Pays-Bas / Fortification

Air defence 's-Hertogenbosch




Soon after liberation, the Canadian forces placed anti-aircraft guns around 's-Hertogenbosch, intended to protect vital infrastructure such as waterways, roads, the railway station, and the headquarters. The anti-aircraft artillery achieved its only success at the end of 1944.

In late October 1944, soon after the liberation, a ring of Canadian anti-aircraft guns was set up around 's-Hertogenbosch. The main purpose of the guns of the 101st Battery of the 8th Canadian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RCA, was to protect the Brabant capital from air attacks on vital infrastructure, such as water pipes, roads, and the railway station. This tactic was no different then than today, as can still be seen in modern day wars. Also important was the headquarters of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division (Vokes), which was in Vught, just inside the ring of anti-aircraft defences.

The 101st Battery consisted of three troops, each with six pieces of artillery; a total of eighteen 40mm Bofors rapid-fire guns were thus positioned around the town, with three around the IJzeren Vrouw (the Iron Woman) lake. On 7 December, these three Bofors fired at two low-flying German Messerschmitt 109 fighter planes, and Sergeant Elliott's gun on the south-east side of the lake hit one of the fighters as it made a dive over the town. The German aircraft billowed out smoke and crashed just above Hedel, in occupied territory. This was a unique event for the gun crews, and the Messerschmitt was the only plane shot down by the battery during the war.

Westenburgerweg 24, s-Hertogenbosch