The Netherlands / Battlefield
On November 5, the battle at the Walcheren Causeway ended and Scottish and Canadian units advanced towards Middelburg. At that time, units of the Scottish 52nd Lowland Division tried to approach Middelburg via the Canal Dyke of the Walcheren Canal. They were met with fierce resistance. The plan to enter Middelburg via this route was abandoned. A second route, via Koudekerke and the flooded lands around Middelburg, was explored on November 5 with Buffalo amphibious vehicles.
This line of attack did not seem to be defended. On November 6 a company of the Royal Scots led by major Hugh Johnston advanced with eleven Buffalo’s in the direction of Middelburg. They did not know whether the German units in the city would resist. One of the Buffalo’s hit a mine at the former German headquarters in the Toorenvliedt estate resulting in the death of six soldiers. Despite this, the advance toward Middelburg was continued.
Large parts of Walcheren were flooded because of Allied bombings. Middelburg was filled with refugees looking for a dry place to stay. The Allied Column drove through the crowded city towards the Dam Square. There was no German resistance. On Dam Square they found the German units, ready to capitulate. General Daser initially refused to surrender to a lower ranking officer.
The company commander, major Johnston, then introduced himself as a colonel and commanding officer of a larger British unit. As a result, Daser decided to surrender. More than 2000 German soldiers joined him in captivity. After the surrender, isolated German units would still continue to fight. They surrendered near Vrouwenpolder on November 8.
Visit the Zeeuwse Ankers website (Zeeland Anchors) for comprehensive information, personal stories and videos about the Battle of the Scheldt.
Dam 6, 4331 GJ Middelburg