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The Scheldt Estuary operations made a vital contribution to Allied victory in the Second World War. They provided logistical facilities essential to the final assault on Germany. By the early autumn of 1944 the Allied Expeditionary Force in North-West Europe was in series administrative difficulties. Following its victory in Normandy and rapid pursuit of the enemy across France and Belgium, its lines of communication were stretched to the breaking point. It was still dependant on supplies landed on the original bridgehead in Normandy, and the long haul from the beaches there almost to the German frontier placed such a strain on transportation resources that not enough fuel was reaching the front to keep all the Allied armies moving.

The problem could only be solved by acquiring large port facilities closer to the front. Antwerp, the greatest port in North-West Europe, capable of bringing in 30,000 tons a day, was captured undamaged by the Second British Army on September 4th; but the Germans still held both banks of the River Scheldt between Antwerp and the sea, and the port could not be used until they were dislodged. They fully realized how important their positions were to the security of the Fatherland, and the First Canadian Army's task in evicting them turned out to be a very hard one.

The clearing of the Estuary was carried out by the 2nd Canadian Corps, employing four divisions, one of which was armoured, and a commando brigade. The Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force both played vital parts. Five water-borne assault landings were made. For the first time in history large scale inundations produced  by aerial bombing were used to harass an enemy's troops in battle.



The Scheldt


October 2 - November 8, 1944

Campaign: Siegfried Line

August 25, 1944 -J anuary, 1945

War: World War II 1939 - 1945
Where: Scheldt
Belgium Holland


Belligerents: Canada Germany
Norway, Poland  
Harry Crerar - Cdn
Guy Simonds - Cdn
Gustav-Adolf von Zangen
15th Army
Forces: 120,000 Men 90,000 Men

Allied Victory

Casualties: Canada, US, Britain, France & Allies Germany

Casualties - 12,873


Casualties - 10,000-12,000

41,043 Captured

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