Gallery

The Liberation of Mesch-the Netherlands

History of Sorts

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This day marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Mesch. The first village in the Netherlands to be liberated.

It was more than three months after the Normandy landings when the men of the Thirtieth Infantry Division, Old Hickory, commanded by Captain Kent, crossed the Dutch-Belgian border at ten o’clock in the morning on September twelfth, 1944.

Much of France and Belgium had already been liberated, and the Allies were trying to advance to the Westwall or Siegfried Line, the defence line that the Germans had built along their border.

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In Mesch, people could hear the loud rattling of the German troops clearly retreating with horse-drawn carriages filled to the brim with everything and anything of value that they could find.

School teacher Sjef Warnier, who lived in Mesch, told a reporter about his first encounter with the liberators.

“There was a machine gun firing on the school playground…

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