The liberation of Western Europe began on June 6th 1944 with Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. The liberation of the Netherlands was a complicated operation that lasted from september 1944 till may 1945. Troops of several allied nations took part in this operation. While the  south of the Netherlands was already liberated in the autumn of 1944, the north had to wait until april 1945. The west even had to wait until the German surrender on may 5 1945.

On september 9 1944 a reconnessance patrol of the american 113th Cavalry Group Red Horse was the first to cross the Dutch border near Maastricht. The first liberators of the Netherlands, soldiers of the 30 Infantry Division "Old Hickory", entered Southern Limburg on september 12 1944. Next, on september 17 1944, Operation Market Garden started. This was a combined American, British and Polish operation. After Operation Market Garden Operation Pheasant started on friday 20 october 1944. This was the liberation of Middle and Western Brabant. The 1st Canadian Army attacked from Belgium and the 2nd British Army attacked from the east. On monday oktober 23rd the 51st Highland Division advanced in the direction of Schijndel. This attack, part of Operation Pheasant, was known by the name Operation Colin.

Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, Walcheren and Northern and Southern Beveland were liberated by the Canadians, British and Polish during the months of september till november. In November and december North-West Limburg was liberated by the 2nd British Army. The main part of Southern Netherlands was now free from the German occupation.

In february 1945 the German Rhineland en North East Limburg was liberated by the Canadians in the North and the Americans in the south.
On march 28 the 1st Canadian Army advanced from Germany into the Netherlands near Dinxperlo. Gelderland, Overijssel and the three northern provinces were liberated. In Drenthe Belgian and French paratroops helped the Canadians. On april 2 the last German resistance was broken. The west however kept occupied by the Germans because the Germans offered heavy resistance on the Grebbe-line. To save the civilian population the Candians decided not to move forward. The Germans agreed to let bombers from the UK drop food for the starving population in the west.  These droppings started on april 29 1945 and became known by the name Operation Manna. On may 2 they were followed by foodtransports by road. Canadian and English trucks brought food through the Grebbe-line.

On May 4 1945 in his headquarters on the Luneburgerheide FieldMarshall Montgomery accepted the complete surrender of the German troops in North-West Europe. This surrender started on may 5 1945 at 8 a.m.

In the Netherlands an ackward situation rose when the German commander general Blaskowitz felt that the surrender was not valid for the German troops in the west of the Netherlands. He was summoned by the Canadian lieutenant-general Foulkes and on may 5 in Hotel "De Wereld" in Wageningen terms of surrender were discussed. Present was also HRH Prince Bernhard, commander of the Dutch forces. The next day, sunday may 6 1945, Blaskowitz signed the surrender-agreements of all German troops in the Netherlands. Two days later, in Berlin on may 8 1945, the total surrender of the Third Reich was signed by the German high command and the Allied forces.

After 5 years of suppression, acts of horror, prosecution of jews, shortage of almost everything, the hungerwinter, air-combats, bombardments, V-1's, V-2's and resistance the Netherlands were free again.
We owe it all to our Allied Forces, Americans, Canadians, British, Polish, French, Belgians and of course our own
Royal Brigade "Prinses Irene" and the Dutch underground, the resistance.