Canadian presence in Berg en Dal (Nld)

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Bedee, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    Question about Canadian Soldiers during the Winter of 1944/45.

    Berg en Dal and more specific "Duivelsberg" or translated Devilsmountain. From german side they also called it Wylerberg. Berg en Dal is a small village South East of Nijmegen.
    On 17 September 1944 82nd Airborne landed here by Gliders and Parachutes for the operation Market Garden.
    On 19th September Lt Foley (508 PIR) recieved the task to attack Hill 75.9.
    After a fierce attack they took the hill and stayed there untill 23 September before the would be relieved.

    82nd Airborne stayed in this area untill November 12 1944. On this day the Queens Own Rifles arrived from belgium and releived the Americans.
    This is the last date we could find about the Canadian presence in Berg en Dal (Nld) especialy "Duivelsberg".

    Here some traces on the Duivelsberg.

    The question now is, can anybody tell me which unit stayed on the Duivelsberg during the winter of 1944/45. I know there where many Canadians, after all the 1st Canadian Army was preparing the Operation Veritable.
    But our Area of Interest in this case is "Duivelsberg" or "Wylerberg"
    Another problem is also who was where and when.
    See the attached picture. You see some Trenches, you can find them al over the hill, but where they German, US, Canadian ?

    Best would be Wardiaries or other papers with coordinates on it. Period November 1944 - February 1945

    Hope somebody can help us in this.
    CL1 likes this.
  2. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Hi Bee,

    This is no easy task since the units were frequently rotated in the front lines during this period. The best will be to consult the War Diaries of the resp. Canadian units. This is what I gleaned from the Regt History of the Calgaray Highlanders "Battalion of Heroes" by David Bercuson:

    "The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division was responsible for a five-kilometre section of front line running south from Groesbeek (about five kilometres south-east of Nijmegen). (...) It was anticipated that each battalion would spent two weeks in the line itself and one week in reserve"

    On 17 January the Calgary Highlanders, and with them probably the rest of 5th Bde, occupied positions near Berg en Dal. Then on 1 Feb the Battalion moved forward again, this time to a forested area about five kilometres west of Wyler. Bn HQ was set up in a sanatorium (?) and waited for news on the coming offensive (Op Veritable). The Battalion was to conduct a flanking attack on Wyler, to take out the enemy strongpoint at this border settlement and open up the main road from Nijmegen to Kranenburg.
    CL1 likes this.
  3. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    Thanks Peter for your reply,

    Yes i know it is not easy determine WHO, WHERE, HOW on the Duivelsberg. Even in the beginning the 3th Canadian Infantry Division was in this position.
    Régiment de la Chaudière
    The North Nova Scotia Highlanders
    Queens Own Rifles

    Enough traces of units who did there something,but not specific the Duivelsberg. Maybe i get some UNEXPECTED information from this Forum.

    About Wardairies.. maybe i will visit Canada in Autumn, for my work i have there some free time and it is 1 hour drive from Ottawa.
  4. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    Very unlikely that any positions on Devil's Hill were occupied, after Market Garden. More likely positions on the bottom of the hIll, Kleve-Nijmegen road/Wylerbergmeer.
    Position just before Veritable.
    CL1 likes this.
  5. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    The war diary of the Regt de la Chaudiere confirms their arrival on 12 Nov '44 (Map Ref 755593 - Sheet 12 NW) and relief of an American Parachute Battalion and departure on the 15th Nov. They were visited by Officers of Queen's Own Regina Rifles and North Nova Scotia's on the 15th before departure.

    Part of Map sheet 12NW showing the exact place they were based in Nov' 44 and Jan '45.


    Copies of their war diary pages also attached.

    The Chauds come back to this area in December (19th to 29th) to relieve the Nova Scotia Regt and January (9th to 16th) to occupy defensive positions and carry out patrols. The war diary mentions contact with the Queen's Own Regina Rifles. Looks like the war diaries of these three units are some of the ones you need to look at.

    A combat patrol by the Chauds on 13 January, consisting of 3 Officers and 60 Other Ranks was proceeded by an artillery barrage. They took two prisoners and left the enemy with one dead and wounded, but sustained 4 killed, 4 wounded themselves.

    Attached Files:

    Owen and CL1 like this.
  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Nijmegen - The positions on your map are the firing positions of the artillery units in support of Veritable.

    The actual forward defensive line (FDL) lay further to the east, almost parallel to the Wylerbaan. Wyler still was in German hands. The Germans had turned the border settlement and the area hard west of it into a hedgehog defense, which effectively blocked the main road from Nijmegen to Kranenburg.
  7. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    :) I knew that.
    stolpi likes this.
  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Nijmegen - I sense a small thread for this forum coming up. This afternoon I cycled from Berg en Dal along the Duivelsberg to Wyler.

    I have the official 5th Cdn Bde report by Brigadier Megill for the fight of Wyler. Why not have a look at the area together :).

    If possible, could you please forward me a sharper copy of the above map (could you please also include the Zyfflich area with the Querdamm).

    Bedee, why not join us.

    BTW, Bedee you probably are aware of this article
  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is the war diary for the period that the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada spent at Berg en Dahl. It includes the day they left the area. There is no indication that any unit took over from them in the war diary. Unfortunately, I do not have the appendices with the movement orders and relief orders. The Queen's Own Rifles took over positions from the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders near the Waal River. I do not have the SDGs war diary for the period, but it does not appear they replaced the QOR in Berg en Dahl.

    Attached Files:

    Owen and stolpi like this.
  10. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    Thanks Dryan67!

    Translation of coordinates (first page of Dryan67's attachments), accurate. Positions of headquarters Queen's Own Rifles of Canada at 1200, 12 November 1944. Not the forward positions.
  11. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    Indeed very intresting this Wardiary from the QOR, you can also find it online (QOR Homepage) but as you mention also, these Appendixes

    They could be intresting in this, hope we will find these.


    The war dairy of La Regiment de la Chaudieres... interesting. I Need to send you an PM for some additional information. So i will do.

    Yes Stolpi i know them to, a bunch of people who are intrested in the battle at the Duivelsberg.
    Im new in this group, with some different angle of view in what happened there. My intrest in the Duivelsberg started in 1992 when i came here for the first time.
    Because i life now in the area i have time to do this. But still OP Veritable even when it is on a LOW PITJE.

  12. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    And yes... Stolpi when i have time i will join this Ride. Always.
  13. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Bedee - PM send
  14. besteric

    besteric Junior Member

    This is what i found on top of the hill extreem rightside. Back in 2007.
    The red star is the location.


    Attached Files:

    CoenNL and stolpi like this.
  15. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing this.

    81mm mortar cloverleaf, you took them with you, or there still there ? Did you found more, with a detector ?
    Don't hasitate to PM me with this information.

    I like the Guerilla archeology, but it is important what you found, the determine, identify what happend there. And these 81mm cloverleaf is a sign that this was an US 82nd airborne trench.
    This is what we do, try to find out What happend Where and Who When and Why.

    Thanks again.
  16. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    batteries form the 73rd anti tank regiment were at berg en dal, at one time under command of the 82nd us airbourne.
    i'll double check map refs and let you know.
  17. bakker-m

    bakker-m Member

    I was quite amazed to find this pair just north of Nijmeegsebaan, across the road from the Dekkerswald grounds. You would not expect them so far from the Groesbeek LZ/DZ and from Berg en Dal. I'll bring them to the Groesbeek Liberation Museum one of these days. image.jpeg
    CoenNL likes this.

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