Vector of Memory

The Battle of Overloon

The Netherlands




One of the most intense battles in the Netherlands during the Second World War took place in the vicinity of Overloon as American and British tanks and infantry fought against German troops. Not long after Operation Market Garden failed. Overloon was nearly completely destroyed by Allied artillery fire on 12 October 1944. More than 40,000 shells were fired at the village on that day.

After Overloon was captured, the battle for Venray to the south also became very tense. The battle at the Loobeek brook was so fierce that it was nicknamed ‘Bloedbeek’ (blood brook). The Allies liberated Venray on 18 October. The Battle of Overloon was over. It is estimated that more than a thousand soldiers died here. Many of them are buried in the British War Cemeteries in Overloon and Venray and the German War Cemetery in Ysselsteyn. The American casualties were buried at different locations.