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Answer Sheet – The Battle of the Scheldt Fact Quest

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  1. On June 6, 1944, known to history as “D-Day,” a massive Allied force landed on the beaches of Normandy, beginning the campaign to liberate Western Europe from Nazi occupation.
  2. The First Canadian Army was tasked with securing the coastline of continental Europe along the English Channel, advancing from northern France towards Belgium and the Netherlands.
  3. As the Allied troops advanced through Europe, they needed a major port to deliver supplies for the continuing war effort. The port of Antwerp was liberated by the British but the Germans still controlled areas along the river leading into the city (the Scheldt estuary). The enemy had to be cleared in order to provide safe passage to the transport ships bringing in supplies.
  4. The Scheldt estuary runs through the Netherlands and Belgium.
  5. An amphibious assault is one where the forces attack the land from the sea, such as when troops come ashore on a beach. [Hint: the students may want to think of the word “amphibian.”]
  6. The United Kingdom and Poland.
    1. North of Antwerp to the town of Woensdrecht at the entrance to South Beveland
    2. over the Leopold Canal on the south side of the Scheldt to the Bresken’s Pocket
    3. South Beveland peninsula
    4. the island of Walcheren
  7. The battle began in earnest on October 2, 1944, and ended on November 8, 1944.
  8. The island of Walcheren was only accessible by a narrow causeway surrounded by mudflats that were difficult to travel by foot or by boat.
  9. More than 6,000 Canadians died or were wounded during the Battle of the Scheldt.
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