Pays-Bas / Champ de Bataille

“It was like a giant was peeing”


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A major of The Black Watch was wounded on Saturday 14 April while crossing the Reitdiep by a bullet from a German sniper who entrenched himself with others in the water tower on the Herman Colleniusstraat.

The next morning it is cold and foggy. Canadian combat units are still under fire from the water tower when they try to get to the other side of the Reitdiep via a ship. Skippers come to the rescue and place a barge as cover alongside the ship used for the crossing.

Canadian soldiers safely reach the other side and begin to clear the area. They go into every house to see if there are any Germans. The German snipers in the water tower are now also targeted by the Canadians. Around 13:00 a cannon is set up on the Prinsesseweg to fire on the German snipers in the water tower. This one fires a number of shots at the water tower. The water reservoir is hit and a huge mass of water flows out of the tower. An eyewitness later stated, “It was like a giant peeing.”

Meanwhile, Canadian Captain A.R. Hanna was given a rowboat to transport his rations to a safe place because the soldiers had to receive their food, drink and cigarettes on time even though they were in the midst of hand-to-hand and house-to-house combat.