The Netherlands / Monument
The monument keeps alive the memory of the 54 American soldiers who were killed in action during the heavy fighting around Ospel in October and November 1944.
After participating in the bloody battle around Overloon until 8 October 1944, the remaining men of the heavily mauled American 7th Armored Division were given a bit of breathing space in the more quiet front sector between Weert and Deurne. They thought that they were safe behind the Peel canals, and it looked like they were finally living up to their nickname: ‘Lucky Seventh’. However, nothing was further from the truth, as around 24,000 German soldiers crossed the Noordervaart and the Deurne canal on 27 October. The offensive was aimed at relieving the pressure on the Zeeland front and took the Americans completely by surprise. Meijel and Ospel, places that had only just been liberated, fell into the hands of the Germans again. Finally, the attackers reached Liesel on 29 October, but because of a lack of reinforcements, they did not get much further. The opposite happened on the Allied side. In a hurry, the British transferred a Scottish infantry division and a tank brigade from Tilburg, which had just been liberated, to the front in the Peel on that same 29 of October. They managed to halt the German advance. Early in November, the Americans reconquered Ospel. The Scots tried to take Meijel but were faced with tough and competent German opposition. The attack failed, and the village would not be liberated until 16 November. During the bloody battle for Ospel, the 7th Armored Division sustained heavy losses again: 54 soldiers were killed and more than 300 men were injured.
On 8 November 1944, the Americans left the scene of battle in the Peel. The Lucky Seventh was hardly given any time for rest and recuperation, as from 16 November they had to deal with superior German forces again. This time at St. Vith in the Belgian Ardennes.
Plattepeeldijk 24, 6035 RP Ospel