The liberation of South Limburg

Period: 12 – 17 September 1944

Involved: George Brouilette probably joined the "Old Hickory" Infantry Division on September 30 and fought with them in the liberation of South Limburg.

Richard Wells was killed on 9 September 1944 along the border of the Belgian-Dutch border in Maastricht and did not live to see the liberation of South Limburg.

After the liberation of Paris on August 25, the advance of the Allied army continued. On September 3 Brussels was liberated and on September 4 Antwerp. On September 5 the Netherlands was gearing up for the liberation. Wild rumors were circulating that the Netherlands would be freed within two days. That day is known as 'Dolle Dinsdag' (Mad Tuesday).

The reality was otherwise: the Allied troops who had managed to advance into Belgium were not able to liberate the Netherlands. The vast majority of the army was still in northern France. The rapid advance meant that the supply lines had not kept up. The Dutch joy therefore proved short-lived. Most of the Netherlands would only be freed in 1945.

Even so, the liberation of the southern Netherlands was imminent. It began on September 12 when US soldiers entered the village of Mesch, right at the tip of South Limburg, not far from Margraten. At the end of the day, the (former) municipality Noorbeek had been liberated. Maastricht (September 14), Heerlen (September 17) and Kerkrade (October 5) soon followed.

From September 17 the liberation of North Brabant began and from September 20th Zeeland. By early December, most of Netherlands south of the large rivers had been liberated.

South Limburg was liberated by US 30th ‘Old Hickory’ Infantry Division en de 2 Armored Division ‘Hell on Wheels’.

The Old Hickory Division enters Maastricht
Source: unknown

Map of the liberation of South Limburg

Dancing women in Rotterdam on Mad Tuesday / Dolle Dinsdag
Source: Public Domain

Road to Liberation
Bron: more information

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