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"Walcheren Causeway (31 October 1944 - 2 November 1944)" Topic


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288 hits since 25 May 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0125 May 2018 2:59 p.m. PST

"At 0950 hours on the 31st of October, Operation SWITCHBACK the effort by the 3rd Canadian Division, 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division and 1st Polish Armoured Division, to clear all Germans south of the West Scheldt was completed. That same day, South Beveland was at last cleared of Germans. To the east, Canadian troops had taken Bergen op Zoom and the Allies were pressing north. However, the great port at Antwerp, so essential to easing the Allies' logistical problems, was still unusable because of the German batteries located on Walcheren Island.

South Beveland was connected to Walcheren Island by a narrow causeway; just 40 yards wide, it stretched for a mile, "straight as a gun barrel." On it was a road, a set of railway tracks, a bicycle path, and a thin line of poplars. While many Germans retreated over the causeway to Walcheren Island, others chose to surrender to the Allies instead; their losses in dead and wounded had been heavy.

Canadian intelligence maps, printed on the 23rd, showed German defences east of the causeway in detail, but none at the western end. It was hoped that the Second Canadian Division could "bounce" the Causeway take it in a lightning move from the confused and reeling Germans. Middleburg, the capital town on Walcheren Island, was only 4000 yards inland…."
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