Leopold Canal, Belgium



The Leopold Canal runs just short of the Belgian/Dutch border and was reached by Canadian troops after the liberation of nearby Adagem in October 1944. The assault was made by units of the 7th Canadian Brigade on the morning of 6th October.

At about 5:30 on the cold morning of 6 October, 27 Wasps went into action along the 7th Brigade front east of Strooibrug. As the first bursts of flame shot across the water, the assault companies picked up the boats, clambered over the steep poplar-lined bank and launched them. The flame did its work, temporarily demoralizing those of the enemy whom it did not kill. On the right, both companies of the Canadian Scottish crossed successfully near Oosthoek without coming under fire. (Hyperwar)

The ‘Wasps‘ were Universal Carriers modified to carry a flame thrower and a fearful weapon, much feared by German troops. The canal crossing here was successful and took the Canadians into Holland to join up with other units that had landed on the Dutch coast during Operation Switchback.

Leopold Canal 1944

Today the battlefield is easily found near Adagem and has changed little since 1944. The old pre-war bunker re-used by the Germans still looks down the line of the tree-lined canal.

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