Capitulation of Walcheren

The Netherlands




Walcheren was of great strategic importance due to its location at the mouth of the Scheldt Estuary and the strong Atlantic Wall. The Allies started the invasion of Walcheren with Operation Infatuate II: A landing around the bombed Zeedijk near Westkapelle. On November 1 British troops landed there and Domburg was reached. From November 4 the advance to Vrouwenpolder started to drive back and eliminate the last German resistance.

The days following the landings at Westkapelle, the important German artillery batteries were captured north of the Scheldt and around Domburg, after that the final act of the Battle of the Scheldt could begin; ousting the last German units from the coastal area between Domburg and Vrouwenpolder. Although the defence here was much lighter than around the Scheldt, the battle would last a few days and result in numerous losses, especially as a result of mines and sharpshooters. Despite the desperate situation, the Germans continued to supply their isolated troops.

On November 4, 41 Royal Marine Commando from Domburg was able to commence the final offensive. Reinforced with other British units, the attack was launched against the batteries and bunkers north of Domburg and around Oostkapelle. After a fierce battle, the last German defence works were captured on November 8.

In the early morning of November 8, German soldiers approached the Allied headquarters in the Overduin estate near Oostkapelle. They indicated that they wanted to negotiate the capitulation of the last German units on Walcheren. The British commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Dawson, was then driven to the German headquarters in Vrouwenpolder. Just after noon, the capitulation of the last 1,400 German soldiers in the north-west part of Walcheren was accepted there. This concluded the Battle of the Scheldt.


Fort Den Haakweg 5, 4354 AE Vrouwenpolder