The Liberation of Almelo

The liberation of my hometown Almelo took place on April the 4th
a day later on April the 5th the whole city was liberated.
In the early morning of April 4th 1945 people see a little reconnaissance airplane soon to be
named as "Tinus Plotseling" the piper-cub which was an artillery reconnaissance aircraft is the first
evidence of the nearby liberation.
On that afternoon Canadian tanks approached Almelo via the Bornebroeksestraat,
on that moment a big explosion,
went of an enormous cloud of smoke and dust raise to the sky.
The Germans had blown the bridge over the Wezebeek, it is exactly 13:00hrs.
A lot more armed vehicles are now gathered amongst cheering civilians,
they have noticed that the bridge was blown
and are now desperately seeking for an entrance into Almelo.
The word went that the railroad bridge over the Wezebeek at the Steffensweg was not blown yet,
The commander of the armd vehicle set course for the bridge and it was still intact.

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The actual bridge 54 yrs later in Oct 1999


The Riet station


 

 


At the Rietstation some tanks are going via the railroad tracks into the direction of a nearby railroad crossing
the "Dubbele overweg" one goes to the left into the Bornebroeksestraat
the rest stayed at the little park in front of the Rietstation.
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Here it is said that the liberators are Canadians from The Lake Superior Regiment with commander B.I.Black.
B-comp from the 1st bat motor supporting Lake Superior Regiment.
And the 3rd sq. Canadian Grenadier Guards have the task to liberate Almelo
which goes very well so far.


Downtown Almelo


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(Grotestraat - Holtjesstraat)

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The marketsquare
 Left picture the "Waaggebouw" right picture Hotel "van Ouds de Prins"


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The Bakkersvakschool


Later that day in the vicinity of the market square there was some heavy fighting.
The Germans where shooting from the Waaggebouw, the Bakkersvakschool and cafe de Boer.
A Stuart tank is approaching the Bakkersvakschool from the Wierdensestraat and opens fire but
the Germans are not surrendering, help comes from 3 flame-throwing carriers
after having fired their flames the Germans surrender


The Vriezebrug


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Some armourd vehicles moved up and are now in the Oranjestraat the resistance is telling the
commander that the Vriezebrug is still intact.
Under the command of sergeant Mac Veigh four Stuart tanks move up to the bridge.
When the first tank is practically on the bridge the Germans blow the bridge a track is ripped of the tank
a second tank is put out of action by a German soldier with a pantzerfaust
he was hiding on the balcony of the shoe store of ten Dam.
Two members of the crew Guardsman F.A.Williams and Guardsman M.R.Lewis die in a blazing inferno of fire.
The bridge is not totally blown and at night the Royal Canadian Engineers,
repair the bridge with their bailey material.
It is also the frontline that night.


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The next morning at 08:00 hrs the first tanks cross the bridge to liberate the north part of Almelo.
There was no resistance from the Germans they had withdrawn.

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The bridge at the Brugstraat.


Troop Transport

Canadian troops driving through Almelo

Canadian troops driving through Almelo Wierdensestraat - Grotestraat Noord.

Canadian troops driving through Almelo Bornsestraat.

(Almelo Bornsestraat - Schipbeekstraat)

(Bornsestraat - corner Rietplein)


Moving up to Wierden


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1st Bat of the Algonquin Regiment took over from the liberators who moved up to Vriezenveen,
they took positions on the west side of Almelo.
They  put up an opservationpost in the water-tower on the Wierdensestraat.
Plan is to move up to Wierden Royal Canadian Artillery is shooting from "Het Tusveld"
with 25 pounder cannons to Wierden,
The South Alberta Regiment is also trying to get a breakthru to Wierden
and they are shooting at every building that may contain German soldiers.
Within some hours twelve farms and houses where shot to pieces, cattle is wounded or dead.
The cellar of the farm from the family Hinsenveld on the Bellinckhofweg is struck by a direct hit of a 25 pndr shell,
at that moment the whole family and some neighbours are in the cellar two people died.
It took the Canadians five days to get the 5km road cleared to liberate Wierden.

Due to the shortage of coal children of Almelo where gathering coal near the railroad tracks.


1999 - 2004  The Hins  / Original Photo's: Public Archives Canada

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