Liberation of Holland
Liberation of Holland, WWII, begun by American troops, who entered Maastricht on 13 September 1944; British troops also played a major part in liberating southern Holland, along their axis of advance toward Berlin.
Liberation of Holland, WWII, begun by American troops, who entered Maastricht on 13 September 1944; British troops also played a major part in liberating southern Holland, along their axis of advance toward Berlin. The failure of an airborne assault on Arnhem (September 17) prevented the liberation of the rest of Holland in 1944. FIRST CANADIAN ARMY, under General H.D.G. CRERAR, on the north end of the Allied line, was to clear the Dutch approaches to the key Belgian port of Antwerp, along both banks of the Schelde estuary, a task completed in November. There were still more Allied than Canadian troops under Crerar, but in mid-March 1945 I Canadian Corps arrived from Italy to replace I British Corps. I Corps pushed north to the IJsselmeer (Apr 18), isolating German forces in west Netherlands, while II Corps drove northeast to Groningen (April 13) and Leeuwarden (April 15), and then east into Germany.
When hostilities ceased 5 May 1945, it fell to the Canadians to liberate western Holland, including Rotterdam; the national centre of government, The Hague; and the national capital, Amsterdam. The Dutch there had suffered through an extremely harsh winter, short of food and fuel, but relief supplies were quickly funnelled into the area. The Canadians were welcomed enthusiastically and the joyous "Canadian summer" that ensued forged deep and long-lasting bonds of friendship between the Dutch and Canadian peoples.
See also WORLD WAR II.