The Netherlands / Audiospot
On the 29th of October 1944, soldiers of the 1st Polish Armoured Division enter Breda. After several artillery bombardments and battles, they liberate the residents of Breda. As a symbol of solidarity with the people of Breda, they give them this tank as a gift in 1945.
The occupying forces did not abandon Breda without a struggle in the last days before the liberation. Although most of the German troops had been ordered to retreat behind the Mark Canal, small units remained in the town, with the task of slowing the Allied advance.
And so fighting took place at different places in the city and there were also casualties among the civilians. The liberators were a surprise to many of the people of Breda. They were Polish soldiers from the 1st Polish Armoured Division under General Maczek.
They fought German units in the Ginneken, along the Teteringsedijk and around the Coothplein. On the 29th of October 1944, they reached the Grote Markt and Breda was liberated. The enthusiastic people of Breda cheered them to the skies.