Honour - Walcheren 1944
The action took place as an amphibious assault to capture the Dutch Island
of Walcheren, open the Scheldt and therefore allow the Port of Antwerp to be
used by Allied forces.
Following successful landings in Normandy on D-Day, the Allied advance imposed increasing logistic and supply problems from the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches together with several small ports captured during the landing and subsequent advance.
All major French and Belgian ports were still either in German hands or so damaged by the Germans as to be of no or only limited value for supply purposes.
The opening of Antwerp would ease the supply problems enormously.
The Germans had heavily fortified Walcheren Island and the Allied bombing strike force became fog bound and unable to soften up the German defences.
About 180 landing craft carried the assaulting marines and troops ashore. Naval support vessels sailed close inshore - receiving strong opposition from the German defences.
Nine vessels were sunk and 372 killed.
Heavy Naval Gunfire Support was provided by the battleship Warspite (15" guns), and the Monitors, Erebus (2 x 15" guns), and Roberts (2 x 15" guns), plus the Captain Class (1942), destroyer HMS Kingsmill.
This page last edited -
23 March, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.