Memorial Sloedam The CausewayBack Postweg, Arnemuiden
A group of granite and brick stone memorials, commemorating the French soldiers who were killed in May 1940 during the battle of Zeeland and the Scottish and Canadian soldiers who were killed during Operation Mallard in November 1944.
- Year of construction
- Architect / Design
- W.E. Neugebauer
As of 31 October 1944 the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, coming from the direction Goes, was confronted with a narrow strip of land, the only way onto the island of Walcheren. For three days first the Canadians, then the Scots, fought a bitter battle to cross the Causeway (codenamed Operation Mallard). The deadlock was finally broken when Scottish troops crossed the mudflats surrounding the Sloe Channel at night. They eventually entered Middelburg during the early hours of 6 November. The Scottish and the Canadian memorials commemorate the Scottish and Canadian soldiers who were killed during the battle of the Sloedam Causeway (Operation Mallard) in November 1944.
The French memorial commemorates the French soldiers who were killed in May 1940, during the battle of Zeeland at the Sloedam Causeway.
Before and during World War II the Causeway was the only link between the islands of Walcheren and Zuid-Beveland. After the capitulation of the Netherlands on 14 May 1940, the battle in Zeeland continued for a few more days thanks to the presence of the French troops. On 11 May 1940 French infantry landed in Vlissingen and in both West and East Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. A French infantry division led by Maj. Gen. Deslaurens and Beau Frere appeared. It was the French objective to secure the Scheldt estuary and to create a connection between themselves and the Allied front in Belgium.
On 17 May 1940 the French withdrew from the Causeway fighting back to the Westerschelde in Vlissingen to get to Belgium to continue the fights.
On 6 May 2010 a new Canadian memorial consisting of two plaques has been revealed (by the Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs, Jean-Pierre Blackburn) at the Sloedam by the “Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada”. The new memorial has been placed on the viewpoint over the Sloegebied (Sloe area) and is the final one to be placed on this place of remembrance.