THE MARCH to BREDA and the LIBERATION of the town.


After the conquest of the villages of Baarle-Nassau and Alphen, in the beginning of October 1944, it was impossible to execute further actions, because the military supply failed. There was a lack of petrol and ammunition and that's why it was even difficult to consolidate the conquered area.

After 3 weeks the supplies were sufficient again and on the 27th of October 1944 the 1st Polish Armoured Division started the next part of the campaign.

In the early morning of October 27 the Poles started to move to the North, during the preceeding days they had scouted intensively in the area to be conquered. The Germans proved to have placed large minefields, so a careful operation was necessary.

Yet, the battle-groups of tanks, supported by infantery, succeeded in making a quick progress and at the end of the day the village of Gilze was in Polish hands.

There the Division was divided into two battle-groups to start the liberation of Breda. A southern battle-group marched from Gilze through Bavel to the southern outskirts of Breda.

The northern battle-group attacked via the villages of Molenschot and Dorst, to draw up later for the northern outskirts of the town.

In the early morning of October 29th both battle-groups started the attack on the town of Breda. At that moment the Poles were hampered by German artillery making the march difficult with fire of all kinds of calibers. Also, a German counter-attack near Dorst executed at the same time, delayed the liberaton of the town.

The Germans, retreating to the North, executed small skirmishes, but in the course of the next day the whole of the town of Breda was liberated. Though the town was saved for a heavy battle with many demolitions, nevertheless a number of inhabitants lost their lives during the liberation.

The liberators also suffered losses. 42 Polish soldiers were killed. Also 2 Canadian soldiers, who were involved in the liberation, lost their lives.

The advance to the North finished on 8 November with the liberation of the area behind the Mark-Dintel line including the strongpoint Moerdijk. Everything went to show that the river Maas and outlets were the ultimate objects.

Shortly after the liberation of the town of Breda all military actions were stopped because of the winter. The 1st Polish Armoured Division was quartered at Breda and the surrounding villages and the local population welcomed with great joy their Polish liberators in their houses. During this cold [winter on the Maas] the Poles founded longlasting contacts and after the war 300 Polish soldiers married a girl from Breda and the surrounding villages

In the book Breda Bevrijd ISBN 99-72107-05-5 (written in Dutch) the liberation of the town of Breda is described in detail.

In Dutch as well Breda vertelt van zijn bevrijding author A. Hallema published in 1946 by Broese & Peereboom, Breda.

In K. Jamar's book (in the English language), titled With the tanks of the 1st Polish Armoured Division you'll find a short report about the liberation of Breda.
This book was in 1946 published by H.L. Smit & Zn. at Hengelo, the Netherlands