Belgium / Landmark
On 10 September 1944, after several days of heavy fighting around Beringen and Beverlo, British troops tried to enter Leopoldsburg. The attack on the village was not without difficulty. On the western side of Leopoldsburg, a reconnaissance patrol was brought to a successful conclusion. However, the advance from the east was accompanied by heavy losses. The liberation of Leopoldsburg would be delayed by a day.
Compared to the events of the previous day, the attack on Leopoldsburg on 11 September was a carried out quickly. The plan to take the village was the same as the day before, only with many more troops. The 13th/18th Royal Hussars attacked from the west, and the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards from the east. The attack started in the early afternoon and within the hour British troops controlled the village, after limited German resistance. In the late afternoon, the Belgian Piron Brigade also arrived in Leopoldsburg. The British halted their advance on the Quatre-Bras. During the evening of 11 September this junction formed an important link in the security perimeter around Leopoldsburg. However, the British troops first had to clear a number of mines that the retreating Germans had placed here on top of the cobblestones
Although the liberation had gone fairly smoothly, 11 September would end badly for the Piron Brigade. Towards evening time, Colonel Piron ordered some reconnaissance patrols from the crossroads towards Kerkhoven and Balen. The patrol towards Kerkhoven went smoothly, and the Belgian soldiers reported that the village was deserted. However, during the patrol towards Balen the Pantserwagens (armoured cars) were ambushed by the 88mm guns of the 6./Schwere Flak-Abteilung 602. Before their departure, British soldiers had asked what the Belgians were up to with their Pantserwagens armed with 'prop guns'. Consequently, the German ambush caused immediate casualties. An armoured car was hit and two Belgian soldiers were killed. After nightfall, the rest of the patrol retreated towards the crossroads. The fallen Belgians, Marcel Benoot and Lucien Simoen, were recovered from the wreckage by the locals.
Antwerpsesteenweg 2, 3970 Leopoldsburg