Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by 17thDYRCH, Aug 27, 2015.
thank very much
Fragment from Van Ommen Kloeke, "De Bevrijding van Groningen", July 1945:
Map from the same book (red arrows - actions on 13 April; green arrows - 14 April). I added RRC bridgehead text to it as well as some names.
MULVIHILL, Thomas Patrick, Lance-Sergeant (B.142765) (killed in action, 14 February 1945 at the Eems Canal, Groningen) - Bronze Lion (Holland) - Infantry - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 22 December 1945 and CARO/6291 dated 24 December 1945. Recommended by Lieutenant-Colonel R.M. Lendrum, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Canada on 29 August 1945; approved by Brigadier F.N. Cabeldu, Officer Commanding, 4 Canadian Infantry Brigade on 29 August 1945 and passed forward on 4 September 1945; approved by Major-General Charles Foulkes, General Officer Commanding 2 Canadian Infantry Division on 1 September 1945 and passed forward on 4 September 1945. Final approval by Lieutenant-General G.G. Simonds, General Officer Commanding Canadian Forces in the Netherlands on 6 September 1945 and passed on for action on 26 September 1945.
Early in the morning of the 14th April 1945 Lance-Sergeant Mulvihill was in charge of a platoon of The Royal Regiment of Canada in the assault across the Eems Canal, Groningen. The enemy in a block of apartment houses were surprised but fighting became very confused as groups of enemy set up pockets of resistance using 20 millimetre 'flak' guns, machine guns and sub-machine guns.
The cross fire from these posts was intense and it was with great difficulty that Sergeant Mulvihill fought through two blocks of houses. On two occasions the withering automatic fire threatened to break up the assaulting platoon but by his fine example and courageous leadership this Non-Commissioned Officer kept his force fighting on until the objective was gained.
Unfortunately at the moment of final success as he led his platoon in the last charge Sergeant Mulvihill was shot at close range and killed. Had it not been for his utter disregard of personal safety and his inspiring bravery in pressing forward the attack the platoon would not have been successful and the whole company plan prejudiced.
From Courage and Service: Second World War Awards to Canadians
Blatherwick/Halliday – Service Publications
OUTSTANDING!!! Thank you so much for this valuable info for my research on Sgt. Mulvihill. I am very grateful for your excellent assistance. KURT Johnson
I am late joining in to this thread as I am on the road.
Kudos to all that have participated in obtaining the information requested by Kurt. Well done!
Great find Klambie! Unfortunately the citation errs re the location: the RRC crossed the Hoornsche Diep unseen near the shipyard of Kerstholt NV, at 21:00 hrs on the evening of 13 April 45. Establishing a small bridgehead the infantry, in early morning at 03:00 hrs, moved towards the Parkweg and Parkbrug. Here they clashed with the enemy who had taken up position in the housing blocks facing the bridge; see my map in post # 102
Aerial of pre-war Groningen showing the Parkweg area with the bridge across the Hoornsche Diep; scene of the actions of the RHLI and RRC on 13 and 14 April 1945 (courtesy: 'Vier dagen in april", Huizinge & Van Leusen)
House blocks along the Parkweg, this picture was made on the eastern bank of the Hoornsche Diep with view to the east towards the Heereweg. At the far end of the road an enemy quadruple Flak gun was positioned which fired straight down the road towards the Parkbrug:
Parkbrug picture taken about 1950; the picture was taken on the western side of the Hoornsche Diep. The RRC came from the right, fighting their way towards the bridge through the housing blocks on the opposite bank of the canal:
Another postwar picture, dating from the '50/'60-ies, of the Parkweg. This one was taken to the west of the Hoornsche Diep at the junction with the Paterswoldseweg. Again view to the east. The Parkweg bridge is visible somewhat down the road. To the left hand side of the road is the Parkschool that features on the second picture below.
Several enemy quadruple Flak guns were deployed in a ground role for the defense of the city of Groningen. The picture shows one KO'd in the eastern part of the city center (courtesy Tweede Wereldoorlog in 50 foto’s)
Yikes! The text is printed in Dutch -- is there an English version? I cannoit read Dutch.
No English version available; a dictionary perhaps?
Or a wife who was born in the Netherlands -- but her Dutch is that of a 9-year-old girl. LOL
As is my English ...
I found the above picture buried somewhere deep in my files. I believe it was taken near the Parkweg from an upper window and shows some warily moving Canadian soldiers (RRC?), eyed by a Dutch boy ... who seems completely oblivious of the danger of the fighting that is raging at the moment. Note the broken window glass/stone debriss (?) on the pavement, which proves that there still is a war going on.
Canadian soldier of the Royal Regiment taking cover in one of the front gardens of the Parkweg. The picture was taken, not without risk, by one of the curious inhabitants of a second floor apartment (courtesy Tweede Wereldoorlog in 50 foto’s)
I sent you this document by email too
Will try to translate this, hope it is not in Stolpi's Dialect ;-)
I hear you come to the Netherlands in May ? should be translated earlier then that.
Most probably your wife can read this as this is OLD Dutch. From Old Dutch to English will take a bit more time, i see. But will fix it.
Sheakspearian Dutch ... so to say
Sent you a PM.
Translation of Van Ommen Kloeke, the liberation of Groningen.
SATURDAY APRIL 14, 1945- THE BATTLE FOR THE BRIDGES
The fighting on Friday night forced the access to Groningen.
Saturday would be the capture of the main bridges.
The main attack that day was aimed at the transitions over
the Connecting Channel, while on the left wing an
encirclement movement began to mark for the purpose of inclusion
of the entire city center. On the right flank finally to
support the main thrust, an attack from the south (Haren).
In the previous chapter we have the Canadian tirailleurs
left on the eastern bank of the North Wilems
channel. They had been twice as lucky, because they were not left alone
the first hours after their crossing went unnoticed, but noticed in front them the undamaged Park Bridge, which is at
the moment they cross the channel for the Germans
the bridge was lost. Canadian gunfire could crossfire the bridge or its surroundings to a murderous place for the enemy. So the first major bridge, by this surprising Canadian action came undamaged in canadian
hands. More would follow that day.
In the morning of Saturday already started at three o'clock
to advance troops, creeping carefully from door to door
in the streets near the canal. The lsselstraat was built
Purified and an hour later the Park Bridge could be occupied. Dee
Germans from the area had left with a silent drum!
A few groups of Germans were still on the Parkweg
houses were left behind, which only the mediation of the citizens
willingly accepted to be a prisoner of war unharmed
get. At five at the crack of dawn was all
purified in the neighborhood and an hour later, rolling stock rolled over the
bridge and parked to the north and south of the Parkweg
the Hoornsche Diep.
The skirmishers, meanwhile, had been trained up along the Parkweg
at the Achterweg, distributed cigarettes everywhere and had it
shake hands and drink heart reinforcements, offered
by the elated bourgeoisie. Anyone who knew with better would mean
that the war was over. The sun was shining again and all suffering was gone
The partygoers became sad from their happy thoughts
startled. A machine gun creaked, civilians collapsed, Canada
these dove into the porches. A German machine-gun group
passed unnoticed along the Barestraat to the Achterweg and
now gave fire to the quietly gathered people,
A machine gun group also advanced via Davidstraat, the light
weapon began to bark, answered immediately by the Canadian
deesche rapid fire. The just peaceful street was in a front
Things got worse at nine o'clock that morning. A four-loop
2 c.m. Flak guns and 2 single-barreled Flaks were mounted on the foot
from the Viaduct and a hellish chatter began. The whole
the length of Rabenhauptstraat and Parkweg shone a sea of fire.
Windows clinked, light boxes crashed, roof tiles flew from
Under these conditions, the Canadians saw a further
advance towards Heereweg. That would take too many sacrifices
ratio to the value of the target. Because this, achieving
the city center could be done more easily.
The event that now followed was of how small size
Dock in appearance, one of the most important and what the consequences are
rett the most tolerant in the entire liberation of Groningen.
Half a dozen Canadians sneaked like Indians along the east side
van het Hoornschediep, left the railway bridge over it and left
crept into the Van Hallstraat. Through the gardens behind the plots
den Emmasingel became the home of the Van der Laan family vis-à-vis
the Emma bridge reached by one group, while the rest settled
in a basement of hotel Frascati on the corner of the Stationsplein,
which hotel had recently been occupied by the Germans,
A surprising sight unfurled before their eyes, In it
Connecting channel pipes and masts protruded from the ground
drilled tugs and cargo ships above the water, Het
boathouse of, Aegir "was burned down. A German, Spreng-
kommando "had these destruction in the early morning hours
lined. At the Ubbo Emmiussingel were in the plots to
on both sides of the house of notary Nijhoff machine gun positions
furnished with the aim of lying across the water
Cover station square. All obstructing objects
had to be put aside for that with the just now
said consequence. Finally, the Sprengkommando also had
the Eelderbrug, the bascule bridge over the Hoornsche Diep, after a few
make unsuccessful attempts jump upward. One on-
March of the Paterswoldschenweg to the Emmasingel
this has made it impossible, making the sector
Eeldersingel-Eendrachtskade Z.Z. became of secondary importance.
But our Canadian outposts saw more wonderful ones
stuff. Two cigarettes walked at ease on the Emma bridge
smoking Germans, while! an enemy over the Heerebrug
Two blasts of fire sounded simultaneously. . . a scream. A
dying German woman rolled around on the Emma bridge. The Heerebrug
was immediately wiped clean. The setup was successful! Both bridges
were under Canadian fire range and were still undamaged!
It was now time to consolidate this situation.
The 25-pounders, meanwhile, had started dispensing
a sideways spring fire along the Stationsweg. After dispensing
from this the fire took a leap Over the Connection Channel and
hopped along the canals from west to east. The Germans
were therefore forced to hide. The contact
with the troops fighting south of the Connecting Canal
along the Heereweg and further south threatened to be lost.
For six hours, the six brave Canadians held both bridges
under constant fire. It was not until half past eleven that
reinforcements that purified the entire Emmasingel and
several enemies hiding in the houses,
prisoners. A regular heavy machine gun fire could now be
den issued to the Germans, who in the vicinity of the Emma
square and shot back from the garden of the Diaconessenhuis, while
a counterattack was nipped in the bud.
The Canadians had not yet advanced to the station. Men
feared to face fierce opposition there. But
German morale was too bad for this. Then an hour later
some Shermans from the Noord-Willemskanaal via the rails
and driving up Van Hallstraat to this building, gave the occupation,
consisting of six men, without difficulty. The whole
building, the platforms and railways remained undamaged
The tanks now started along the south side of the Connection
channel up and down, out of their armored domes with the
Firing 75 millimeters on the German machine-gun nests on the
Side of the water. The whole concert mixed in this hellish concert
barking machine guns and dull humming mortars. The Ubbo
Emmiussingel was under a heavy fire jump.
At half past one it seemed as if this bombing would end
A breathtaking silence fell over the ravaged webbing. The
Germans on the Emmaplein were already starting up, then suddenly
a wild fear trembled them. Like menacing prehistoric monsters
two tanks rushed at them across the Emma Bridge, to all
silk spewing death and destruction. Full speed
they turned and we already have the brave in one of them
Phyllis recognized the Ubbo Emmiussingel on. Became a tree
crushed, the advance continued to search for the hidden ones
German machine gun nests. Ubbo Emmiusstraat was reached.
Then a bang from an armored fist, shot from the Zuiderdiep,
detonated in the Phyllis and she swung the Ubbo out of control
Emmiusstraat and then ran up against the bookshop
the northwest corner of the intersection Coehoornsingel-Ubbo
Emmiusstraat. The four occupants were able to survive, but their
vehicle and both corner houses went up in flames. Two
Canadians were captured at the Coehoornsingel,
but the other two knew on the corner of the Ubbo Emmius-
jump out of the girth and ducked into the cellar
van den dentist Hoogland, where they were received hospitably and
the next morning could be dismayed by their comrades in arms
Pine tree. The other tank withdrew behind the bridges.
Immediately after this incident, artillery fire started again. It
interlude had ended
On the second platform of the station had already settled for two
a lone Sherman lined up to keep the Viaduct under fire.
Some grenades hit the houses on the northeast side
of the Viaduct, as a result of which some parcels caught fire.
After a short while a whole row of houses stood in a light blaze, which to
burned to the ground.
The Germans at the southern foot of the viaduct, that of
as the Rabenhauptstraat had hit with their Flaks, were
meanwhile withdrawn on the J. A. Feithstraat. The commander
of the Canadian shock troops on the Parkweg had
asked for artillery support and when it was
appeared in the form of a 17-pounder (75 m.m.-
anti-tank guns), with a dozen or so guns
Thank you so much for your hard work in translating this Dutch text from the 1940s. -- dank u vel
I appreciate all your help -- this forum is certainly a very helpful experience. Kurt
Added an aerial of Parkweg to post # 106
The Canadian 2nd Inf Div started the battle for the town of Groningen 76 years ago:
Tour of Northeast Holland
Tour of Northeast Holland
Tour of Northeast Holland
Separate names with a comma.