Bullet Impacts Noorderhaven

During the liberation of the city of Groningen in April 1945 there was heavy fighting to push out the occupiers. Traces of which are still visible.

April 13, 1945, during the night of Friday to Saturday, the German commander was in the smithy for hours on the corner of the Zoutstraat (Groninger Rotterdammer Stoomboot Maatschappij) waitting for 'phone orders about what to do with the ships in the Noorderhaven.

Around 06:00 the commander receives the order to sink the ships. The G.R.S.M. freighter was moved into the canal. The Germans had installed explosives in the hold and three or four holes were punched into the hull and when full of water it sank.

The intention was to slow down the advance to the Reitdiep. This failed even though the ship sank and the route to the Reitdiep remained open.

The "Kathe" - a tugboat owned by J. Pleizier from Delfzijl, underwent the same fate.

After this, more ships followed in the Noorderhaven. The Hunze V was sunk by applying a burst charge in the pre-chamber. The explosion caused two large holes.

"Damage that clean Schiffe" the German commander had said afterwards. He put his guilt aside by saying "Befehl ist Befehl".

The thirty Germans who had sunk the ships gathered together and then drove towards the Hofstraat. Not long afterwards the Canadians reached the Noorderhaven.

The eastern part of the park was designated as Lincoln I by the Canadians. They were confronted with very dangerous 20 mm flak from the other side of the Noorderhaven. After the occupation of Lincoln 1, C and D companies were able to attack Lincoln 2. This was the area around the Ossenmarkt and Guyotplein.

From the Zoutstraat, snipers from Le Regiment de Maisonneuve attacked the Germans who are on the other side of the Noorderhaven zz in warehouses.

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