Theme Collections

 

Cape Breton Highlanders

 

Photos and Photo Postcards - WW2 – Northwest Europe – 1945-1946

 

Photos

This section contains fourteen photos taken on May 1, 1945, during the liberation of the port town of Delfzijl, Holland. The photos were probably taken by Dutch civilians.

This was the last battle of the war for the Cape Breton Highlanders who captured the town and nearby coastal gun positions. They were supported by tanks of the 8th Princess Louise’s New Brunswick Hussars. It was a bloody battle that cost the Cape Breton Highlanders two officers and eighteen enlisted men killed with many more wounded. The war ended only a fews days later.

The first five photos in this series of photos were all taken on the northern outskirts of Delfzijl, near the railway lines and train station.

The remaining photos were all taken near the town centre of Delfzijl, along Oude Schans and Markstraat. The street scenes are all looking northwest where Oude Schans turns into Markstraat (Market Street). An intersection is visible in some of the photos. The street to the left at the intersection is Landstraat.

Click or tap on the images below for high resolution, expandable images. Use your back button to return to this page.

 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

A group of unidentified Cape Breton Highlanders appear to be conferring with each other and members of the Dutch underground. Note that some of the Canadians have placed their rifles and web gear next to a low post. Also on the ground, and just visible behind the post, is a bren gun. The man on the far left carries a rifle and is wearing an armband identifying him as a member of the Dutch underground. Note the young boy in short pants who is keenly interested in the conversation of the soldiers, and the wooden shoes being worn by the Dutch civilian on the far right.

This photo was taken looking north from the north side of Delfzijl. The large building on right is the Delfzijl train station. The smaller buildings in the background, on the far side of the train tracks, are homes along the Uitwierderweg, a road that ran parallel to the tracks, on the northernmost outskirts of Delfzijl.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (18.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

Cape Breton Highlanders escort German prisoners of war away from the Delfzijl train station. The battalion captured over 1500 Germans over a three day period of fighting.

This photo was taken looking approximately southwest, in the direction of the town centre. The men are crossing the train tracks in the direction of the Uitwierderweg, a road that ran parallel to the tracks, on the northernmost outskirts of Delfzijl.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (4.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

In the background of the photo a group of unidentified Cape Breton Highlanders converse around one of the battalion’s bren gun carriers. Note that most of the men are wearing their tam o’shanters instead of helmets. On the far left is a tank of the 8th Princess Louise’s New Brunswick Hussars. Another bren gun carrier is partly visible on the left. Dutch civilians watch the proceedings with great interest.

This photo was taken looking north on the Uitwierderweg, a road that ran parallel to the train tracks in an east-west direction, on the northern most edge of Delfzijl. Note the field or polder behind the houses. The train tracks and the Delfzijl train station would be behind the photographer. In the direction the vehicles are pointing (right), the Uitwierderweg led down to the area around the Delfzijl Battery which was located on the coast and was the location of heavy fighting.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (19.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

A Sherman tank, probably from the 8th Princess Louise’s New Brunswick Hussars, is shown next to a building adjacent the train tracks in northern Delfzijl. Note the damage to the wall of the building. Two of the tank’s crew, dressed in tanker’s coveralls, are visible with three Dutch civilians.

This photo was taken looking approximately southeast in the direction of the town centre. The Uitwierderweg would be directly behind the photographer. The building in the photo is not the train station, but would probably be some type of maintenance or industrial building. The Delfzijl train station would be located on the far side of the tracks, farther down the line, behind the building.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (11.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

Cape Breton Highlanders process German prisoners of war in northern Delfzijl. The battalion captured over 1500 Germans over a three day period of fighting. Note the unidentified Cape Breton Highlander staring directly at the camera.

This photo was taken looking east along the train tracks in the northern part of Delfzijl. The larger building on the left is a shed or some other type of maintenance building. The row of houses, just visible directly above the men, is the Uitwierderweg, a road that ran parallel to the tracks and was located on the northernmost outskirts of Delfzijl. The Delfzijl train station would be located on the far side of the tracks, somewhere to the right, outside the photo.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (2.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

In the above photo is a Stuart light reconnaissance tank from the 8th Princess Louise’s New Brunswick Hussars. The Hussar tanks supported the infantry of the Cape Breton Highlanders during the battle. The tank has pulled over on the side of a street in Delfzijl and has been approached by happy Dutch civilians. Note the grim faced driver and the rest of the crew preoccupied with happenings behind their vehicle. A bouquet of flowers has been placed on the front right fender of the vehicle.

In the background is a Cape Breton Highlander on a motorcycle. Partially visible behind the tank is the back end of a wasp flame throwing vehicle which was based on a converted universal or bren gun carrier. Visible is the single 75 gallon fuel tank for the flame thrower, located on the rear of the vehicle. The Cape Breton Highlanders were equipped with a number of wasps during the fighting around Delfzijl.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (9.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

This is another view of the Stuart light reconnaissance tank from the 8th Princess Louise’s New Brunswick Hussars. Happy Dutch civilians pose for a picture. Note the grim faced driver and the rest of the crew who seem to be preoccupied with happenings behind their vehicle. In the background is a Cape Breton Highlander on a motorcycle.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (10.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

A jeep and a bren gun carrier from the Cape Breton Highlanders are pulled up to some buildings in Delfzijl. The building on the left housed the local office of the much feared Sicherheitsdienst (SD) which was the security department of the German SS in charge of foreign and domestic intelligence and espionage. Before the war it had been the town hall. The building on the right is a bakery.

The soldiers appear to be unloading or sorting through equipment and gear on the carrier and are watched by curious Dutch civilians. Unfortunately the soldiers are unidentified. A sergeant stands on top of the vehicle. Note the damaged left fender, the mud on lower half of the carrier, and the excess amount of stowed gear on board.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (5.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

This is another view showing the front of the building that housed the SD offices. A jeep and a wasp flame throwing vehicle from the Cape Breton Highlanders are pulled up to the front of the building. The soldiers are examining what appears to be a camouflaged German staff car. The wasp was based on a converted universal or bren gun carrier. Just visible is the single 75 gallon fuel tank for the flame thrower, located on the rear of the vehicle. A spare bogie wheel is hung over the fuel tank. The Cape Breton Highlanders were equipped with a number of wasps during the fighting around Delfzijl.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (8.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

A jeep, a bren gun carrier and three soldiers from the Cape Breton Highlanders are outside of a building in Delfzijl, and are watched by curious Dutch civilians. This carrier has been modified to carry a flame thrower and is called a wasp. Note the large fuel tank for the flame thrower just visible at the rear of the vehicle. The Cape Breton Highlanders had a number of wasps at the time. Note the amount of stowed gear on board, the spare bogie wheel at the back, and the mud coated on the bottom of the carrier. The jeep is carrying a motorcycle on the hood. The long vertical steel rod on the front of the jeep was a field modification to prevent decapitation of the driver and passengers. The Germans were known to booby trap roads by running wires across them usually tied between trees.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (17.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

Two heavily armed Cape Breton Highlanders from “A” Company are pictured on a street in Delfzijl. They are in full battle dress. On the left with a sten gun is Cpl. Howie Dawe from Springhill, NS. On the right with a bren gun is Pte. Earl Wilson from Whitney Pier, Sydney, NS.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (6.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

A street scene during the liberation of Delfzijl. Note the heavily armed Cape Breton Highlanders on the right side of the street in the background, and also conferring with civilian men in the centre of the street. Also note the two women who appear to be running and the curious Dutch civilians who are watching the proceedings.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (15.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

A heavily armed group of Cape Breton Highlanders in full battle dress move carefully along the right hand side of a street in Delfzijl. The last man in the group, in front of a doorway, wears a redcross armband identifying him as a medic. One of the battalion’s bren gun carriers is in the centre of the street in the background. Although it is hard to tell for sure, the parked trucks on the right hand side of the street in the background appear to be German vehicles. Note the man with the odd shaped helmet in the intersection who appears to be stomping on a large paper or poster. He may be some type of town official.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (1.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 


The Liberation of Delfzijl, Holland

May 1, 1945

German prisoners of war captured by the Cape Breton Highlanders are being escorted out of town watched closely by Dutch civilians. A Cape Breton Highlander wearing a tam o’shanter can just be seen on the left of the photo in the intersection, leading the column. The trucks parked on the street in the background are believed to be German vehicles.

Photographer: Unknown
Ref. Number: 15-2 (3.2)
Image Information: Received as electronic file
Source: Ties Groenewold Collection, Holland, 2015
 

© Cape Breton Military History | Nova Scotia Website Design by: immediaC