Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Arts
This thesis analyses the operations conducted by the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division in the liberation of the city of Groningen, Netherland in the last full month of the Second World War. As a secondary objective this treatise also gives meaning to the term liberation by analysing the nature of German occupation of Netherland and the reaction of the people to that occupation. In April 1945, it was well known to the Allies that the war was drawing to a close. The German armies were retreating on every front and it was obvious that the end was near. The advance of the Canadian 2nd Corps from the Rhine to Groningen had been rapid with minimum losses. Driving the enemy before them, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division approached an ancient city whose population had swollen by thousands of refugees. Defended by the remnants of several German divisions including SS troops, the city presented a formidable target for the advancing Canadians. Nevertheless the decision was made to avoid the use of air power or medium and heavy artillery and to restrict the field artillery to identifiable targets thereby placing an extraordinary burden on the Canadian troops. This thesis will discuss the four-day battle that followed in the light of the ultimate sacrifice that were made by the forty-three Canadian soldiers who were killed in the liberation of the city of Groningen. Their names are recorded at the end of each chapter describing the battle. It was also considered to be useful to record the final resting place of those killed in battle and to observe how the liberation of their city is remembered by the people of Groningen.
Dykstra, Ralph, "The occupation of Groningen, Netherland, September 1944-April 1945 and the liberation of the city of Groningen by the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, April 13-16, 1945" (2002). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 39.