The Netherlands / Monument
Breskens was bombed on September, 11 1944. Using air strikes, the British Royal Air Force tried to prevent the retreat of German troops over the Scheldt estuary. Not only the port, but also parts of the village were hit during the air raid. 184 civilians were killed that day.
During the Second World War, the German occupying forces built bunkers and fortifications in and around the strategically located port of Breskens. After the fall of Antwerp on September 4, 1944, the Allied forces failed to advance to Zeeland. This left the Scheldt estuary in German hands. The German troops still present in the region, regrouped. Between September 6 and September 20, 1944, the Germans even saw opportunity to ferry almost 100.000 troops part of the 15th army from France and Belgium via Zeeuws-Vlaanderen across the Scheldt estuary. To bring this to an end, the Allies bombed Breskens on September 11.
The bombing began at 4.30 pm. For the civilian population, the attack came as a bolt from the blue. The first bombs fell near the harbour, after which the village was hit. Many people were killed and injured, both on the streets and in their houses. Following the bombardment, much of the village was in ruins. A total of 184 civilians was killed.
Visit the Zeeuwse Ankers website (Zeeland Anchors) for comprehensive information, personal stories and videos about the Battle of the Scheldt.
Steenoven 1a, 4511 BL Breskens