Holandia / Audiospot

A german Wall




In the autumn of 1944, there was a massive concrete anti-tank wall near this place. It was part of the German defences. From the 31st of October to the 3rd of November 1944, a battle between the Canadian liberators and the German occupiers raged around Welberg. Even after liberation, there were still casualties at the wall.

German troops had built defensive works around the villages of Steenbergen and Welberg to halt or delay the Allied advance. In some places, such as here fifty metres down the Moerstraatseweg, there was a concrete anti-tank wall.

After the Canadian Algonquin Regiment was stalled by German mortar and gunfire, on the 2nd of November 1944, troops from another unit launched another attempt to take Welberg. They too came under heavy fire and additionally faced a German Sturmgeschütz, a mobile tracked gun. The battle was only over when Canadian artillery was able to destroy the Sturmgeschütz.

But after the liberation, another drama took place at the wall instead. The brothers Piet and Koos Helmons died in an accident with a mine.