Tour of Northeast Holland

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by 17thDYRCH, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. klambie

    klambie Senior Member

    Sorry, mine are packed away or I would see what I could get you.

    Jean Portugal. 'We Were There: The Army" Vol 4. Toronto: Royal Canadian Military Institute Heritage Society, 1998. I would double check that Vol #, there are several for Army.
  2. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member


    Thanks for the lead. I will check it out.

  3. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Checked out the Portugal book. Seven volumes of Veteran's action. We may take a look at the local library as wants too many dollars.
    Thanks for the lead.
  4. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Not available in the Arnhem Library :mellow:
  5. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member


    I will check my local library. Shouldn't be too difficult to track down.
  6. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member


    Thank you for the WD's covering April -May for the HLI, QOR and RWR!
  7. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Stolpi and I are in investigative mode on the death of one of my Dad`s brothers in arms. Harry Goldberg was reported missing. We have information that the occurence took place at MR787111.
    It is north of Rhede, southwest of Leer Germany.
    Can please give us the GPS coordinates for the above map reference.
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Try this.

    Nord de Guerre Zone

    Latitude : 53° 11' 41'' N
    Longitude : 7° 25' 08'' E

    Latitude : 53.19484°
    Longitude : 7.41893°

    edit: having trouble pasting link - anyway it's SW of Leer.

    Any good?
  9. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member


    Thanks again for this. We will check it out later today or tomorrow.

  10. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member


    As the English would say .... `spot on`
    I finally have closure to a query that was with me for over 10 years. Thanks to you, Stopli and Nijmegen.
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  11. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Day one of the tour and I proceeded to the Canadian Military Cemetery at Groesbeek.
    A brief visit of the cemetery followed by a trip to Nistelrode-Heesch.
    There the citizens have created a memorial to the Canadian pilots KIA while serving at Airfield B.88.
    R.J. Audet, killed on 3 March '45 is one of the 14 names inscribed on stone blocks surrounding a mosaic of a poppy.
    A local historian stated that the memorial will be moved in the near future.

    That evening, resident historian Stolpi joined the tour. More to follow.

    Attached Files:

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  12. canuck

    canuck Closed Account


    Dick Audet was a notable RCAF fighter pilot with 10 kills, 5 of those in one engagement. He was awarded the DFC and Bar and credited with two victories over jet fighters.

  13. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    On day 2 we visited the Rhineland battlefield, starting with the 'Blackburn Mill' at Groesbeek. The windmill on the SE edge of the small town used as an OP in January 1945 by Major George G. Blackburn, a FOO for the 4th Cdn Medium Regt and author of "The Guns of Victory". In his book, a much embarrased Blackburn graphically describes how a surprise visit to his OP by General Horrocks caught him in the middle of a 'power-nap'. We encountered other 'Blackburn-sites' later on our tour to northern Holland.

    Blackburn Windmill Jan ' 45.jpg

    In the opening phase of Veritable the Canadians had to capture the important village of Wyler, sitting astride the main road from Nijmegen to Cleve. Near Wyler we found a couple of Canadian slit-trenches, remnants of the winter war (See also:

    Canadian Slit Trench OP Veritable FED 45.jpg

    Sketch map of the Wyler operation carried out by two battalions of the 5th Cdn Inf Bde (more on the operation by 5 Cdn Inf Bde, see: VERITABLE 1945: the Canadian attack on Wyler & Den Heuvel, 8 Feb 1945)
    Victory Campaign -36.jpg

    The Calgary's 'C' Coy CO, Major J. Campbell, fell during the fight for Wyler:

    After a visit to the Den Heuvel farm, Wyler, the Querdamm and Zyfflich we moved on to Niel, scene of a waterborn action by the 1st Cdn Scottish. Some of the farm buildings in this tiny village still carry marks of the war (See also: 3rd Cdn Infantry Division - Veritable).

    Canadian Scottish at Niel, Germany Feb 9, 1945.jpg

    Sketch map of the area of Zyfflich and Niel from the Regt History of the 1st Cdn Scottish:
    Zyfflich - Niel.jpg

    Please note that the dates on the map are wrong: must be 8 - 9 Feb 1945
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022 at 8:01 AM
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  14. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Thanks for filling in the blank.
    The memorial is not in the best of conditions. It is too be restored and set in a new location.
  15. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    From Niel we toured to the area east of Cleve, the scene of much bitter fighting between 30 Corps and the German 47th Pz Corps. The 2nd Cdn Corps on 15 Feb 45 took over the left flank of the British and launched an attack forward in the direction of Calcar. This resulted in the battles for Moyland Wood , fought by 7th Cdn Inf Bde of the 3rd Cdn inf Div, and the Goch - Calcar road, 4th Cdn Inf Bde of the 2nd Cdn Inf Div (See also: VERITABLE: the Canadian finale (Moyland Wood & Goch-Calcar road))


    Inside Moyland wood remnants of Canadian slit-trenches are still visible:


    The small settlement of Louisendorf, with its peculiar diamond shaped lay-out, was in the centre of the battle. It was taken by the Royal Winnipeg Rifles on Feb 16th, 45.

    louisendorf taken by RWR 3rd Div Feb 16'45.jpg
    Some of the war damage is still visible on the gable of the old community centre, the 'Louisen-Saal'.

    The positions gained by the 4th Cdn Inf Bde along the Goch-Calcar road were heavily contested by the Germans. They immediately launched a heavy counter-attack with the last of their Panzer formations, the 116th Panzer and the Panzer Lehr Division. The forward CP of Lt.Col. Whitaker, CO of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, established inside the old Milk Factory along the Goch-Calcar road, was nearly overrun by Panther tanks. In the end seven knocked out Panther tanks were left on the battlefield.

    RHLI HQ Goch road FEB 19th'44.jpg

    Panther Goch - Calcar road.jpg
    One of the knocked out Panthers
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  16. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    A memorial to the Kangeroo.
    The 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment

    Weight - 20 tons
    Length - 18'7"
    Width - 9' 5"
    Armament - one .30 calibre mg in a cupola on the front left side, the driver being on the right.
    Armour - 2 inch front plate, 2.5 inches side plate.
    Range - 145 miles
    Max Speed - 25 mph
    Crew - 1 driver, 1 tank commander, 1 gunner ( Optional )
    One Kangaroo could carry one infantry section of ten men.

    Stolpi points out that the vehicle marking 175 is wrong. The correct marking should be 157.
    A squadron of troops was set up on 28 August, 1944 and attached to the 25th Armoured Delivery Regiment ( the Elgin Regiment ).

    Attached Files:

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  17. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    To conclude day 2:

    In the afternoon we moved on to the "Blockbuster"-battlefield. Unfortunately the weather turned foul and we had to skip part of the programm, including a planned walk up the Hochwald Gap. After a quick look at Schmachdarm, the site where Major Tilston won his VC (See: Major Fred Tilston's Victoria Cross at the Hochwald), the rain drove us off toward the Hochwald Gap.

    Hochwald Gap aerial:

    Gap Hochwald aerial.jpg

    Sketch map of the first attack on the Gap, on Feb 27th, 1945, by advanced elements of the 4th Cdn Arm Div, from History of the South Alberta Regt:
    Hochwald Gap.jpg

    Some pictures I took earlier during a bicycle recce on a drier day. (1) Uedemerbruch, the small settlement located near the entrance of the Gap, seen from the west. The railroad embankment is on the left, the wooded rise of the Balberger Forest is in the right background (2) At Uedemerbruch was a small train stop atop the railway embankement, called Uedemerfeld. (3) Part of the railway traject recently has been turned into a bicycle path:


    013.JPG 010.JPG

    Inside the gap; pictures taken from the woods edge opposite Villa Reichswald: 1) The rise in the ground, known to the Canadians as objective Albatross, is visible (view to the west towards Uedemerbruch). (2) View to the NE from the same spot: the Villa Reichswald is visible at the woods edge to the left side:
    023.JPG 025.JPG

    Gap Hochwald Villa Reichswald KOd Shermans.jpg
    Knocked out Canadian Shermans in the Gap. Near the same spot as picture (2). The villa Reichswald is in the background.

    Hochwald snap shot on you tube:

    Instead of walking, we took the car up to the 'Villa Reichswald', the restaurant situated atop the Hochwald Gap. During Feb 28th, 1945, the Villa and it's immediate vicinity was held by a company of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada against a series of ferocious German counterattacks with tanks and infantry. An almost perfect 'then and now' of the entrance of the Villa. The halftrack belonged to the 116th Pz Division and was one of two halftracks that were left behind by the Germans in front of the restaurant:

    Villa Reichswald.jpg

    011.JPG Villa Reichswald Feb 28' 45.jpg

    The view of the eastern exit of the Gap, scene of the savage attack by the Lake Superior Regiment, reinforced by a company of the Algonquin Regiment, on March 2nd and 3rd, 1945. It was a last attempt to force a way through the Hochwald Gap. The Lake Superiors almost reached the Pauelshof, the house with the red tiled roof in the right background, before their attack bogged down in the face of heavy German defensive fires. The Algonquin company even managed to get further and crossed the road. Hemmed in on all sides by the enemy only a handful of the Algonquins returned. Many were taken prisoner. The elevated railroad is marked by the trees to the right. The double towers of the Xanten Cathedral are visible in the distance to the left; as is the next stretch of high ground, called "Die Heesch" in th eright background (courtesy Nijmegen for compiling this panoramic picture):


    Map of the operation of the Lake Superiors:
    Hochwald Lake Superior.jpg

    We skipped Xanten, which we already visited together on a previous tour, and ended the day at the vestiges of the railway bridge at Wesel, which was destroyed by the retreating German Army on March 9th, 1945, after they had cleared the Wesel Bridgehead. This remote site, far from the beaten tracks, is one of the more impressive durable reminders of WW2 I know of and it really compensates for the lack of monuments across the Rhineland area; Germany has little reason to memorialize the bitter battle of the Rhineland.


    Wesel Rail Bridge March 10' 45.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022 at 8:07 AM
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  18. smdarby

    smdarby Patron Patron

    Excellent - thanks for the posts. Looking forward to the rest.
  19. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Day 3 was dedicated to the Rhine Crossing & Break Out and started at Rees.

    Here the 3rd Cdn Inf Div operated on the left flank of British 30 Corps and fought in the battles for Speldrop/Bienen and Emmerich (See also: RHINE CROSSING 1945: The Rees bridgehead (30 Corps in operation 'Turnscrew'))

    Obviously we visited Speldrop and the memorial at Bienen, located next to the village church:
    Battle for Bienen March 25'44 North Novas.jpg

    From there we went to Emmerich. The completely ruined town fell to the 7th Cdn Inf Bde, some hours after midnight on March 30th, 1945. Because of all the debriss the fighting in the town was mainly an infantry job. The Germans resisted till the end and the town only fell after some stiff street-fighting. See also: RHINE CROSSING 1945: The Rees bridgehead (30 Corps in operation 'Turnscrew')

    Map of the fight for Emmerich from History of the 1st Cdn Scotish:

    After the fall of Emmerich the Canadian Army started to build it's own crossing point of the Rhine: Melville bridge. Once the bridge was completed the Canadian 2nd Corps (Simonds) - until then operating under 2nd British Army (Dempsey) - reverted to command of 1st Canadian Army (Crerar).

    Melville bridge: This low-level bailey bridge, was build on the spot of the old ferry site across the Rhine (first bridge on the photo). Later followed by MacLean Bridge: a high-level pontoon bridge near the small harbour.
    025.JPG 014.JPG 015.JPG 017.JPG

    Location of Melville bridge. The ramp on the other side of the river is still visible:
    Emmerich Melville Bridge   area built April '45.jpg

    's Heerenberg north of Emmerich, just across the Dutch border, was our next stop. The town and it's big castle fell to the Highland Light Infantry of Canada on April 1st, 1945. After it had been cleared the castle served as Bn HQ. There is a B&B in the small tower in the foreground, but it's quite expensive.

    Castle at Heerenberg - HQ for HLI.jpg Kasteel Bergh.jpg

    Memorial at 's Heerenberg for the liberation of the town by the 3rd Cdn Inf Div. For the location of the site see: Ordnance QF 25 Pounder Cannon - 's-Heerenberg -
    25 pounder Artillery Piece - Heerenberg.jpg Montferland-20150917-00279.jpg then and now - April 45.jpg

    Map of the operations around Emmerich from Stacey:
    's Heerenberg - Wehl.jpg

    Unfortunately the rain started again and we had to skip our planned walk up the Hoch Elten feature.

    Hoch Elten church.jpg
    Postwar picture of the devastated Hoch Elten feature. Though shallow, the ridge dominates the surrounding flat countryside for miles and therefore was submitted to a heavy artillery programm, involving all of 2nd Cdn Corps artillery. George J. Blackburn in "The Guns of Victory": "When the three-days continuous bombardment of the hill begins, it is thickly covered with forest. Gradually barren spots begin to appear. By the time the last instalments of some four million shells are exploding on it, Hoch Elten resembles the badly shaved head of a female collaborator".
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  20. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Next stop was the Fort Garry Horse memorial at Doetinchem. See for the location of this memorial: M4A4 Sherman Tank Doetinchem - Doetinchem -

    Doetinchem-20150917-00282.jpg Doetinchem  Tank was from OCT '45.jpg

    The Sherman tank of the Fort Garry Horse, displayed at this monument, is a real veteran of the war. The tank actually was knocked out at Hooghalen on April 12th, 1945. For more images of the tank see: VERITABLE 1945: the Canadian finale (Moyland Wood & Goch-Calcar road)

    The tank commander, corporal W.J. MacDonald, became a casualty and now rests on the Holten War Cemetery:

    WJ MacDonald.jpg

    At Hooghalen Cpl. MacDonald and five Canadian infantrymen who fell in the area are commemorated, see Memorial for Canadian soldiers - Hooghalen -

    The streetnames in this part of Doetinchem are named after the Canadian districts, e.g Toronto Street:
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
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