The Netherlands / Battlefield

German retreat




On 22 September 1944, the major part of Nederweert was liberated by scouts from the illustrious 3rd British Infantry Division.

Nederweert is situated north of the intersection of the Wessem-Nederweert Canal and the Noordervaart. In the autumn of 1944, that geographical condition was used to the full by the German defenders and made a swift Allied advance more difficult.

Scouts of the 3rd British infantry division liberated the town centre on Friday 22 September 1944. One day earlier, they had already crossed the municipal border by passing through the hamlet of Strateris. A. Smit wrote in his diary: “Our liberators are coming across the Booldersdijk. Two tanks have been spotted: a small flat one and one with a turret. Great excitement! Until 5.30, nothing special happened. Only three rockets that got the Jerries running back in a hurry. At 8.30, a short fierce fire: one of the English armoured cars has been shot to pieces.”

The next day, the Germans evacuated the village and withdrew behind the Noordervaart and the Wessem-Nederweert Canal, from where they bombarded Nederweert and its surroundings with artillery fire. They kept doing that for two months. It was not until 20 November that the southeastern part of the municipal area (Nederweert-Eind) was finally rid of Germans.