Paesi Bassi / Luogo di interesse

Cycling enemy under fire



Indicazioni stradali

The Canadian troops were looking to cross Drenthe with a sizeable army as quickly as possible, with the aim of liberating Groningen and taking the Eemshaven. This way they could cut off the Germans elsewhere in the Netherlands from their homeland. The Manitoba Dragoons were a reconnaissance unit that went ahead. They also came through Zuidwolde.

As armoured vehicles rode into Zuidwolde cautiously and prepared for anything, a procession of excited people followed them. This had to be the liberation! This was what everyone had been waiting for.  

All of a sudden, the vehicles drove into Jan Emmink’s yard, which later became known as Hoofdstraat 108. The machine guns started to rattle. The people did not expect this at all and fled in all directions.  

What was happening? They saw some German soldiers cycling from the direction of the cemetery towards Kerkenbosch. Fire was opened on these German cyclists.  

Willem Steenbergen, a retired farmer, lived at Meppelerweg close to the Hoofdstraat. He followed the unfolding skirmishes from the garden in front of his house, only to be fatally hit by a stray bullet. He died at 17:30, at the age of 68. Two Germans were killed in the firefight.