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By the fall the Canadian troops had entered Belgium and under Lieutenant General H.D.G. Crerar they were given the assignment of clearing out the Scheldt estuary and take Antwerp.

The allied landing and drive through France and into Belgium that summer and fall had been supplied by the beach head in Normandy and by the time the allies had reached the Belgium and German boarders the amount of material needed to sustain the drive could no longer be delivered through the mulberry harbours in Normandy. The capture of a large pot was essential for the next part of the great western front offensive and Antwerp was a big port.

Access to Antwerp was not directly to the sea but needed to pass through the Scheldt estuary and until that was liberated, the supplies waited to come in. The Canadian forces fought through the flooded areas of the Scheldt and captured area opening up the port but suffered high casualties.

By the time winter arrived so did the Canadian First division which reinforced the Canadian army and the drive through the Netherlands was begun. The liberation of the Netherlands was an emotional and highly joyous occasion for most of the Dutch people.

Princess Juliana of the Netherlands had fled the country in 1940 when the Germans had invaded and found sanctuary in Canada. while in Canada during the war, she resided at  Stornoway which is the home of the leader of the official opposition today. She became an endeared refugee in Ottawa where she chose to be treated as an ordinary resident and sent her children to Canadian public school, shopped in the local grocery stores, baby sat for other mothers and generally mixed with the public during her daily life. 

When her third child Margriet was born the Earl of Athlone, the Governor General made special arrangements for Princess Juliana's rooms in the Ottawa Civic Hospital to be recognized as Dutch Territory in order that the baby be recognized in the line of Dutch succession which required that she be born in Dutch territory. 

The liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian forces has been emotionally remember by both countries and over the years since the war, Canadian veterans gather every 5 years to parade through the streets of the Dutch towns and cities to rejoice in that memorable winter of 1944.

May the 5th, 1945 saw he capitulation of the German forces in the Netherlands when the German commander Johannes Blaskowitz surrendered his forces to Canadian General Charles Foulkes

 

 

 




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Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/eras.html