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"While 2nd Corps of the 1st Canadian Army was crossing the Rhine River in late March 1945, 1st Corps was on a massive redeployment from the Italian front — through the Mediterranean and up through the south of France — to join the 1st Canadian Army advance into Germany and The Netherlands. Moving into northern Netherlands the Canadians effectively cut off the 117,000 German troops in western Holland, leaving them with no means of escape.
The Germans were defeated and the exhausted Canadian soldiers could see the end. Nobody wanted to be the last man killed in this war in the cold bleak months of early 1945. But the occupying Germans were still fighting, and the occupied Dutch were still suffering serious privation under them. The oppressors had flooded the farmlands of western Netherlands and blockaded food and supplies to civilians. The abject neglect of the Dutch by the occupying Germans caused the death of at least 18,000 civilians in the terrible famine known as the Hunger Winter."