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'April 1945 is remembered as the month of the liberation of the Netherlands, 'the Sweetest Spring'. But April was also the cruelest month, even though the war was nearly won, the bitter fighting continued'
The ‘sweetest of springs’
At the beginning of April 1945, the First Canadian Army started the liberation of the northeastern parts of the Netherlands. Often aided by information from Dutch resistance fighters, Canadian troops advanced rapidly, liberating villages, canals and farmland as they advanced relentlessly. However, it was still a challenging and stressful task for the Canadian forces as the behavior of the German troops remained unpredictable. Sometimes enemy troops offered strong resistance and other times they retreated without a shot being fired. Thanks to the courage and great sacrifice of so many Canadian soldiers and other allied troops, the enemy troops in the Netherlands surrendered on May 5, 1945.
The fighting in the Netherlands was often bitter, but in the end Canadian soldiers managed to liberate the Dutch people and end the Second World War in Europe. This great victory, however, came at a terrible price. More than 7,600 Canadian servicemen were killed and buried far from their families and loved ones. We have made a unique then and now photo collection of the liberation of the eastern and northern Netherlands.
You can read this full premium article with more then 18 Then and now photo’s including backgroundinformation at our Patreon page.
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