The Netherlands / Fortification
At the end of October 1944, Canadian units attacked the bunker system of Stützpunkt Cadzand-Badhuis during their advance from Breskens. What began as a simple operation, would become an exhausting battle to defeat the last German units in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen.
On October 30, while clearing the Cadzand area, the Canadians were heavily attacked from the fortified foothold, Stützpunkt Cadzand-Badhuis, and by the coastal artillery on Walcheren. It was not until a day later that the ‘Regina Rifles’ closed in on the heavy, bomb-free bunkers of the Stützpunkt. In the end, even after air strikes of fighter bombers, they were unable to reach the bunkers. Units of the Canadian Scottish Regiment took over the attack, encircling the Stützpunkt. Yet it was fiercely defended by German naval units.
In the early morning of November 1, even anti-tank guns were used to support the attack. By that time, the Canadians were no longer being targeted by coastal artillery on Walcheren. As these got caught up in the fight following the Allied landings in Westkapelle and Flushing. Canadian units attacked unsuccessfully throughout the night, and only one bunker was taken.
Canadian mortar attacks set the Stützpunkt on fire on November 2nd. This resulted in negotiations. A German doctor sought contact and requested a short armistice to take care of the wounded. The Canadian commander refused. The doctor was told that Major General Eberding had surrendered in Knokke the previous day. This proved to be sufficient: the last German support point in West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen yielded unconditionally. Operation Switchback came to an end.
Visit the Zeeuwse Ankers website (Zeeland Anchors) for comprehensive information, personal stories and videos about the Battle of the Scheldt.
Duinweg, Cadzand Bad