The Canadian Connection

The Canadians hold a special place in Dutch history.

The Netherlands were liberated largely by the First Canadian Army. In addition to Canadian forces the British I Corps, and the 1st Polish Armoured Division, plus, at various times, Dutch, Belgian, American and Czechoslovak troops operated as part of the First Canadian Army.

The country was liberated in two parts. Parts of the country, in particular the south-east, were liberated in September 1944 by the British Second Army, which included American and Polish airborne forces, (Operation Market Garden) and French airborne (Operation Amherst).

The remainder of the Netherlands lay in axis hands until 5th May 1945 when Canadian General Charles Foulkes and the German Commander-in-Chief Johannes Blaskowitz reached agreement on the capitulation of German forces in the Netherlands in Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen.

The next day, the capitulation document was signed in the auditorium of Wageningen University, located next door.

In celebration of the importance of the Canadians to the Dutch. the Flame will travel to Canada for the first ever time in 2015, where it will tour to meet veterans who fought in Holland, but are now too infirm to travel back to Holland for the liberation celebrations.