- Postweg, 4341 Arnemuiden, Pays-Bas
A group of granite and brick stone memorials, commemorating the French soldiers who were killed in May 1940 during the battle of Zeeland and the Scottish and Canadian soldiers who were killed during Operation Mallard in November 1944.
As of 31 October 1944 the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, coming from the direction Goes, was confronted with a narrow strip of land, the only way onto the island of Walcheren. For three days first the Canadians, then the Scots, fought a bitter battle to cross the Causeway (codenamed Operation Mallard). The deadlock was finally broken when Scottish troops crossed the mudflats surrounding the Sloe Channel at night. They eventually entered Middelburg during the early hours of 6 November. The Scottish and the Canadian memorials commemorate the Scottish and Canadian soldiers who were killed during the battle of the Sloedam Causeway (Operation Mallard) in November 1944.
The French memorial commemorates the French soldiers who were killed in May 1940, during the battle of Zeeland at the Sloedam Causeway.
Before and during World War II the Causeway was the only link between the islands of Walcheren and Zuid-Beveland. After the capitulation of the Netherlands on 14 May 1940, the battle in Zeeland continued for a few more days thanks to the presence of the French troops. On 11 May 1940 French infantry landed in Vlissingen and in both West and East Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. A French infantry division led by Maj. Gen. Deslaurens and Beau Frere appeared. It was the French objective to secure the Scheldt estuary and to create a connection between themselves and the Allied front in Belgium.
On 17 May 1940 the French withdrew from the Causeway fighting back to the Westerschelde in Vlissingen to get to Belgium to continue the fights.
On 6 May 2010 a new Canadian memorial consisting of two plaques has been revealed (by the Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs, Jean-Pierre Blackburn) at the Sloedam by the “Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada”. The new memorial has been placed on the viewpoint over the Sloegebied (Sloe area).
Discover in Zeeland a land of shores and islands endowed with a unique history. Due to its strategic position on trading and migratory routes, Zeeland has always been of prime importance. In WWII the region was devastated during the Battle
During the battle for the Scheldt the island of Walcheren was bombed heavily by the Allied air force. The aim of these bombing raids was to destroy the dikes surrounding Walcheren, in order to flood the terrain and hamper the German defensive efforts. For the civilians, like Kees Pouwelse, the experiences were traumatic.
Towards the German capitulation in the Netherlands
In May 1940 the Netherlands was occupied by German forces. It would take five years before they could be ousted. The final drive to liberate the whole country was launched in February 1945 after the so-called ‘Hunger Winter’ had led to 20.000 fatalities in the still occupied territory.
Battle of the Scheldt
In August 1944 the Allies broke out of Normandy. The speed of the allied advance was so great that they outran their supply lines. In early September the advance came to a halt. The Allies desperately needed a large port to supply their troops and the obvious choice was Antwerp.