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Answer Sheet: Liberation of the Netherlands Fact Quest

  1. By what date did most of Western Europe come under German occupation? On what date did D-Day occur when the Allies returned to liberate “Fortress Europe”?

    By mid-1940, much of the west of the continent, including the Netherlands, was under German control. On June 6, 1944, the Allied forces embarked on the struggle to liberate “Fortress Europe” from the west with the greatest combined military operation in history: D-Day.
  2. What were some of the challenges that made fighting in the Netherlands so difficult?

    The Netherlands, with its challenging terrain of canals, dykes and floodlands, coupled with the determined German occupiers, would prove to be a punishing place to battle.
  3. What Belgian port city did the Allies capture intact? What was the name of the bitter battle to free the estuary that connected the port to the open sea?

    The Belgian port of Antwerp was captured almost intact but it lay 80 kilometres from the sea and was accessible only by a long estuary whose shores were controlled by German forces. In the fall of 1944, the First Canadian Army led the way in the Battle of the Scheldt, clearing the German occupiers from the area and opening the waterway so vital shipping could reach Antwerp.
  4. What was the name of the daring but unsuccessful Allied land and airborne operation in the eastern Netherlands in the fall of 1944 and what was its ultimate objective?

    Operation Market-Garden aimed to bring the war to a rapid end but cutting in half the German positions in western Europe.
  5. What were some of the things that made life so harsh for the Dutch people during the “Hunger Winter” of 1944-1945?

    Food supplies were exhausted; many people were reduced to eating tulip bulbs just to try to survive. Fuel had run out and transportation was non-existent. Thousands of Dutch men, women, and children perished of starvation and cold.
  6. How many calories on average were the Dutch people reduced to eating each day by 1945? How did that caloric intake compare to what an average adult needs to keep healthy?

    By 1945, the official daily ration per person in the Netherlands was only 320 calories, about an eighth of the daily needs of an average adult.
  7. Name two cities that the Canadians liberated in the western Netherlands?

    British and Canadian forces cleared the city of Arnhem in just two days by fighting a house-by-house battle. Only days later, they cleared Apeldoorn.
  8. Why was a truce arranged between the Allies and the Germans in the western Netherlands in late April 1945?

    A truce was arranged to try to dissuade the Germans from breaching all the dykes and flood more of the country and to allow desperately needed relief supplies to reach the starving Dutch citizens.
  9. On what date did the Germans surrender in the Netherlands? On what date was Victory in Europe (V-E) Day declared?

    German forces in the Netherlands surrendered on May 5, 1945. May 8, 1945 was declared Victory in Europe (V-E) Day, marking the official end the Second World War in Europe.
  10. What gift has the Netherlands given to Canada as a gesture of thanks for all that our country did to help during the Second World War?

    The Netherlands has given tulips to Canada for many years.
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