The Netherlands / Monument

General on the Westerschelde estuary




The First Polish Armoured Division had liberated all of East Zeeuws-Vlaanderen on 20 September 1944. Near the hamlet of De Griete, Polish tanks were the first allied forces to reach the Westerschelde. Today, a statue of the Polish general Maczek looks out over the Westerschelde, searching for the first Allied ships heading for Antwerp.

Control of the Westerschelde was the trigger for the Battle of the Scheldt and of great importance to the Allies. After all, the estuary was the gateway to the port of Antwerp.

As a tribute to the Polish liberators, a statue of General Stanislaw Maczek was unveiled on the liberation pier at De Griete in 2022. Maczek was commander-in-chief of the First Polish Armoured Division, which was formed in Scotland in February 1942 and added to the First Canadian Army in 1944. This army made a major contribution to the liberation of northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Zeedijk, De Griete