Battlefield Tours and Tourism in the Bergen op Zoom region (Brabantse Wal)
70 years have passed since the end of World War II, but the interest it inspires is greater than ever. You might think that everything has already been said and written about the Second World War, but there is an increasing number of new publications and books which provide fresh insights into the War itself, the background against which this conflict arose and its global consequences. So it is not surprising that the interest of the general public in World War ll is increasing, and that more and more people want to become better educated about this conflict.
Liberation Route Europe
In close cooperation with the Liberation Route Europe Foundation and certain Canadian partners and heritage organizations, we gladly play our role in sharing our knowledge about World War II and the position of our part of the country within it. Through the brochure Battlefield Tours & Tourism we would like to attract your attention to our venture, and share with you the excellent opportunities that our region has to offer to the visitor who is interested in Battlefield Tourism. In 2019 and 2020, Europe will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Liberation and the end of WWII, and therefore celebrates our shared values of peace, freedom and reconciliation. The Liberation Route Europe (LRE), as an international remembrance trail, participates in this indispensable task of remembering and honoring those who lost their lives for our freedom and to unlock their stories to keep their memory alive.
Treating our history with respect
Our region has a rich and eventful past when it comes to conflicts and warfare, specifically with regard to the Second World War. It is not without reason that there are two large war cemeteries in Bergen op Zoom, the final resting place of almost 2,500 soldiers who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.We understand the art of treating our history with respect, and annually organize the World War II commemorations. Since 2014, the Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery has organised the Canadian National Remembrance Day in the Netherlands.
We would be most happy to give you the opportunity to get to know our city and region better. A visit to Bergen op Zoom and Brabantse Wal will give you the chance to form your own opinion – on location - of the excellent ambiance our region offers the tourist. If this appeals to you, please get in touch. We are very willing meet up and become better acquainted.
Bergen op Zoom is home to two military cemeteries that remind us of the war years:
War Cemetery (British); most of the casualties that rest here, are air force servicemen who were killed in action in air raids over the Netherlands. Most of them are British. The cemetery comprises 1,284 graves. A few servicemen that were killed during the Great War have also been interred at this cemetery.
Canadian War Cemetery; most of the servicemen that rest here fell during the Battle of the Scheldt (September- November 1944). This cemetery is the final resting-place of 1,119 servicemen. The majority of the casualties - 989 - are Canadians.
The military cemeteries are situated at Ruytershoveweg in Bergen op Zoom.
World War II Battle Field Tours – Stories of the Battle of the Scheldt
Your tour guide Robert Catsburg (1969) is a seasoned and renowned expert on the history of the Battle of the Scheldt. He was raised with a fascination of the ‘liberators’ and their exploits. He knows every back road in the area to bring you to the most fascinating historical places.
Learn about victory, bravery, misery and tragedy. Hear about the generals and the common city and farmer boy soldiers. Many found a lasting resting place at the local Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery.
There is a good chance members of your family were involved in this epic fight. This is an opportunity to learn the story they never dared to tell you.
English / German / Dutch spoken personalised guided tours are offered to visit the actual sites where it happened. Discover the features of the old battle field and the remains of trenches and pill boxes.
Tours are additionally supported using period film footage, radio broad castings and military objects.