M4A4 Sherman Tank Woensdrecht
This Sherman tank from American fabricate fell out in October 1944 during the battle on the Woensdrechtse heide (Airfield). The tank belonged to the 4th Canadian Division "Fort Garry Horse". The battle of Woensdrecht was focused on the strategic Kreekkrakdam, the door to the Zeeuwse Islands. The tank is presented to the people of Woensdrecht at the Dutch memorial day and the liberation festival in May 1978.
The Battle of the Schelde had as target to open the seaport to Antwerpen and make the harbour open for the allied ships. The plan was to attack from Antwerp to Bergen op Zoom (operation Aintree), and then from Woensdrecht Zuid-Beveland (operation Vitality I and Vitality II), and after that open the attack on Walcheren (operation Infatuate I en II).
The battle by Woensdrecht was a heavy one and the casualty's on both sides were high. At the attack on October the 13th, carried out by the Canadian "Black Watch", (which belonged to the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division "Ford Garry Horse") 145 officers and soldiers were wounded in the battle and 56 of them lost there lives.
The Canadian 4th Armored Division received the order to go to Woensdrecht to give support there. On the 16th of October the "The Royal Light Infantry", with support from the artillery, they fought themselves a way to the German lines to Woensdrecht and the next days the Essex Rifles countered the enemy's counter attacks. The Essex Rifles lost 161 men during heavy fights from man to man with the Germans. Because of the liberation of Woensdrecht the German troops on Zuid-Beveland and Walcheren were cut-off at the east side.
The Sherman tank in Woensdrecht is a M4A1 or a Sherman 2. According to information in several files, the "Ford Garry Horse" had a Sherman2 that served in the B Squadron. The tank is was 2000 fully restored in his original state.
- Text: Ferry Stam
- Photos: Ad Smulders (1,4), Bart van Gemert (2) & Nick van Gemert (3)
Address and contactinformation
4631 NN Woensdrecht
- WWII grade:
Where is it?
Sorry, no map found.
Point of interest
- Memorial Canadian War Cemetery
- Britisch War Monument Doel
- Plaque Sabotage Commander Dutch Resistance