OVERLOON HAD ESCAPED MAJOR BATTLES FOR FOUR YEARS. BUT THAT CHANGED ON SEPTEMBER 26, 1944 ...
The Battle of Arnhem was lost by the allied forces. They accumulated in the Corridor and sought a way out. But the German troops were now warned and dug in around Venlo. The fighting that broke out around Overloon from September 26 included:
- US 7th Armored Division
- British 3 Infantry Division
- British 11 Armored Division
- 107. Panzer Brigade
- Fallschirmjäger and other German troops
Firstly, the Americans attacked. They were relieved by the British on 7 October. On October 12, hell broke loose with shelling by more than 300 British guns. Overloon town was shot to pieces. Only when it was completely in ruins did the advance of the British, who controlled the situation in Overloon on October 14, begin.
However, the German resistance was not broken yet. The British suffered heavy losses at the Loobeek. The entire area was littered with mines. The British tried to reach the other side under fierce fire along the bridges, which was the only way to cross the river, which was nicknamed 'Bloedbeek' and for good reason! It took another few days for neighbouring Venray to be liberated, but the battle was over on October 18.
It is estimated that more than a thousand soldiers died during the battle and the same number were injured.