(Version 2.1, 23-09-2005) As the Canadian army closed in on the city of Groningen in April 1945, it was clear that the campaign in the Netherlands was coming to a close. Still the German garrisson in Groningen was far from prepared to just hand over the city. Instead, with limited means available to them at this stage of the war they tried to change Groningen into a bulwark of defense. With it's many waterways Groningen offered outstanding defensive possibilities especially if the Germans had been able to blow up the main bridges which unfortunately for them they had not. Groningen was defended by an odd garrisson consisting of remnants of the Replacement and Traning Regiment of the Hermann Goering Division, some elements of the Dutch SS, a few naval detachments, elements of the Sicherheits Polizei (German security police in occupied area's) and employees of the German Reichsbahn pressed into military service. The garrisson was complemented by Dutch national socialists of the "Landwacht" a para military organization that carried out police duties for the Germans during the occupation. Heavy weapons and artillery were hardly available, but the defenders had a considerable amount of light FLAK guns and plenty of Panzerfausts. The second Canadian Infantry Division was given the task to take the city and ordered six regiments to close in on the town from different directions. These regiments were: The Calgary Highlanders of Canada, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders Of Canada, The Black Watch Of Canada, The Essex-Scottish Highlanders Of Canada, Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal and Le Régiment de Maisonneuve. Starting on 13 April 1945, four days of heavy fighting followed before the Germans surrendered. At the end of 16 April a large part of the historical town center was in ruins and 106 Groningen civilians had lost their lives. Groningen was finally liberated, but payed a high price.