The Brabant village Oisterwijk and Operation Market Garden
The Battle for ‘s-Hertogenbosch from the German perspective
Documents for 26-10-44
In the morning the artillery fire became less.
Deployed in the MLR were:
In sector ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Commander Major Riedel)
Right subsector: F.E.B 347 (Felders Ersatz Battalion) added with 4./F.E.B.1712.
Left subsector: Btl. Ewald added with Sammel-Company (a company put together with
soldiers from different units) a fighting force counting about 450 men.
The equipment with M.G. (Machine Guns) was remarkably low, some of the company’s
even counted one M.G.!
4./F.E.B. 1712 counted a fighting force of 100 men and 2 M.G.!
In contrast to the view of the Chief of the General staff of the General Command,
who meant to believe that in ‘s-Hertogenbosch liberation party’s took place, the
enemy continuously strengthened itself with infantry and armour at the east bank
of the north-south canal.
At 11.30 hrs strong artillery fire with fog grenades on the MLR, the positions at
the destroyed bridges were simultaneously controlled by the at the east bank deployed
enemy tanks. Under cover of this fire the enemy succeeded to cross the canal at two
points with infantry-shock troops counting 30 – 40 men
and to infiltrate the MLR.
Because of immediate executed counterattacks one enemy shock troop could be destroyed/driven
back over the 80 to 100 cm deep canal and the other for the greatest part could be
whipped out. While these counter measures were initiated and shock reserve troops
were taken away from less threatened areas the enemy crossed at other positions over
the poorly blown south bridge at the canal and advanced in to the direction of the
west bank and infiltrated the MLR. The enemy was able to create a crossing at the
south bridge by means of a bridge laying tank under the protection of artillery fire
and fog grenades. Two tanks could cross over this bridge around 14.00 hrs and could
advance until the railroad embankment and from there covered their advance route
to the west and north with fire. The Adjudant of Felders.Battalion.347 attempted
to contact its right neighbour (Battalion Gramse) to discuss a joined counter action.
He was able to advance past Vught without being able to find any members of Battalion
Gramse at the Dommelcanal, the main road, the railroad and along the Afwateringscanal.
At concentration camp Vught he observed a tank maintenance and repair platoon with
10 enemy tanks!
The enemy closed in with its front troops from the south under heavy artillery support
and with the use of phosphor and fog grenades. Individual strongpoints from houses
held, while a strengthened trench line supported with Sturmgeschutzen was built by
the Battle Commander in the area south of the train station. Because of the lack
of artillery ammunition for the Group Vlijmen our own defence lessened essentially.
The already in the early morning by the Division initiated shifts of ammunition stocks
from Artillery Group Hedel to Artillery Group Vlijmen had not been completed. s.Pz.Jg.Abt.559
already had suffered sensitive losses. The strengthened trench line at the train
station could be held for the most part. The enemy suffered heavy losses by the counterattack.
5 enemy tanks could be destroyed.
On 26 October British tanks attacked the German positions at the Wilhelmina square
and Willemsbridge in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in support of the 1st East Lancs.
The German documents with the outcome of the battle for 26 October 1944. (Click on the documents to enlarge)