The Netherlands / Story

The Beiler defence surprised




The bridge over the Linthorst-Homan Canal had been blown up, so the Canadian liberators had to take a different way on that Thursday, 12 April 1945. The bridge along Beilervaart / Brunsting was still intact, through which Beilen could be reached. But it was not an easy task.

There was a German bunker on the Markt in Beilen, which had to be captured. The liberators decided to take Beilen through a surprise attack from Brunstingerstraat. 'Frühstück' (breakfast) was prepared in the German field kitchen at 04:00. A clerk was sleeping in the staff office. A handful of German soldiers were on guard in the bunker at Markt. 

When the Canadians opened fire, the Germans appeared to be taken completely by surprise, but it did not take long for them to respond. A Panzerfaust (handheld anti-tank weapons) struck a Canadian Bren Carrier from the bunker. Two Canadians lost their lives. 

The Canadians even bombarded the small concrete fortress with flamethrowers. Two houses on Brunstingerstraat and the barn behind the De Veehandel café on Markt caught fire as a result. J. Hepping's storefront also burned down. 

The B company of the 1st regiment cleared the houses on Havenstraat, during which several German soldiers were overpowered. 

The A Company captured the bunker at the same time, with it being destroyed by a so-called A/T canon. Other soldiers meanwhile moved into the village where they took out mainly Germans in civilian clothes who were ambushed in some places. 

At around 10:00 the Canadians had rounded up the last Germans and Beilen was liberated.