The Netherlands / Story





On Saturday 14 April 1945, the Canadians advanced via the Parkweg to the main station and in the late afternoon the entire station area was under control. Captain George Blackburn: “From the Park Bridge we ran to the train station without any cover. We climbed platforms and ran over rails and were fired upon from the signal box.

There was an empty passenger train at a platform with all compartment lights on, hurriedly abandoned luggage everywhere. Suddenly there is a huge explosion in the station building. It turned out that our boys had found a safe and opened it this way.”

Gunner Dick Field, who had been assigned to the Canadian infantry as a radio operator, followed the same advance route: "Our target was the railway yard. I was initially in a carrier. We stopped on the corner of a street, close to the wall of a building, where our captain took time to study his map. He then ordered us to dive deep into the carrier and ordered the driver to go full throttle. But at the exact same moment, a tank less than fifteen meters from us fired a shot. The pressure wave knocked entire batches of tiles from the roofs, so that we were covered in a rain of half and whole tiles. Rocky, our driver, suffered a serious shoulder injury, but luckily no fracture. The tank commander saw what he had done to us and raised his hand in an apologetic gesture.

We got going after that and it was a wild ride. Hiding deep in the carrier, I pointed my Bren machine gun at the windows of the upstairs apartments to shoot at snipers, but saw none. I sometimes saw a curtain move, but I didn't dare shoot, because it could be a curious citizen. Still, there must have been snipers, as the rear of our carrier was repeatedly hit by bullets. After we had passed a number of residential blocks at full speed, we turned left and a relative calm set in. Rocky had once again proved his excellent riding skills, despite his badly injured shoulder.