Pays-Bas / Histoire

Nurses on the front line


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On Saturday evening, April 14, 1945, a briefing is organized by Canadian Lieutenant V. Stott for the commanders of the South Saskatchewan Regiment. A map of Groningen is handed out. Districts and neighborhoods are designated by code names.

The next morning Canadian soldiers approach the Emma Bridge in the code area "Cricket". The Germans defend this zone with anti-aircraft guns. Guns are also set up in front of the Ubbo Emmiusstraat so that they can fire on the Canadians at the Coehoornsingel. The Canadians sneak over the Emmabrug, after which a fierce battle ensues around Emmaplein. The Germans have dug manholes and trenches around Emmaplein from which they shoot at the Canadians.

Shots are also fired from the gardens of the villas on Emmaplein. The Germans are supported by two cannons from the Zuiderdiep. The Canadians opened fire, including on the Ortskommandatur, which is located on the northern corner of Ubbo Emmiussingel/Emmaplein. At the Coehoornsingel, Ubbo Emiussingel and Preadiniussingel there is heavy fighting for every meter of ground. The Germans are literally everywhere.

Some Germans flee into the Diaconessenhuis. The director protests, because she fears for the safety of the patients. The Germans want to leave, provided they are allowed to bring the wounded into the Diaconessenhuis. Two sisters volunteer to pick up the German wounded from Emmaplein. As the fighting continues, they retrieve the two wounded soldiers. One of the wounded turns out to be an officer who was ordered to blow up the Emma Bridge.