Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

Faculty/School

Faculty of Arts

First Contributor

Terry Copp

Contributor Role

Thesis Supervisor

Abstract

This thesis is a study of the impact of the Second World War on Zeeland, the most southerly maritime province of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The thesis attempts to describe life in Zeeland before the outbreak of war and then looks at the changes caused by the arrival of the Germans in may 1940. For four and a half years Zeelanders (hereafter referred to as Zeeuws) lived and worked under the yoke of German rule and oppression before exchanging that yoke for freedom. It was here that Canadians played a role.

On a grand scale, the Canadian Army was part of that large force known as the “Allies” which fought the Nazi war machine anywhere and everywhere. On a much reduced scale, the Canadian Army, specifically the 2nd Canadian Corps, helped the Zeeuws get rid of their German oppressors. In the well-known “Battle of the Scheldt” the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions over-ran the German “Scheldt Fortress” and by the middle of November 1944, most of Zeeland was liberated. After describing this battle and its human and material consequences, the paper concludes with the Zeeuws’ struggle to rebuild their war-shattered province with the assistance of the Allies.

Convocation Year

1983

Convocation Season

Fall