The Netherlands / Monument
In the night of 25 to October 26, a few thousand Scottish soldiers from the 156th Infantry Brigade stepped into Buffalo amphibious vehicles and set sail for South Beveland. This operation, Vitality II, started from Terneuzen to reach two locations near Baarland (code named Amber Beach) and south of Hoedekenskerke (code named Green Beach). With these landings, the allied forces tried to outflank the German defensive line at the South Beveland Canal.
Prior to the landings, Allied artillery shelled the landing sites from across the Scheldt. As a result, many houses in Hoedekenskerke were destroyed and many civilians were killed.
When the Scottish units went ashore, they encountered little resistance. During the morning, they eventually managed to merge both bridgeheads. At that time, the first reinforcements arrived with Buffalo and Terrapin amphibious vehicles. In the following days, German prisoners of war, Allied wounded personnel and Dutch citizens were evacuated across the Scheldt while the Scottish 157th Infantry Brigade was shuttled towards the battlefield.
Fierce fighting took place at Hoedekenskerke over the course of three days before the village was liberated. Farms were severely damaged, or went entirely up in flames, and many houses were destroyed. These last few days of the war caused the death of 26 civilians.
Visit the Zeeuwse Ankers website (Zeeland Anchors) for comprehensive information, personal stories and videos about the Battle of the Scheldt.