The Netherlands / Cemetery

British War Cemetery




Milsbeek War Cemetery is the smallest British war cemetery in the region. It is part of the parochial cemetery behind the church. 210 British soldiers, mostly Scots and Irish, are buried here. They fell in February and March 1945 during Operation Veritable, the last major battle on the Western Front in and around the Reichswald.

Milsbeek is located on the Dutch edge of the German Reichswald. After the unsuccessful airborne landings near Arnhem in September 1944, the front stagnated and the region remained frontline territory for five months. Many monuments and burial grounds serve as reminders of this difficult time. Other military cemeteries in the region are located in Mook, Groesbeek, Nijmegen, and in the Reichswald. Many fallen German soldiers are buried in the German War Cemetery in Ysselsteyn.

The battle for the Reichswald, Operation Veritable, raged between 8 February and 11 March 1945. The offensive was part of a combined Anglo-American offensive to capture the area between the rivers Rhine and Meuse. The British and Canadians took care of the northern sector. The British bore the brunt of the attack, as the Americans in their sector were set back by extremely high water levels in the river Ruhr and had to wait for weeks for the water to subside. Bloody fighting broke out in the Reichswald. Operation Veritable cost the lives of 23,000 British soldiers. The German losses were much higher, however: in addition to 38,000 dead and wounded, 52,000 men were taken prisoner. 

Kerkstraat 27, 6596 AK Milsbeek