The Brabant village Oisterwijk and Operation Market-Garden
The Battle for ‘s-Hertogenbosch from the German perspective
Brief overview of the battle
During my research I found these German documents about the battle for the city ‘s-Hertogenbosch,
the capital city of the province Brabant. This city, 13.5 miles north of Oisterwijk
was liberated during ‘Operation Pheasant’, the liberation of southern Holland. This
battle took place during four day’s in late October 1944 beginning on October 22
under codename ‘Alan’. Executed by the 53rd Welsh Division under Major-General R.K.
Ross and the 7th Armoured Division under Major-General G.L. Verney, the well known
‘Desert Rats’ the battle started at midnight on 22 october 1944.
These German documents cover October 22 to October 28 and is called the battle report
about the battles of the German 712 Infantry Division east of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The
German 712 Infantry Division was commanded by the German commander Lieutenant-General
Neumann that together with the German 59 I.D. defended the area around ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
The city commander of ‘s-Hertogenbosch was Oberst Dewald.
On the first day, October 22 the 131st Brigade and 22nd Armoured Division liberated
the villages Middelrode, Doornhoek and Berlicum while the 158th Brigade, 160th Brigade
and the 71st Brigade liberated the villages Nuland and Kruisstraat.
On the 2nd day, October 23 the Welshmen advanced to Rosmalen, Bruggen and Hintham,
1 mile east of
In the night of 23 on 24 October the attack on the city began at 02.00 hrs. The Welshmen
advanced along the rail line and Hinthammerpark thereby taking the commandpost of
General Neumann. Neumann, ready to defend his post was ordered by Gerneral Reinhard
to retreat his post together with his staff which he did. The Welshmen advanced onto
the rivers Dieze and Zuid-Willemsvaart and formed a bridgehead on the east side of
lock O in the evening of October 24.Also on October 24 the 51st Highland Division
attacked the area south of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, advancing from the village of Den Dungen,
south of the Zuid-Willemsvaart. The Highlanders advanced until south of ‘s-Hertogenbosch
near the village Vught which was still in the hands of the German 59 I.D. The only
way out of the city for the Germans would be to the west.
On October 25 at 11.00 hrs the attack on the city-centre began by the 160th Brigade
with the 1st and 5th Welsh attacking along the Dieze on to the station square and
Wilhelminabridge over the Dommel and the 1st East Lancs attacking along the east
on to the Wilhelmina square, Vughter bridge and Willems bridge.
After bitter fighting advance was made until the river Dommel in the west part of
the city liberating the city centre of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
On October 26 the attack on the last part of the city started with the 1st and 5th
Welsh attacking over the Wilhelmina bridge and the 1st East Lancs attacking the two
bridges at the Wilhelmina square. After bitter fighting the East Lancs and the Welsh
were able to form up in the evening at the station square occupying the west side
of the Dommel around the train station and rail lines west of the city-centre. Also
Vught was liberated that day by the 154 Brigade under the 51st Highland Division
and were able to contact the 53 Welsh Division at the destroyed Vughter bridge. General
Neumann had still fighting spirit and wouldn’t give up. He planned a counter attack
for the next day October 27 with the troops he had still left to attack the area
around the train station from the west.
In the morning of the 27th the Germans attacked but the welsh were informed in time
and ready for the German counter attack. The welsh repelled the attack and the German
counterattack was a big fiasco resulting in lots of German soldiers killed and taken
prisoner, amongst them the German Major Riedel. The Battle for ‘s-Hertogenbosch was
over and the Germans retreated to the west onto Vlijmen. 253 civilian were killed
during the battle and a further 2100 were wounded of which 800 severe. 722 building
were destroyed ore damaged beyond repair. Amongst the Welsh that liberated the town
lots of men were either killed ore wounded counting 11 officers and 134 soldiers
killed and 705 wounded.
In the following German documents the German perspective on this battle and the outcome
of this battle can be read. This report counts 17 documents and looks to me signed
with the name of Neumann which was the name of the German commander of the 712 Infantry
Division, General-lieutenant Neumann. I translated the documents to English which
can be read on the following pages.
53th Welsh Division
7th Armoured Division
53rd Welsh Division in the streets of
Rare film footage from after the Battle for
's-Hertogenbosch. In this short film the battle damage in a part of the city's centre
is filmed as are civilians in the streets evacuating their homes, Welshmen entering
the city's streets on foot and by carrier and lots more. (no sound)
The Battle for 's-Hertogenbosch by Major-General
Battle account by Major-General Henry Woods, Tank Troop Leader in the Battle for
's-Hertogenbosch. This account is about the actions of 'A' squadron, the 2nd Manchesters
starting at Nuland.