Liberation of the Netherlands

From the Legion Magazine.


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Liberation of the Netherlands

Liberation of the Netherlands
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The Second World War in Europe ended officially on May 7, 1945, with the unconditional surrender of all German forces. But for the First Canadian Army, it had ended two days earlier. On May 5, German General Johannes Blaskowitz surrendered the 120,000-strong Twenty-Fifth Army to Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes, commander of I Canadian Corps, at Wageningen in the Netherlands. The coming of peace sparked an eruption of public rejoicing that neither the Dutch nor the Canadian soldiers would ever forget. More than 7,600 Canadian airmen, sailors and soldiers gave their lives for Dutch freedom—and are buried in Dutch soil.

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A Dutch Tribute
Watercolour Print | Only $34.99
Painted by artist Jennifer Morse

Amid a flurry of poppies, a Dutch schoolgirl places a cross in front of a grave at Holten Canadian War Cemetery in the region of Rijssen-Holten Municipality, Overijssel, Netherlands. The great majority of those buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery died during the last stages of the war in Holland, during the advance of the Canadian 2nd Corps into northern Germany, and across the Ems in April and the first days of May 1945. Holten Canadian War Cemetery contains 1,393 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

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A Dutch Tribute Painting
Flowers for Spring!

Tulip Legacy
Watercolour Prints | Only $34.99
Painted by artist Jennifer Morse

The Canadian army played a big role in liberating the Netherlands and we have been best friends ever since. May 4 became Remembrance Day in the Netherlands. It remains a solemn occasion and one the Dutch mark with ceremonies at the Canadian War Cemeteries of Bergen op Zoom, Groesbeek and Holten. At Holten, children from the area lay yellow tulips before each of the 1,393 headstones. In Groesbeek, thousands of Dutch citizens walk in silence at sundown to the cemetery to pay their respects to the more than 2,300 Canadians buried there. Because the town of Bergen op Zoom was liberated during the Scheldt fighting on October 27, 1944, commemorations at the cemetery there are held on that date. A highlight is the Wageningen parade and festival in the town where the Germans surrendered.  Crowds of more than 120,000 people attend—reaffirming the strong memory of the events of war that forever bind Canada and the Netherlands together.

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Canada and the Second World War: The Battles

Coming soon….
Canada and the Second World War: The Battles

The next issue in the award-winning series Canada’s Ultimate Story is Canada and the Second World War: The Battles. The Battle of Britain, the Battle of Hong Kong, the Dieppe Raid, the Italian Campaign, the Battle of the Atlantic, the Invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Scheldt—these were some of the most important and costly conflicts of the Second World War where Canadians played pivotal roles. To witness what those brave Canadians experienced, pick up a copy of Canada and the Second World War: The Battles on newsstands across Canada May 7 or step into Canada’s rich history by subscribing to Canada’s Ultimate Story before May 7Plus, you get a free poster inside your issue!

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