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Dramas surrounding liberation




After the liberation of Bergen op Zoom on the 27th of October 1944, the city remains under attack and there are casualties among both soldiers and civilians. Piet Hoedelmans, then 13 years old, talks about it.

On the 27th of October 27 1944, after the liberation of a section of Bergen op Zoom, the situation remained dangerous. There were still German troops north of the Zoom. They had blocked the roads, dug tank ditches and laid concrete anti-tank blocks. From behind this line, they fired artillery on the town, resulting in dead and wounded.

The Canadians attempted several times without success to cross the Zoom. But, eventually, they managed to build a Bailey bridge and blow up the concrete blockades on the Zoomdam. On the 31st of October, after heavy fighting, the Germans had to surrender the Zoom line. Among the Canadians were 135 dead, wounded and missing. There were also civilian causalities in Bergen op Zoom.