Sherman tank - Woensdrecht
Woensdrecht was an important strategic point: it was the only way to reach the Zeeland islands of Zuid-Beveland and Walcheren by land and to liberate the Scheldt estuary. If the Canadian troops managed to capture Woensdrecht, the German military in the west would be cut off from their main force.
The Battle of Woensdrecht began on 7 October 1944 and became one of the heaviest battles on Dutch soil. Friday 13 October 1944 ranks as one of the bloodiest battles: the Canadian Black Watch Regiment, composed of mostly inexperienced soldiers, fought the well-prepared Germans on open ground. They lost 183 men, including 56 killed.
Nevertheless, the Canadians managed to capture Woensdrecht on 16 October. In memory of the Canadian fighters, an original M4 Sherman tank was unveiled at the Onderstal in 1978, which was used by the Canadians in the battle at the time. The number 52 on the tank refers to the 10th Canadian Armoured Regiment.
Photo: ©VisitBrabant Routebureau