On October 23rd 1944 the village of Sint-Michielsgestel was liberated by British troops of the 7th Battalion Black Watch, part of the 51st Highland Division.
The attack was part of Operation Pheasant and the men were approaching from the direction of Schijndel, and being driven in Kangaroo Armoured Personnel Carriers (basically Sherman tanks without turrets) they made rapid progress until they reached the village. There they came under small arms and mortar fire, they debussed from the Kangaroo’s and proceeded on foot through the village under heavy fire. Their objective was the bridge across the Dommel river however when they got within 100 yards of the bridge the Germans demolished it.
After a short reorganization two companies crossed the river and established a bridgehead on the far bank which was quickly reinforced with anti-tank guns. During the night a Bailey bridge was built and the next morning the troops moved on towards the next village; Esch.
Moving forward 75 years, in 2019 the Screaming Ducks were invited to setup a display for the commemorations. Being a member of the Ducks and living only a short distance away this was a great opportunity to show off my Dodge and some of the stuff that I’ve collected over the years. Little did we know that this was to be the last event for 2 years do to Covid.
My video of the liberation convoy that drove through the region can be seen here:
This weekend we were once again invited to participate in the event and we setup a static display. For this event I searched for original video from World War II that was recorded in the area and luckily I was able to find some excellent material.
Using my mobile projector I could show this at our display, always something special to show the public. On top of that I brought my Ben Hur trailer which was packed with crates, boxes, jerrycans etc, so all in all it was a pretty decent display. Combine that with the material that the Ducks and other participants brought with them we were able to show the public something special!
Below are pictures of the display: