Pays-Bas / Champ de Bataille

Biervliet - Turning point in the battle




In the night of October 8 to 9, 1944, Canadian units landed on two beaches between Hoofdplaat and Paulinapolder. The objective was to set up a second front at the coast of western Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, in order to weaken the German opposition at the Leopold Canal. An intensive struggle developed around the narrow bridgehead.

The landing zone, between Hoofdplaat and the Paulinapolder, soon became the target of a German counterattack. Unlike other German units in Belgium and Zeeland, these were highly trained troops.

While the Canadians were defending the landing site, more and more soldiers were being ferried across. With these reinforcements, they managed to strengthen their hold on the bridgehead. The pressure to break out increased during the following days. The German coastal batteries on Walcheren and around Cadzand and the artillery around IJzendijke increasingly hit their Canadian targets. The death toll rose.

On  October 11, an attack was launched towards Biervliet to break the deadlock. With the help of Wasp carriers, vehicles fitted with flamethrowers, the village was successfully seized. After a counterattack, the German defences withdrew to the south of Biervliet.

After taking Biervliet, the battle on the bridgehead ended. German units withdrew to new positions around Breskens and the south, towards Belgium.

Visit the Zeeuwse Ankers website (Zeeland Anchors) for comprehensive information, personal stories and videos about the Battle of the Scheldt.


Markt 10, 4521 BN Biervliet