History

Wars & Campaigns

Boer War
First World War

►►Western Front

►►►Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

►►Allied Offensive: 1916

►►►Allied Offensives: 1917

►►►German Offensive: 1918

►►►Advance to Victory: 1918

►►Siberia
Second World War
►►War Against Japan

►►Italian Campaign

►►►Sicily

►►►Southern Italy

►►►The Sangro and Moro

►►►Battles of the FSSF

►►►Cassino

►►►Liri Valley

►►►Advance to Florence

►►►Gothic Line

►►►Winter Lines
►►North-West Europe

►►►Normandy
►►►Southern France
►►►Channel Ports

►►►Scheldt
►►►Nijmegen Salient

►►►Rhineland

►►►Final Phase
Korean War
Cold War
Gulf War

Operations 

GAUNTLET Aug 1941

(Spitsbergen)

HUSKY Jul 1943

 (Sicily)

COTTAGE Aug 1943

 (Kiska)

TIMBERWOLF Oct 1943

(Italy)

OVERLORD Jun 1944

(Normandy)

MARKET-GARDEN Sep 44

(Arnhem)

BERLIN Nov 1944

(Nijmegen)

VERITABLE Feb 1945

(Rhineland)

Battle Honours

Boer War

►Paardeberg

18 Feb 00

First World War
Western Front
Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

Ypres, 1915

22 Apr-25 May 15

Gravenstafel

22-23 Apr 15

St. Julien

24 Apr-4 May 15

Frezenberg

8-13 May 15

Bellewaarde

24-25 May 15

Festubert, 1915

15-25 May 15

Mount Sorrel

2-13 Jun 16

Allied Offensive: 1916

►Somme, 1916

1 Jul-18 Nov 16

►Albert

.1-13 Jul 16

►Bazentin

.14-17 Jul 16

►Pozieres

.23 Jul-3 Sep 16

►Guillemont

.3-6 Sep 16

►Ginchy

.9 Sep 16

Flers-Courcelette

15-22 Sep 16

Thiepval

26-29 Sep 16

►Le Transloy

. 1-18 Oct 16

Ancre Heights

1 Oct-11 Nov 16

Ancre, 1916

13-18 Nov 16

Allied Offensives: 1917

►Arras 1917

8 Apr-4 May 17

Vimy, 1917

.9-14 Apr 17

Arleux

28-29 Apr 17

►Scarpe, 1917

.3-4 May17

►Hill 70

.15-25 Aug 17

►Messines, 1917

.7-14 Jun 17

►Ypres, 1917

..31 Jul-10 Nov 17

►Pilckem

31 Jul-2 Aug 17

►Langemarck, 1917

.16-18 Aug 17

►Menin Road

.20-25 Sep 17

►Polygon Wood

26 Sep-3 Oct 17

►Broodseinde

.4 Oct 17

►Poelcapelle

.9 Oct 17

►Passchendaele

.12 Oct 17

►Cambrai, 1917

20 Nov-3 Dec 17

German Offensive: 1918

►Somme, 1918

.21 Mar-5 Apr 18

►St. Quentin

.21-23 Mar 18

►Bapaume, 1918

.24-25 Mar 18

►Rosieres

.26-27 Mar 18

►Avre

.4 Apr 18

►Lys

.9-29 Apr 18

►Estaires

.9-11 Apr 18

►Messines, 1918

.10-11 Apr 18

►Bailleul

.13-15 Apr 18

►Kemmel

.17-19 Apr 18

Advance to Victory: 1918

Amiens

8-11 Aug 18

►Arras, 1918

.26 Aug-3 Sep 18

►Scarpe, 1918

26-30 Aug 18.

►Drocourt-Queant

.2-3 Sep 18

►Hindenburg Line

.12 Sep-9 Oct 18

►Canal du Nord

.27 Sep-2 Oct 18

►St. Quentin Canal .29 Sep-2 Oct 18
►Epehy

3-5 Oct 18

►Cambrai, 1918

.8-9 Oct 18

►Valenciennes

.1-2 Nov 18

►Sambre

.4 Nov 18

►Pursuit to Mons .28 Sep-11Nov

Second World War

War Against Japan

South-East Asia

Hong Kong

 8-25 Dec 41

Italian Campaign

Battle of Sicily

Landing in Sicily 

   9-12 Jul 43

Grammichele 

15 Jul 43

Piazza Armerina

16-17 Jul 43

Valguarnera

17-19 Jul 43

Assoro 

  20-22 Jul 43

Leonforte

 21-22 Jul 43

Agira

24-28 Jul 43

Adrano 

29 Jul-7 Aug 43

Catenanuova

29-30 Jul 43

Regalbuto

29 Jul-3 Aug 43

Centuripe

  31 Jul-3 Aug 43

Troina Valley

 2-6 Aug 43

Pursuit to Messina

 2-17 Aug 43

 Southern Italy

Landing at Reggio

 3 Sep 43

Potenza 19-20 Sep 43
Motta Montecorvino 1-3 Oct 43
Termoli 3-6 Oct 43
Monte San Marco 6-7 Oct 43
Gambatesa 7-8 Oct 43
Campobasso 11-14 Oct 43
Baranello 17-18 Oct 43
Colle d'Anchise 22-24 Oct 43
Torella 24-27 Oct 43

The Sangro and Moro

The Sangro

19 Nov-3 Dec 43

Castel di Sangro

.23-24 Nov 43

The Moro

5-7 Dec 43

San Leonardo

8-9 Dec 43

The Gully

..10-19 Dec 43

Casa Berardi

 ..14-15 Dec 43

Ortona

20-28 Dec 43

San Nicola-San

.31 Dec 43

Tommaso

.
Point 59/ 29 Dec 43-

Torre Mucchia

4 Jan 44

Battles of the FSSF
Monte Camino

.5 Nov-9 Dec 43

Monte la Difensa-

2-8 Dec 43

 Monte la Remetanea

.
Hill 720

25 Dec 43

Monte Majo

3-8 Jan 44.

Radicosa

4 Jan 44

Monte Vischiataro

8 Jan 44

Anzio

22 Jan-22 May 44

Rome

.22 May-4 Jun 44

Advance

.22 May-22 Jun 44

to the Tiber

.
►Monte Arrestino

25 May 44

►Rocca Massima

27 May 44

►Colle Ferro

2 Jun 44

Cassino
►Cassino II

11-18 May 44

►Gustav Line

11-18 May 44

►Sant' Angelo in

13 May 44

Teodice

.
►Pignataro

14-15 May 44

Liri Valley
Liri Valley

18-30 May 44

►Hitler Line

18-24 May 44

►Aquino

18-24 May 44

►Melfa Crossing

24-25 May 44

►Ceprano

26-27 May 44

►Torrice Crossroads

30 May 44

Advance to Florence
Advance

17 Jul-10 Aug 44

to Florence

.
Trasimene Line

20-30 Jun 44

Sanfatucchio

20-21 Jun 44

Arezzo

4-17 Jul 44

Cerrone

25 - 31 Aug 44

Gothic Line
►Gothic Line

25 Aug-22 Sep 44

►Monteciccardo

27-28 Aug 44

►Montecchio

30-31 Aug 44

►Point 204 (Pozzo Alto)

31 Aug 44

►Monte Luro

1 Sep 44

►Borgo Santa Maria

1 Sep 44

►Tomba di Pesaro

1-2 Sep 44

►Coriano

3-15 Sep 44

►Lamone Crossing

2-13 Sep 44

Winter Lines
►Rimini Line

14-21 Sep 44

►San Martino-

14-18 Sep 44

San Lorenzo

.
►San Fortunato

18-20 Sep 44

►Casale

23-25 Sep 44

►Sant' Angelo

11-15 Sep 44

 in Salute

.
►Bulgaria Village

13-14 Sep 44

►Cesena

15-20 Sep 44

►Pisciatello

16-19 Sep 44

►Savio Bridgehead

20-23 Sep 44

►Monte La Pieve

13-19 Oct 44

►Monte Spaduro

19-24 Oct 44

►Monte San Bartolo

11-14 Nov 44

►Capture of Ravenna

3-4 Dec 44

►Naviglio Canal

12-15 Dec 44

►Fosso Vecchio

16-18 Dec 44

►Fosso Munio

19-21 Dec 44

►Conventello-

2-6 Jan 45

Comacchio

.
►Granarolo

3-5 Jan 44

Northwest Europe
Dieppe

19 Aug 42

Battle of Normandy
Normandy Landing

6 Jun 44

Authie

7 Jun 44

Putot-en-Bessin

8 Jun 44

Bretteville

8-9 Jun 44

       -l'Orgueilleuse .
Le Mesnil-Patry

11 Jun 44

Carpiquet

4-5 Jul 44

Caen

4-18 Jul 44

The Orne (Buron)

8-9 Jul 44

Bourguébus Ridge

18-23 Jul 44

Faubourg-de-

18-19 Jul 44

       Vaucelles .
St. André-sur-Orne

19-23 Jul 44

Maltôt

22-23 Jul 44

Verrières Ridge-Tilly--

25 Jul 44

         la-Campagne .
Falaise

7-22 Aug 44

►Falaise Road

7-9 Aug 44

►Quesnay Road

10-11 Aug 44

Clair Tizon

11-13 Aug 44

►The Laison

14-17 Aug 44

►Chambois

18-22 Aug 44

►St. Lambert-sur-

19-22 Aug 44

       Dives

.

Dives Crossing

17-20 Aug 44

Forêt de la Londe

27-29 Aug 44

The Seine, 1944

25-28 Aug 44

Southern France
Southern France

15-28 Aug 44

Channel Ports
Dunkirk, 1944

8-15 Sep 44

Le Havre

1-12 Sep 44

Moerbrugge

8-10 Sep 44

Moerkerke

13-14 Sep 44

Boulogne, 1944

17-22 Sep 44

Calais, 1944

25 Sep-1 Oct 44

Wyneghem

21-22 Sep 44

Antwerp-Turnhout

   24-29 Sep 44

Canal

.

The Scheldt

The Scheldt

1 Oct-8 Nov 44

Leopold Canal

6-16 Oct-44

►Woensdrecht

1-27 Oct 44

Savojaards Platt

9-10 Oct 44

Breskens Pocket

11 Oct -3 Nov 44

►The Lower Maas

20 Oct -7 Nov 44

►South Beveland

 24-31 Oct 44

Walcheren

31 Oct -4 Nov 44

Causeway

.

Nijmegen Salient
Ardennes

Dec 44-Jan 45

Kapelsche Veer

31 Dec 44-

.

21Jan 45

The Roer

16-31 Jan 45

Rhineland
The Rhineland

8 Feb-10 Mar 45

►The Reichswald

8-13 Feb 45

►Waal Flats

8-15 Feb 45

►Moyland Wood

14-21 Feb 45

►Goch-Calcar Road

19-21 Feb 45

►The Hochwald

26 Feb-

.

4 Mar 45

►Veen

6-10 Mar 45

►Xanten

8-9 Mar 45

Final Phase
The Rhine

23 Mar-1 Apr 45

►Emmerich-Hoch

28 Mar-1 Apr 45

Elten

.
►Twente Canal

2-4 Apr 45

Zutphen

6-8 Apr 45

Deventer

8-11 Apr 45

Arnhem, 1945

12-14 Apr 45

Apeldoorn

11-17 Apr 45

Groningen

13-16 Apr 45

Friesoythe

14 Apr 45

►Ijselmeer

15-18 Apr 45

Küsten Canal

17-24 Apr 45

Wagenborgen

21-23 Apr 45

Delfzijl Pocket

23 Apr-2 May 45

Leer

28-29 Apr 45

Bad Zwischenahn

23 Apr-4 May 45

Oldenburg

27 Apr-5 May 45

Korean War
Kapyong

21-25 Apr 51

Domestic Missions

FLQ Crisis

International Missions

ICCS            Vietnam 1973

MFO                 Sinai 1986-

Peacekeeping

UNMOGIP

India 1948-1979

UNTSO

 Israel 1948-    ....

UNEF

Egypt 1956-1967

UNOGIL

Lebanon 1958    ....

ONUC

 Congo 1960-1964

UNYOM

Yemen 1963-1964

UNTEA

W. N. Guinea 1963-1964

UNIFCYP

 Cyprus 1964-    ....

DOMREP

D. Republic 1965-1966

UNIPOM

Kashmir 1965-1966

UNEFME

Egypt 1973-1979

UNDOF

Golan 1974-    ....

UNIFIL

 Lebanon 1978    ....

UNGOMAP

Afghanistan 1988-90

UNIIMOG

Iran-Iraq 1988-1991

UNTAG

Namibia 1989-1990

ONUCA

C. America 1989-1992

UNIKOM

Kuwait 1991    ....

MINURSO

W. Sahara 1991    ....

ONUSAL

El Salvador 1991    ....

UNAMIC

Cambodia 1991-1992

UNAVEM II

Angola 1991-1997

UNPROFOR

Yugosla. 1992-1995

UNTAC

Cambodia 1992-1993

UNOSOM

Somalia 1992-1993

ONUMOZ

Mozambiq. 1993-1994

UNOMUR

 Rwanda 1993    ....

UNAMIR

Rwanda 1993-1996

UNMIH

Haiti 1993-1996

UNMIBH

Bosnia/Herz.1993-1996

UNMOP

Prevlaka 1996-2001

UNSMIH

Haiti 1996-1997

MINUGUA

Guatemala 1994-1997

UNTMIH

Haiti 1997    ....

MIPONUH

 Haiti 1997    ....

MINURCA

C.Afr.Rep. 1998-1999

INTERFET

E. Timor 1999-2000

UNAMSIL

Sie. Leone 1999-2005

UNTAET

E. Timor 1999-2000

Exercises

 

Battle of the Scheldt

The Battle of the Scheldt was fought in October 1944 between Allied forces from Canada, the United Kingdom, and Poland, and the German forces occupying territory in northern Belgium and the southwestern portion of The Netherlands during the North-West Europe campaign of the Second World War.

Situation

After the failure to clear many of the Channel Ports in September 1944, the need for port facilities north of Normandy grew acute; Allied supply lines were moving farther and farther away from Normandy, where most of their supplies were landing in Europe, resulting in very long supply runs by truck to the Allied armies. Antwerp had fallen with intact port facilities in September, however, the waterway leading to Antwerp, the Scheldt Estuary, was lined with German forces, and in particular heavy coastal batteries on Walcheren Island prevented any Allied supply ships from approaching the Scheldt in order to land supplies in Antwerp.

First Canadian Army was given the task, as the left-most of the Allied armies on the continent, of clearing the Scheldt Estuary.

Prelude

The fighting in the Battle of Normandy had caused extreme casualties among all the Allied armies between 6 Jun 1944 and the end of Aug. Fighting for the Channel Ports was less intense, but still costly, and as the Canadian Army headed into the Belgium, the need for reinforcements, particularly infantry reinforcements, began to reach crisis proportions.

The British Second Army had advanced into The Netherlands, and in a highly ambitious operation beginning on 17 September 1944, Operation MARKET-GARDEN established bridgeheads over several rivers including the Maas and Waal, and attempted to gain a bridgehead over the Rhine - the last major water barrier separating German territory from western Europe. 

Battle of the Scheldt

The ScheldtLeopold Canal – Woensdrecht – Savojaards PlaatBreskens Pocket – South Beveland – Walcheren Causeway – The Lower Maas

The fighting at Arnhem, on the Rhine, resulted in the destruction of the British 1st Airborne Division and exceedingly heavy losses when relief forces from British XXX Corps failed to reach them before heavy counter-attacks by SS armoured units threatened to annihilate them. (As an aside, several Canloan officers had been part of the 1st Airborne Division.)

Had MARKET-GARDEN been successful, it was conceivable that strong pushes into German territory before the end of 1944 might have resulted in a German capitulation. By 1 October 1944 it was apparent, however, that campaigning would probably extend into 1945, and so emphasis returned to clearing a major port. Antwerp had the second largest port facilities in Europe and over 45 kilometres of docks.

German Defences

German defences in the Scheldt region came under the command of LXVII Korps. The Germans had managed to solidify their defences after the panic of September 1944; had British forces thrust north from Antwerp immediately after its capture, they would have found the Scheldt poorly defended. Instead, Infanterie Division 70 had the opportunity to improve its defences on Walcheren Island.

To the south of the Scheldt, German forces belonged to Infanterie Division 64 under the command of Generalmajor Kurt Eberding. This formation was ordered to defend the south bank of the Scheldt Estuary from Zeebrugge to Terneuzen. This area would later be known as the Breskens Pocket. The division consisted of soldiers with experience from the Eastern Front, and had been raised during the summer of 1944, too late to serve in the fighting in Normandy. The division was nearly at full establishment, with 11,000 soldiers of all ranks. Hitler designated their area of responsibility Scheldt Fortress South; the 64th Division collected weapons from other units of the 15th Army as they retreated through them, eventually fielding 500 machine guns and mortars, 200 anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns of various calibres (including 23 of 8.8cm type), and 70 field guns, with access to the five batteries of coastal artillery on both sides of the Scheldt Estuary.

Up until the liberation of Ossendrecht during the intial move north from Antwerp, the Canadians faced Infanterie Division 346, a low grade unit, as well as elements of Infanterie Division 85 and Kampfgruppe Chill.

Also on South Beveland were naval personnel of the 202nd Marine Artillery Battalion. During the battle, some remnants of Infanterie Division 64 managed to escape north to South Beveland as the Breskens Pocket was reduced.

Opening the Scheldt

Orders for clearing the Scheldt had been given before MARKET-GARDEN, on 12 September 1944. First Canadian Army, with II Canadian Corps under command, also had available the Polish 1st Armoured Division, British 49th (West Riding) Division and eventually the British 52nd (Lowland) Division.

The Battle of the Scheldt consisted of four phases

  • clearing the area north of Antwerp and the neck of the South Beveland peninsula (some of these actions are described in the articles on the Channel Ports.

  • clearing the so-called Breskens Pocket, north of the Leopold Canal and south of the Scheldt Estuary.
  • clearing the area north of the Scheldt Estuary, known as South Beveland .
  • clearing Walcheren Island, and its coastal batteries.

On 2 October 1944 the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division moved north from Antwerp to clear the neck of the South Beveland peninsula. German troops from Kampfgruppe Chill were strongly entrenched in Woensdrecht and Hoogerheide. Several days of bloody fighting beginning on 6 October 1944 failed to dislodge the Germans; terrain was open or flooded and heavily mined. On 13 October 1944, the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada was virtually destroyed launching an attack on a feature known as "the coffin" due to the shape it described on a map.

A final attack on Woensdrecht was launched on 16 October 1944 which finally pushed the Germans out of the neck of the Peninsula. Orders from 21 Army Group made opening the Scheldt a priority, and the 2nd British Army also attacked west from their positions to assist in clearing Dutch territory south of the Maas River, helping secure the Scheldt region from German intervention. The 8th Reconnaissance Regiment also liberated North Beveland.

The 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division, previously fighting south of the Scheldt, moved past the 2nd Canadian Division, to the north, to liberate Bergen op Zoom. By 24 October 1944 German access to South Beveland had been completely cut off. The division paused in Bergen op Zoom before pushing eastwards to St. Philipsland, where it had the distinction of engaging German naval vessels in Zijpe harbour.

Operation SWITCHBACK

4th Canadian (Armoured) Division, divided into two battle groups, advanced from a hard-won bridgehead over the Ghent Canal at Moerbrugge to be faced with both the Leopold and Dérivation de la Lys Canals. An attack in the vicinity of Moerkerke on 14 September had managed to get the division across both these obstacles, but heavy German counterattacks led to loss of the bridgehead.

To the east, the 1st Polish Armoured Division had greater success moving northeast from Ghent over rough terrain and in the face of heavy resistance. They managed to reach the coast by 20 September, and occupied Terneuzen, from where they cleared the bank of the Scheldt all the way to Antwerp.

The area then defended by the Germans was known as the Breskens Pocket, which was strongly defended and extended along the bank of the Scheldt from Zeebrugge to the Braakman Inlet, then inland to the Leopold Canal.

The 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, moving up from France and its assaults on the Channel Ports, set out to cross the Leopold Canal and redress the failure of the Algonquin Regiment to maintain a bridgehead. The attack opened immediately east of the junction of the Leopold and Dérivation de la Lys Canals, aimed at a narrow strip of dry ground beyond the Leopold which formed a long triangle based on the Maldegem-Aardenburg road and reaching a point near the village of Moershoofd 5000 yards to the east.

The 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade attacked on 6 October 1944 with flamethrowing Wasp carriers, while the 9th Brigade made an amphibious attack along the northern coast. The 7th Brigade managed two separate bridgeheads in the face of German counterattacks, and managed to consolidate the gains into one large bridgehead by 9 October. On the morning of 12 October the Canadians managed to cross the Aardenburg road.

The 9th Brigade, mounted in Terrapin and Buffalos of the British 5th Assault Regiment, Royal Engineers, crossed the mouth of the Braakman Inlet, landing near Hoofdplaat and thus putting pressure on both sides of the Breskens Pocket. In spite of a 24 hour delay in mounting the operation, tactical surprise was achieved and a bridgehead maintained in the face of counter-attacks. Infantry from the 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division crossed the Leopold Canal towards the Isabella Polder, and the 8th Brigade of the 3rd Division moved south from the bank of the Scheldt, linking up with troops on the south end of the pocket and allowing the flow of supplies to the amphibious bridgehead on the bank of the Scheldt.


Sapper M.J. Barratt of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division's Royal Canadian Engineers sits amid rubble at the east end of the Leopold Canal on 16 October 1944. LAC Photo.

Fighting continued in the towns of Breskens, Oostburg, Zuidzande and Cadzand, and the fortifications at Fort Frederik Hendrik. Operation SWITCHBACK ended on 3 November 1944 with the final collapse of the Breskens Pocket and the liberation of Knokke and Zeebrugge. All land south of the Scheldt Estuary was in Allied hands.

Operation VITALITY

The movement down the South Beveland Peninsula began on 24 October 1944 when the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division advanced westward from their hard-earned gains at Woensdrecht. Mud, mines, and strong enemy resistance dashed hopes of a quick advance, and the Beveland Canal - bisecting the peninsula - proved to be a major obstacle which had to be defeated by an amphibious landing by the British 52nd (Lowland) Division. With British troops now behind the Canal, the 6th Canadian Brigade attacked the canal head on in assault boats, and engineers managed to establish a crossing on the main west-east road. Once positions on the Beveland Canal were cleared, German resistance on South Beveland collapsed and remnants of the German forces there withdrew to Walcheren Island.

 

Operation INFATUATE

The final phase of the Battle of the Scheldt was the clearing of Walcheren Island. Canadian attempts to reach the island were severely hampered by terrain. The only land approach was a 40 yard wide causeway over the Slooe Channel, known to the Dutch as the Sloedam, and to the Allied soldiers who fought there as the Walcheren Causeway. Several attempts to form a bridgehead on the Walcheren side of the Causeway between 31 October and 2 November 1944 were thrown back by German counter-attacks.

Defences on the Island itself were formidable, and heavy coastal batteries were located on the western and southern coasts, which were fortified against amphibious assault. A landward-facing defensive perimeter had been established at Vlissingen (Flushing), defending the port facilities there in the event of a successful Allied amphibious landing on the island.

Allied heavy bombers attacked Westkapelle on 3 October 1944 in an effort to flood portions of the island and hamper German defensive efforts. On 7 October, two areas near Vlissingen were bombed and on 11 October bombs fell on dykes at Veere. German defenders were forced onto high ground near the towns.

Three different attacks were launched on the island; the Canadians optimistically hoped to "bounce" the Causeway in a lightning move as they came from the east; British troops of the Special Service Brigade and 52nd Division planned amphibious operations from the south and west.

As the Canadians and later 52nd Division fought at the eastern end of the island at Walcheren Causeway, amphibious landings in two parts were launched The amphibious landings were conducted in two parts on 1 November. Operation INFATUATE I saw infantry of the British 155th Infantry Brigade and Number 4 Commando ferried across in small landing craft from Breskens, assaulting a beach in south-east Vlissingen. Heavy street-fighting ensued.

Operation INFATUATE II, also on 1 November, was a major amphibious landing at Westkapelle by the 4th Special Service Brigade, under heavy naval bombardment by the Royal Navy and supported by the 79th Armoured Division with its special purpose armoured engineer vehicles. This forces landing on both sides of a gap in the sea dyke and heavy fighting ensued at Westkapelle.

On 6 November 1944, Middelburg was finally liberated and all fighting on the island had ceased by 8 November, bringing the Battle of the Scheldt to a close.

On 28 November 1944, the first Allied supply convoy entered Antwerp after the Scheldt was swept for mines.

 

Aftermath

The month-long battle had been a severe test for the Canadian Army, and coupled with casualties in the Battle of Normandy and the battles for the Channel Ports, exacerbated a demand for infantry reinforcements which would lead to a full blown crisis in Canada regarding conscription.

The 3rd Canadian Division was dubbed the "Water Rats" by Field Marshal Montgomery, intended as a tribute to the horrible conditions of mud and water which the Canadians had fought through. (General Crerar disliked the nickname and dissuaded others from using it).

In the course of five weeks of fighting, First Canadian Army had taken 41,043 prisoners, and suffered 12,873 casualties (killed, wounded, or missing), 6,367 of whom were Canadian nationals, the remainder from British and Polish units under command.

Antwerp remained a significant location after the Scheldt; German V-2 rockets were launched against the city to disrupt the movement of Allied supplies, and in Dec 1944 the Ardennes Offensive was aimed at recapturing the port.

Experience

Jeffery Williams described the fighting in the Scheldt as follows:

Flat, dyked country, much of it polderland reclaimed from the sea, borders both banks of the Scheldt. Roads and a sprinkling of houses are built on some of the dykes, villages on islands of higher ground. Small orchards and the trees lining roads and canals offer some vertical relief to the landscape but can, in themselves, be monotonous in the regularity of their planting. But dykes had been opened and water glistened on the polders, not deep enough to float an amphibious vehicle but sufficient to drown a wounded man.

There were days of bright sunshine during the Scheldt battles, usually after morning mist and fog, but these have been forgotten. The abiding memory is of grey skies, rain, fog, bone-chilling dampness, boots, battledress and blankets soaking wet, cold food, matches that wouldn't light, the soldier's weariness that is as much fear as lack of sleep, and everywhere, mud and water. The Long Left Flank: The Hard Fought Way to the Reich pp.114-115

Battle Honours

The following Battle Honours were awarded for units participating in the Battle of the Scheldt:

  • The Scheldt
  • Leopold Canal
  • Woensdrecht
  • Savojaards Plaat
  • Breskens Pocket
  • South Beveland
  • Walcheren Causeway
  • The Lower Maas

 


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