The Netherlands / Audiospot

Bombs and cigarettes




On the 30th of October 1944, the people of Roosendaal can finally smoke a cigarette with their liberators. Much has happened in the preceding years. Thanks to the railway junction, the town has often been the target of bombing raids, some of which resulted in many deaths. Finally they are liberated by the British division known as the Polar Bears.

On the 30th of October 1944, Roosendaal was liberated by the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division, known as the Polar Bears. In the preceding days, the battle raged around Roosendaal. The British had trouble crossing the tank ditch that virtually surrounded the city. A heavy battle erupted in the Wouw -Roosendaal-Nispen triangle. In the meantime, a German demolition unit blew up culverts and bridges, including those on the Kade.

During the war, Roosendaal had frequently been the target of bombing, because the city was an important railway junction. At the beginning of the war by the Luftwaffe and later by the British and Americans, resulting in many deaths.

Around 10.30 in the morning on the 30th of October 1944, a Bailey bridge was constructed over the Kade and heavy equipment rolled into the city. The people of Roosendaal enthusiastically greeted their liberators.