The Canadian troops were of top-notch

Delmar Vandenburg



…We were then taken out of the front for regrouping; getting new reinforcements and our whole 4th division was moved back to the City of Best in Holland. Here we received new equipment and fresh reinforcements bringing us up to strength again. After about 2 weeks, we were once again ready to cross the Rhine River at Wessel, into the fighting areas of East Holland and Germany. While we were in Best, Holland, we were in the corridor where the German VIs were coming over to bomb England and the coastal areas. We saw our Air Force knock a few out of the sky especially around Hertogenbosch and Eindhoven in Holland. We traveled in our transport vehicles for some time and crossed back into Holland as our first objective was to reach Delden on a large barge canal and the German Army was using the area of the Twenthe as a headquarters.  

 Our Canadian forces were not sure of the resistance we would face crossing in assault boats as A-C Companies were leading the attack. I was with ‘A’ company and we made our crossing okay, with just small arms fire, but ‘C’ company apparently hit the center of their strength and the fighting was very heavy. On "A" company area we took the bridge area that had been destroyed and allowed our engineers to get a bailey bridge across for our tanks. The Canadian troops were of top-notch soldiers made up of Herman Goering Panzer Grenadiers, Para troopers, and Marine Battalions. Corporal Challice of "C" company won the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for almost single-handedly keeping the counter attacking enemy back from the Canadian position along the canal with his Bren gun. Our casualties were 37 of which 11 were killed. We were successful in sending the enemy into retreat and were not a factor in this area. One of my friends was killed in the battle along the Canal and he came from Wharton, Ontario and is in the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, Holland…

Courtesy the Dominion Institute, Toronto



Photo: Driving through St. Catharines
September 25th - 20.30 hrs.