World Battlefronts: To the Dikes

Antwerp, the greatest freight port on the continent of Europe (annual peacetime capacity: 23,500,000 tons), was capable of supplying all the Allied armies in the Low Countries, and it had been captured intact, six weeks ago. But it was useless so long as the Scheldt estuary, its outlet to the sea, was flanked by pockets of stubborn, German holdout troops. So the operation to clear the banks of the Scheldt had a triple-A priority.

The front was an attackers' nightmare, composed of bridgeheads within bridgeheads, like a magician's nest of boxes (see map). At...

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