145. 'Hell Bill, let's take this damn'd place'
On the 27th of October 1944, after some hesitation, the Canadians decide to liberate Bergen op Zoom. Kees de Waal, 16 years old and a member of the underground, goes to meet his liberators He is allowed to show them the way.
On the 27th of October 1944, the Canadians from the South Alberta Regiment and the Lincoln & Welland Regiment had advanced to within a few kilometres of Bergen op Zoom. Their commanders were debating. Should they launch an attack on Bergen op Zoom or not?
These two regiments were part of the 1st Canadian Army, which had the mission to capture the Scheldt estuary, so that the Antwerp port could be used for the supply of troops and equipment. In the days before the 27th of October, the Canadians had fought fierce battles to gain access to Zuid-Beveland at Kreekrakdam. After this fighting, the German forces retreated to a line behind the Zoom.
The Canadians then entered the city and liberated a section of Bergen op Zoom. The fighting lasted for days, until the Germans eventually also had to surrender that line.