On Saterday August 15, 2015 we joined the battlefield tour by Joël Stoppels Zutphen. Theme was the liberation of Zutphen by the Canadians, 2 to14 April 1945. During this battlefield tour we visited several main spots of the battle of Zutphen. We followed the route taken by the Canadians during their march through the city. The town was already hit by an allied bombardment in the afternoon of Saterday October 14, 1944. Allied planes would bomb the Old IJssel bridge at Zutphen to prevent an supply troops and arms from the Germans towards Arnhem. But the bombs came mainly on the nearby district center on the right side of the station. The consequences were devastating. Streets like Rozengracht Barlheze, Kreijnckstraat and Apenstert were wiped out almost completely. The station building was heavily damaged, but remained in use until 1952. Among civilians were more than a hundred dead and hundreds injured. 92 dead were buried at the Catholic cemetery in general and the Warnsveldseweg. The death toll rose to over a hundred, because a number of people missing was never recovered.

For these civilian casualties, but also for the Canadian soldiers who fell during the liberation of Zutphen and the Zutphen people who perished in the former Dutch East Indies during World War II, it was revealed the Gideon monument on April 10, 1950. It stands in the Kloosterhof the Broederenkerk on the Rozengracht. At the General Cemetery Zutphen is a memorial monument at the grave of thirteen victims. It was unveiled at the first-ever National Memorial Day on May 4, 1946.


Facades of houses on the Rozengracht after the bombing, photo from 1945.


Two weeks before the bombing of Zutphen on October 14, 1944 was also conducted an allied bombing of Zutphen in the morning of Thursday, September 28th, 1944. Target was a German munitions train at the railway yard. The target was hit, but the exploding ammunition, including armor-piercing shells, damaged dozens of homes, industrial buildings and the concert hall Buitensocieteit. The train was drawn up between the crossing and the Industrieweg.

The explosion of the ammunition train caused a huge mess on the Zutphense yard.

An unexploded bomb on the Zutphense yard.


A small bombardment found another place on February 1, 1945. There were a few bombs on the junction of Church Lane and Rodetorenstraat. A dozen houses were badly damaged or destroyed. The strategic purpose is unknown.

On April 3, 1945 Baak was liberated. Then the liberation from Zutphen followed by Canadian troops of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. La Chaudiere Regiment was ordered to liberate the city itself. A city that was protected by a network of waterways. The deployed German troops defended themselves fanatically and Canadians gained ground only slowly. On the morning of April 6 go two companies Chauds route to Deventerweg Quarter. The opposition consisted of fanatical Hitler Youth and Dutch SS. They holed up in basements and upper floors of the houses. The stretcher bearers to be withdrawn wounded by a sea of ​​fire. It was fought so fanatical by the Germans, the flame-throwing tanks Crocodile- saw action. Two days of fighting around the town had the French-Canadians 56 men killed, of whom 17 were slain. To reach the center of the city, the regiments became embroiled in an extremely fierce battle that lasted a week. One of the main obstacles: the fanatical Hitler Youth who do not know to give up. "This Hitler mercenaries are immersed in Nazi culture since they were nine or ten years old. Now they sixteen to eighteen, they still believe in what their superiors tell them and they fight to the bitter end, "Lieutenant Bob Rae later wrote in the Canadian newspaper The Maple Leaf.
During the fighting in Zutphen is a Canadian soldier with the machine gun here in contention while another Canadian soldier in conversation with a Dutch Resistance.
Before the start of the battlefield tour by Zutphen our guide Joël Stoppels gave a preview while we were enjoying a cup of coffee. He told about the advance of the Canadians from the beach in Juno Beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944 to the Achterhoek. The Canadian army supported the British advance. The Canadians had actually pull the irons out of the fire for the British Army.
My wife Elly attentively studies the card with the advance route of Canadians in the Netherlands.
Dullaert pawn on the corner of Nieuwstad stood on the corner of Nieuwstad and was demolished by the tanks so that Canadians could get the turn.

At this location after the war another property resurrected.

Dullaert is still in Zutphen. In the same street, but in a different location.

We are standing at a crossroads in the town of Zutphen, which was covered during the heavy fighting by an MG-42 machine gun, controlled by fanatical Hitler Youth. Boys 16 to 17 years who had been brainwashed by the Nazi regime.

The MG42 or Maschinengewehr 1942 (officially "Universal Maschinengewehr Modell 42") is a German machine gun (machine gun) which was first produced in 1942 as the successor to the MG34. The British army gave the weapon nicknamed Hitler's Buzzsaw. The Dutch translation of it, Hitler saw to distract from the high rate of fire. The MG42 was with his 1200 shots per minute (some versions went up to 1800 shots per minute), the highest rate of fire of all weapons during World War II. The disadvantage was that many patterns were faded by the high rate of fire, so it was fast through the available ammunition stock. The MG42 was able to fire 20 shots per second, and had to be fired in short bursts, in order to prevent the melting of the loop.

A member of the Hitler Youth who fought in Zutphen was Horst Börner. In Stentor the article "The Last Days" describes the following about him.The 17-year-old Horst Börner is one of those young people. He was born in 1928 in Schleswig-Holstein, near the Danish border. His father was a convinced National Socialist. Young Horst Jung joins the People's Movement, where he teaches and marching around in uniform. It is therefore logical that he ends up in the Hitler Youth at age fourteen. Here he chooses to be part of the aviator group, where he learns under it to gliding solo.End 1944 calls upon the military leadership to Horst for active duty. In March 1945, he is in training as a parachutist-up in Zutphen. Moreover, his training is not much reason, because within a few weeks the Allies at the door. In his autobiography Börner describe those last days accurately. The group is part of Börner has had to withdraw for Canadians, that come from the east. The Germans are surprised by this, after all defenses are set to an allied attack from the west.
Recruit Bode
Börner entrenched himself in a beet pit near House Den Dam on the border of Eefde and Zutphen. There he will be assigned to the sixteen-year-old recruit Bode. A silent, willing lad like Börner describe him. "Unfortunately he had a few days before he was heard to us that his father was killed on the eastern front. There he was visibly under and I did not know what to do with him. He simply was not in a position to be a soldier. "
The pair seeks out the beets pit cover under a stolen door as the Canadians opened fire. "Suddenly there was a huge blow. It was like I was being torn apart. My lungs squeaked, everything went black, I saw nothing more. Bode screamed under me and began to cry loudly. I was afraid that my lungs were cracked. When the smoke became less and I could breathe again. Bode was still crying and I gave him a blunt and told him that we had been lucky and that he had considerable being. "

Shot destroyed houses on the Heeckerenlaan in Deventerweg Quarter.

Moments later it appears that the grenade the pair but just missed. The door is packed with shrapnel, finds Börner. He can not avoid Bode runs away westwards to the nearby Heeckeren Avenue, in the Zutphen Deventerweg Quarter, to shelter under a straw mountain.Börner knows himself haunted by Canadian snipers, but also manages to achieve the Zutphen suburb. There is now heavy fighting. Canadian troops are close approached. German soldiers return fire from the houses. According Börner is a 'cauldron'. "All around us we could now see Tommies (the Germans initially thought it was English, ed.). It was almost impossible to get into German territory. "The next day, it is April 6, Canadians have come within 100 meters. Börner firing a shot, then falters his rifle. While he tries to repair it, he gets a reprimand from a sergeant; he would attract enemy fire. "Hide the house or else I will shoot you," he is told. "I was shocked. This coward would kill me because I was doing my duty. "
Börner first prove something of doubt. "If our Wehrmacht had such officers, why should I fighting? I jumped in the eenmansgat for the home. With my broken gun between my knees, my arms around it and my head bowed as deeply as possible, at the bottom of the hole, waiting for the end. "After a cold night in the foxhole. Börner exceeds the following morning two comrades. They try a Canadian tank attack that - presumably - the corner of the road to Laren and Van der Capellelaan state. But Canadians have them. From the tank being shot with a machine gun in the house where the Germans are. "The bullets were flying through the garden. If they were branches, we saw lights. "InfernoThe tank fires a shell off, which exploded in the hallway. It is an inferno. "Citizens in tears from the burning houses came inside. With their crying children and whatever belongings they went into the seemingly secure basement. "The Germans join the local residents, which they are not appreciated. If they can go out, it appears that half the house burned. The shelling the area has been severely damaged.
Ook vuurt de tank een granaat af, die ontploft in de gang. Het is een inferno. ‘Burgers in tranen uit de brandende huizen kwamen naar binnen. Met hun huilende kinderen en wat eigendommen gingen ze de schijnbaar veilige kelder in.’
De Duitsers voegen zich bij de omwonenden, wat hen niet in dank wordt afgenomen. Als ze naar buiten kunnen, blijkt dat het halve huis is afgebrand. Het granaatvuur heeft de wijk zwaar beschadigd.
Not much later decide Börner that it was enough. He surrenders. His morale is broken. "We were prisoners. Beaten, under pressure, deprived of our ideals, sorely tried, exhausted, shocked. People without toekomst.'Zijn thoughts go out to the homeland, where there is heavy fighting in a losing battle. "Were still there lunatic fanatics who forced antitank ditches, dig trenches and barricades to hold still against the enemy? They did not understand that it was useless to sacrifice themselves for something that had long since passed? Had blind obedience to the nation still in its grip? My head was full of these thoughts as we marched endlessly. "


The struggle for the liberation of Zutphen was long and difficult because the city was defended by Hitler Youth and SS who were brainwashed for twelve years by Nazi ideology.

Our guide tells us about the fighting at this intersection in Zutphen in April 1945 between Canadian soldiers and fanatical SS and Hitler Youth.

Canadian soldiers clearing mines in Deventer Bridge.

This comparison photo I took of the Deventer Bridge, now called the Canadian Bridge. The route along which the Canadian military Zutphen moved in.

Also in Zutphen you can still see traces of war 70 years ago. Many facades in the city show still impacts of bullets.

Our guide showed us this dressing pack that the Canadian soldier carried with him under his helmet net.

Also The Canadian soldier wore this tube of salve on him.

Pattern of Canadian artillery..

During the tour of Zutphen we saw traces of the Roman era.

And so I have only just taken a picture of Elly before they walk through the gate in the Roman wall.
One of the many narrow streets in the town of Zutphen. This hindered the advance of the Canadian military. There could not always be made of support provided by tanks. It often came to hand-to-hand fighting from house to house. As a result the city was devastated.


he devastated Winery on Houtmarkt.
The former Winehouse on the Houtmarkt I made this comparison photo.
Canadian Bren Carrier on the Houtmarkt. Houtmarkt after the liberation.

Houtmarkt after the liberation.

On August 15th, 2015 I made this comparison photo on the Houtmarkt in Zutphen.

The water tower under attack.

On August 15, 2015 I took this comparison photo of the water tower.

The destroyed entrance of the water tower of Zutphen.

The destroyed Larebrug with Baily bridge on the main canal with ruined buildings on the Gr. Ottosingel, Berkel Singel and Laarstraat April 1945.

On August 15, 2015 I took this comparison photo of the Larebrug.

Elly on the crossroads at the Larebrug in Zutphen.

Although the town of Zutphen became badly damaged by the fighting in April 1945, is nevertheless quite managed to resurrect the old town from the ashes.
We visited the monument to the IJsselkade that recalls nine were shot on the IJsselkade to be killed on March 31, 1945.

The destroyed IJssel bridge at Zutphen.

To replace the destroyed IJsselbrug two Bailey bridges were built across the river IJssel.

Opening of bailey bridges. In the background the destroyed IJsselbrug.

The bailey bridge over the IJssel: Harry Crerar Bridge and Bridge.

Nothing seemed to remember the bailey bridge across the IJssel. Until I discovered this inscription on the quay wall, hidden behind overgrown vegetation. After quite clear weeds were the names of the bailey bridges appear. A nice project for the historical society Zutphen?
Our guide Joel Stoppels recounts the events surrounding the IJssel bridge near Zutphen and the construction of the Bailey bridge to replace the destroyed bridge.
Great was the joy among the people of Zutphen they were liberated from Nazi tyranny. Here they are deeply grateful for their Canadian liberators in the High Street.

Unfortunately, the liberation of Zutphen brought a lot of destruction caused.

Canadian jeeps in the blown up bridge at the beginning of the Deventerweg, April 5, 1945.

Canadian soldiers stand ready to cross over the IJssel near Zutphen in a buffalo amphibious vehicle.
Canadian army stand ready to cross over the IJssel near Zutphen in a buffalo amphibious vehicle, April 11, 1945
Canadian soldiers crossing the IJssel in a buffalo amphibious vehicle, April 11, 1945

Candadian soldiers on Boompjeswal.


A resident of Zutphen greeted grateful his Canadian liberator.

Canadese soldiers at the blown up bridge at the beginning of Deventerweg, April 7, 1945
Hotel 'De Hollandsche Tuin' and the police station after the fire on April 7, 1945.

Canadian soldiers on Boompjeswal.

Canadian soldiers onHoutmarkt, in the background the Winery.

Canadian Bren Carrier on Houtmarkt.
Canadian soldiers in Lange Hofstraat.
Canadians with a member of the Land Inside Forces in the Spittaalstraat.
Members of the N.S.B. be led by members of the Interior Forces.
Residents of Zutphen celebrate their liberation with their Canadian liberators in the Lange Hofstraat.
Prince Bernhard visiting Zutphen, April 12, 1945.

Zutphen after liberation: St. Walburgs church

Tower of St. Walburgs church with in the foreground the remains of the former Waliënkazerne.
Tower of St. Walburgskerk today, with in the foreground the former Waliënkazerne.

The devastated town hall of Zutphen.

Townhall of Zutphen today.

's Gravenhof

Bouronje tower with dome of Martinet.

Bouronje tower with dome of Martinet after the war rebuilt.