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Forgotten Battle for Baarle-Nassau.

Discussion in 'Living History' started by 272VGD., Jan 8, 2008.

  1. 272VGD.

    272VGD. Member

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    Hi all,

    Here another thread of an unknown battle, the battle for Baarle-Nassau.
    Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog is a small village on the border of the Netherlands/Belgium. The battle between the Polish and German troops (and a small number of Dutch Waffen SS forces) began on the 1st of October 1944. And lasted till the 3rd of October.
    Actually this is an small chapter of the heaviest battle deliverd by the Polish troops from Merksplas to Breda, taking the villages in the order of Merksplas, Zondereigen, Baarle-Nassau, Alphen, Gilze, Bavel and then the city of Breda. After the Polish troops captured Merksplas they went to Zondereigen and from there to Baarle-Nassau, between this 2 villages the Germans put in a lot of forces to stop the invasion of the Polish troops. In every ditch, forest, farmhouse the Germans were located with all kind of weapons, from MG to Panzerfaust. It took the Polish troops hours to conquer just a few 100 meters even with the help of the RAF with his Typhoons.
    The village of Baarle-Nassau was shelled with grenade's for many days and when the Polish troops finaly liberated the village there was nobody to welcome them, because the people were affriad to get out of there shelters after the shelling of 3 days long. After the liberation of Baarle the Polish troops went to the Huisvennen area near of Alphen. It took them about 2 weeks to clear the area around this village.

    Many soldiers and civilians lost there lives out there in the early October days of 1944. So that we may live in freedom. May we not forget this soldiers of a foreign land like Poland who lost there lives here for our freedom.

    This is just an small piece of information of this battle, with a lot of thanks to the writers of the book: Oorlog en Bevrijding in woord en beeld. Merksplas - Baarle - Alphen en Gilze.

    Here a map of the the Allied advance in this region.
    Note: the village Oisterwyk is incorrect, this village lays NE of Tilburg.
    It has to be the village of Riel.
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    Polish troops getting ready to attack the village of Baarle-Nassau.
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    Toward the village, Polish armor on the Tommelse Heide.
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    Mines...
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    In the center of the village after the liberation.
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    Soon I want to make some Then and Now pictures of this region. So this thread will be updated.
     
  2. 272VGD.

    272VGD. Member

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    Offcours you all know me and I went dor some diggin in that area with some friends.
    We found a huge Artillery spot in the woods of the Tommelse heide.
    I think we all together dug up around 60 ammunition boxes for the 25 pounder gun. Also with 2 detonators for these grenade's (last picture). And many broken beer bottles.

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    rkline56 likes this.
  3. 272VGD.

    272VGD. Member

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    Funny photo of me and a friend of my.
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  4. 272VGD.

    272VGD. Member

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    Outstanding condition. Many paint remains.
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    Tommelse Heide.
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  5. Ze-Pole

    Ze-Pole recruit

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  6. Aru-Ed

    Aru-Ed Member

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    Realy nice thread, thanks!
     
  7. spideyman

    spideyman Member

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    Nice finds, super pic's ;)
     
  8. Halldin

    Halldin Member

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  9. Richy_76

    Richy_76 recruit

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    Hello,

    I am a new member as of today, but had to comment when I saw your pictures.

    I am currently researching my Grandad's regiment and on the 5th October 1944 his regiment (143rd field artillery of 49th West Riding Division) supported the Polish armoured division attack on Baarle-Nassau.

    He was the gunner on the 25 pound field gun.

    I'll have to show him these pictures. Great find by the way.
     
  10. Gilmour Coad

    Gilmour Coad New Member

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    Hi All, the family are coming to Baarle Nassau this October to commemorate the 75th anniversary of this Battle, my Grandfather fought here and was a Forward Observation Officer. He won the Military Cross for his work on the 5th October 1944 his regiment was the 143rd field artillery of 49th West Riding Division, but on 5th Oct be was Forward observation officer with a carrier patrol of the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment.

    The citation reads: 'On the afternoon of 5 Oct 44, Captain Coad was F. O .O with a carrier patrol of 1 Leics moving North West of Baarle Nassau. When the patrol were in open country they were suddenly engaged by an enemy tank and also be infantry with spandau and rifle fire at short range. Immediately one carrier and a D.R. were knocked out by direct hits from shells from the tank. Captain Coad, in full view of the enemy and under a hail of fire, calmly gave orders and brought down fire on the enemy tank. While everyone else was able to take cover he observed and connected his fire and forced the enemy tank to withdraw. The patrol was still pinned to the ground by continuous and heavy machine and rifle fire. Captain Coad, still in full view of the enemy, calmly switched his guns, connected the fire by observation and laid down such an effective smoke screen that the patrol were able to withdraw without further casualties. Throughout Captain Coad showed great gallantry, fearlessly exposing himself to the enemy fire. His calmness, courage and devotion and duty were a inspiration to all.'

    While in the area we would like to try and find where this engagement will have happened. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    Gilmour
     

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