During the battle for Groningen the Canadians had difficulty gaining ground in the city. It was one of the hardest urban battles the Canadian had to fight during ww2. What it made difficult was the centre of Groningen as it is surrounded with canals and bridges. Only a few here usable.
Infanterie Les Fusiliers, Mt-Royal op de Radesingel. 15 april 1945
This picture clearly shows the hardness to advance to the centre of Groningen.
Today we are set to go early in the morning to the unique commemoration of airborne landings on Ginkelse Heide near Ede and Arnhem. Decided to go , for the expected number of spectators, to go on bike the last piece of the trip. On arrival it was already pretty busy. Walked to the Airborne Memorial.
In September 1944 it was the largest airborne operation during the 2nd World War. Eventually there where even more droppings than during the D-Day landings. Just like 70 years the fog also played a role in the today droppings. No less than 60,000 visitors had come down to this unique event.
Four major highways and a railroad converged in the city of Carentan to make it one of the strategic points to link the 2 beachheads Omaha and Utah. 5 days of fear fighting made Carentan a difficult objective to meet. On June 13th the Germans counter attacked Carentan in which the 506th held there positions just long enough to let the American tanks stop the attack. This part is seen in the episode of ‘Band of Brothers’
Carentan was defended by the 6th Parachute Regiment, two Ost battalions and remnants of other German forces. The 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division, ordered to reinforce Carentan, was delayed by transport shortages and attacks by Alliedaircraft. The attacking 101st Airborne Division, landed by parachute on 6 June as part of the American airborne landings in Normandy, was ordered to seize Carentan..
GI´s pointing to a sign post at the center of Carentan.
Bretteville-l’Orgueilleuse is a small town just 10 km west of Caen. The town was captured by 7th Canadian Brigade on 7th June. German Mark V Panthers and Mark IV tanks of the 12th Panzer Division re-took the town again.
‘C’ squadron of the 6th Canandian Armoured Regiment had lost contact with their infantry on D-Day and advanaced through Bretteville with no opposition. Later they withdrew again from Bretteville-l’Orgueilleuse. The town was eventually captures by 7th Canadian Brigade on 7th June. German Mark V Panthers and Mark IV tanks re-took the position again.
Today where are leaving Carentan and our lovely stay at the B&B . If you want to see the landing beaches and the Airborne landings this is one of the best options as you are in the center where the actions has been taking place. Nancy is running a great B&B and even makes her own bread, jam, yoghurt (I wonder what she does not make by her own). The rooms are great and large.
Carentan bailey bridge
CarentanThe nature around Carentan is very nice especially if you like Oysters. One road you should drive during dusk is the small road to left side of the river Diver to the ‘Parc Naturel Regional des Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin’. Just out of Carentan you cross a side arm of the river on a original Bailey bridge. At the end of the long road you can see the sun going down in the see.
In the harbor of Carentan lies an original Landing Craft (PA30-4).
Carentan landing craft
Off we go to Clecy near Caen (and the Falaise pocket)