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Thread: Liberated 75+1 yr ago

  1. #1
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    Liberated 75+1 yr ago

    Today, April 17, is the day that my hometown was liberated by the Allies. In this case the Canadians of the 48th Regiment Highlanders. The Allied came from the east, first they had taken Deventer, Wilp and then headed for Apeldoorn.

    Why so late? A lot of other towns were already liberated! The reason for that was the fact that coming in from the east, a lot of Canadians had died, simply because the Wehrmacht HQ was in Apeldoorn! Lots of Germans were defending the roads to the town. Back in 1940, the Germans set up their HQ in Apeldoorn because it was half-way between The Hague (the administrative municipal of The Netherlands) and the German border. Second reason was that the HQ was located right across the street, facing the Royal Palace where the Dutch Queen had lived before she sailed to England after being invited by Churchill. Situating the the Wehrmacht's HQ facing the Palace had a psychological effect.

    The Canadians had already suffered a lot of casualties and they had to cross a canal with only two bridges. Fair chance that the Germans had mined of booby-trapped the bridges. So the Canadians (recon squadrons and light infantry supported by a few tanks) decided to wait for the artillery to arrive. With the intention to shell the town on the 17th. Just to make sure that the Germans would surrender/retreat or die. Civilian casualties were considered a calculated risk.

    What the Canadians didn't know was that most of the Germans had left the city, with no the option to go to the west, heading for Amsterdam and The Hague. The civilians in the town had noticed that the Germans had fled but were unable to contact the Canadians.

    That night, two boys crossed the canal and contacted the Canadian forward posts. That nearly went wrong for obvious reasons: the Canadians were pretty 'trigger happy' after all those days fighting the Germans. But the boys managed to tell their story. At the same time, local resistance groups convinced the remaining Germans that it would be wiser to surrender which they did. So the two bridges were saved, so were many lives.

    The Canadians occupied the Wehrmacht HQ when they found out that the complete infrastructure (phones) was still working and it was from that moment on the Canadian HQ. Technically, the Canadian HQ was much larger than one single house. Most of the administrative forces were housed in large barracks, now a park with expensive houses.

  2. #2
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    Must have been one of the strangest centuries. huge progress in healthcare, automation, technology, science - all countered by so much violent loss of life.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    Today, April 17, is the day that my hometown was liberated by the Allies. In this case the Canadians of the 48th Regiment Highlanders. The Allied came from the east, first they had taken Deventer, Wilp and then headed for Apeldoorn.

    Why so late? A lot of other towns were already liberated! The reason for that was the fact that coming in from the east, a lot of Canadians had died, simply because the Wehrmacht HQ was in Apeldoorn! Lots of Germans were defending the roads to the town. Back in 1940, the Germans set up their HQ in Apeldoorn because it was half-way between The Hague (the administrative municipal of The Netherlands) and the German border. Second reason was that the HQ was located right across the street, facing the Royal Palace where the Dutch Queen had lived before she sailed to England after being invited by Churchill. Situating the the Wehrmacht's HQ facing the Palace had a psychological effect.

    The Canadians had already suffered a lot of casualties and they had to cross a canal with only two bridges. Fair chance that the Germans had mined of booby-trapped the bridges. So the Canadians (recon squadrons and light infantry supported by a few tanks) decided to wait for the artillery to arrive. With the intention to shell the town on the 17th. Just to make sure that the Germans would surrender/retreat or die. Civilian casualties were considered a calculated risk.

    What the Canadians didn't know was that most of the Germans had left the city, with no the option to go to the west, heading for Amsterdam and The Hague. The civilians in the town had noticed that the Germans had fled but were unable to contact the Canadians.

    That night, two boys crossed the canal and contacted the Canadian forward posts. That nearly went wrong for obvious reasons: the Canadians were pretty 'trigger happy' after all those days fighting the Germans. But the boys managed to tell their story. At the same time, local resistance groups convinced the remaining Germans that it would be wiser to surrender which they did. So the two bridges were saved, so were many lives.

    The Canadians occupied the Wehrmacht HQ when they found out that the complete infrastructure (phones) was still working and it was from that moment on the Canadian HQ. Technically, the Canadian HQ was much larger than one single house. Most of the administrative forces were housed in large barracks, now a park with expensive houses.
    A fascinating post. Years back, I served on exchange for 2 years as a troop commander in a Canadian regiment. Ever since, the Canucks have had a special place in my heart.
    One of the finest books I've read on this period is the third part of a trilogy written by George Blackburn, a Canadian troop commander and former journalist who won an MC in the course of the campaign. His writing style puts you alongside him. If you can find a copy, I thoroughly recommend it: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...uns_of_Victory

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suds View Post
    Must have been one of the strangest centuries. huge progress in healthcare, automation, technology, science - all countered by so much violent loss of life.
    Trouble is its still going on but we dont really see it because its out in some desert or far off country.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    Trouble is its still going on but we dont really see it because its out in some desert or far off country.
    That's always happened and always will. That's the reality of humanity.
    What isn't happening right now is an all-out world war, but that doesn't seem to stop a portion of our population continuously whingeing about how terrible things are today and loathing their own country for it - where the truth is we've, quite literally, never had it so good.
    Last edited by Brauner Hund; 18th April 2021 at 12:35.

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