The Netherlands / Battlefield
Nieuwdorp was liberated on October 30, 1944 by Canadian soldiers from the Essex Scottish Regiment. On the same day, the first Canadian units reached the Walcheren Causeway and were facing an attack across the dam.
Canadian units carried out several attacks to conquer the Sloedam, but they all ended in heavy losses. On 2 November 1944 the attack was continued by the Scottish 52nd Lowland Division. The commander of this unit, General-major Hakewill-Smith, realised that the frontal attacks on the dam were not going to be successful and came up with an alternative plan. In addition to an attack across the Causeway itself, Scottish troops would cross the Sloe Channel from the small harbour of Nieuwdorp and outflank the German troops. This operation was codenamed Mallard.
As early as 1943, the Dutch resistance had mapped out shallows across the mudflats and marshes of the Sloe Channel. Following the clearing of mines and the marking of the route in the night of 2 to November 3, the first Scottish units crossed the Sloe Channel from the harbour of Nieuwdorp; partly in boats, partly wading. The German defences were completely overwhelmed and collapsed.
In the Liberation Museum in Nieuwdorp, the Battle of the Scheldt is discussed in detail. Here, the story of the liberation of Zeeland can be experienced both inside the museum, and outside, where you can walk around in a reconstruction of the Zeeland landscape with dykes, water and polders.
Visit the Zeeuwse Ankers website (Zeeland Anchors) for comprehensive information, personal stories and videos about the Battle of the Scheldt.