculate and must bear in mind it was a long time ago and things get muddled and conflated etc etc. What I think is reasonably certain is that this is the correct location with the Battle being fought around that Y junction. Might be an idea to see if there are any photos available at the IWM etc
  8. 8RB

    8RB Active Member

    The illustration and caption regarding the battle of Holtwick will probably be something like shown below. Before publication however I would love to lay my hands on a wartime version of the map (GSGS4414, Ahaus, sheet 3908), and if possible also on photo's of the incident...

    So, many thanks for all the help I got so far! And should anyone have any further information, please let me know!


  9. Hello,

    I live in Legden / Germany. During my research of airwar 1939-45 over my hometown I spoke to a witness who told me the story of the battle at Holtwick. He was evacuated from the village of Holtwick to a farmhouse next to the spot. You re right with your suggestions, the maps showing the right place. 23rd Husars lost a comet northwest Legden to a Panzerfaust. 4 lads were killed. They were going to be surounded by german infantry. It seems that parts 23rd Husars approached via Gescher-Holtwick-Legden others from Stadtlohn to Legden. A smaller battle took place at a railroad-crossing 1km south of Legden. 2 or 3 Germans were killed. From Legden they headed to Heek (NW) and Asbeck where some german infantry was captured. From Asbeck and Holtwick they went to Osterwick.
    stolpi likes this.
  10. SDP

    SDP Senior Member Patron


    That's excellent information and thank you for posting it.

    Do you know the precise location of the Farmhouse? And do you know, by any chance, if the witness is still alive?

    If possible I would also like to know any further details of my own fathers involvement in the battle for Holtwick - details are in previous posts, particularly #6 and #12.

    I hope I am not asking too much!

  11. 8RB

    8RB Active Member

    Hello Martin,

    Many thanks for your information and conformation of all this! Like Steve I would of course be very interested in any additional information, and especially if any more details of the incident are known (e.g. exact location of Dingo and/or "cart track" and wood) or of course if there would be a photo of it all.

    I know I am asking too much... but you never know! I never guessed this thread would lead to discovering the exact location of the incident in the first place!

    Kind regards,

  12. harkness

    harkness Member

    23H War Diary:

    "Leave at first light in reserve behind 3rd RTR. Route - Heiden, 4459 - Velen, 4866 - Geschen, 5073. Go into lead at Geschen directed on Holtwick, 5879. At midday "A" Squadron leading bump two infantry and Bazooka parties in the area of T roads 5578. H Company 6th RB helping, these are quickly dealt with. Turning north through Holtwick, "A" Squadron was again held up by Bazooka, A/Tank fire and slight artillery fire. 1/100,000 Sheet P1.

    After a combined attack "B" Squadron are passed through moving north through Legden, 5682, which has only been partly cleared by 2nd F & F Yeomanry. Scattered Bazooka fire all along the main road. After being engaged by at least one S.P., one troop of "B" Squadron was held up by a position of three 88 mm A/A, A/Tank guns at 5785 and, as it was getting dark, was unable to make further progress despite the assistance of 2 Troop which tried to outflank from the right. In almost total darkness a Pnather was knocked out by Lieut Cuddy's tank. The following abandoned equipment was found the next morning - Three 88mm guns, one Panther, one Flakvierling, four half-tracks and six transports. 5 - Other Ranks killed in action and six Other Ranks wounded."
  13. bruno3m

    bruno3m New Member

    Hello all,

    I've been following your comments about the "Holtwick Battle" that I found very interesting since my girlfriend is from Holtwick and I'm going there 3 times per year.
    I've been searching for some documents from this event and I found this Pdf file in the City Coesfeld Archive that contains some information about the happenings in that area and
    some pictures of General Montgomery in the Town of Coesfeld (10 km from the Y-Junction) in the exact date of the Battle 30th March 1945, which I found out to be interesting to share with you.

    Ps: the file is in German but you can easily translate with google translator.

    Complete file:

    Montgomery_Coesfeld.JPG Montgomery_Coesfeld_2.JPG
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  14. 8RB

    8RB Active Member

    Nice photos, and same day as "the battle of Holtwick"! Wonder if Montgomery often was to be found so close to the front...
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017

  15. Yes, the witness is still alive and very keen on his memories. The farmhouse is also there. I think I will make a quest for probable evident relicts of the battle with my detector. I think there will be remains of german trenches - like those you can find them everywhere still today.

    My question regarding those 3 acht-acht positions at "5786": does this reference represent a spot at the road leading from Legden northwest towards Heek?

    I ask because I have a pr pic that shows such a position - but this Point is 1-2 km north of Holtwick at the so called "Hermannshöhe". (You can find by google earth). The knocked out Panther was unknown to me. I only knew, that the royal army did not find a tank that was hidden by the germans in a farmhouse. After the war two Young boys made a ride with it until a small creek crossed their way ;)

    The place where the material was captured is north Legden. There was a fuel depot and also a small battle. One Comet tank was knocked out. Corporal wedderburn and crew was killed. I have no info about injured people.
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  16. This is the mentioned picture. The road in the upper half is leading from Holtwick (left) to Legden (right). FB_IMG_1502626309892.jpg You can see the flak position in upper left corner. Also some trenches are good to recognize. The Battle of Holtwick took place approx. 2 km from there ( upper left corner)

    Attached Files:

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  17. 8RB

    8RB Active Member

    Hello Martin,

    Great to hear from you again and it would be wonderful if you could find out more about what happened at the Y-junction near map reference 562785, either through metal detecting or from a witness!

    Regarding your own question: the Y-junction at the top of your photo would be about 567811, indicated by the lower arrow in map below. Similarly 5786 would indicate the exact grid point indicated by the upper arrow. I hope this is of use to you.

  18. When you turn my pr-pic 90 degrees to the right you can see the sharp corner of the road. And a lot of trenches below the road. Old people remembered for a heavy firefight there. So this reference point is marked very properly. But the point 5786 was inaccurate. The combat was around the "62'. The comet was knocked out at the point where a street approaches from the right. He was finished by a bazzoka fired from the small wood with triangular shape.
  19. The names of those who were killed invLegden

    Attached Files:

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