2020 $100 Liberation of the Netherlands: Operation Manna - Pure Silver Coin

SKU: 623932101937

RCM Number:
Country: Canada
Year: 2020

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The history of one of Canada’s great humanitarian efforts of WWII is marked on this low mintage ten ounce fine silver coin. The design presents a from the ground perspective of the 1945 “Operation Manna”, where Canadian soldiers provided a massive air drop of food for the Dutch people as part of its efforts to liberate the Netherlands. The food was provided much-needed relief to millions of starving civilians still trapped behind enemy lines. Mintage is limited to just 550 pieces.

Double-dated to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands (“1945” “2020”), the reverse design by Canadian artist John Mantha features a view of Operation Manna (April 29-May 8, 1945) from the perspective of Dutch civilians. Flying low over a designated drop zone in western Netherlands, one of the Lancaster bombers flown by Canadian aircrews of RAF Bomber Command has dropped her cargo. Selective gold plating highlights the bombers, the packages and the windmill on the reverse, as well as the rim on both sides. The selectively gold-plated obverse features the effigy of King George VI by T.H. Paget and a “V for Victory” privy mark.

Operation Manna
By the end of April 1945, Canadian forces had helped liberate much of the Netherlands. The western Netherlands – including the major cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague – was still occupied by an enemy 120,000 strong, but the situation had become dire for Dutch civilians.

Food and fuel supplies in the Netherlands had been stretched thin after four years of occupation. In retaliation for a nationwide railway strike in September 1944, the enemy had temporarily blocked all food transports into the densely populated western regions. With the embargo lifted, shipments resumed but slowly because of damage to the system caused by allied air attacks, and because the Germans now had to operate the railway system. And with the onset of a harsh winter, no barges could travel through the frozen canals. Thousands of Dutch men, women and children were dead or dying from starvation.

On April 22, 1945, the 1st Canadian Corps halted its westward push into the Netherlands to prevent further flooding designed to slow the Canadian advance. The halt in operations allowed the Allies to begin negotiations to allow the delivery of food aid. An agreement was reached on May 1, 1945, allowing a food to be brought in by air, road and sea. This consisted of three Allied aid missions:

• Operation Manna (April 29-May 8, 1945)
• Operation Chowhound (May 1-7, 1945)
• Operation Faust (May 2-10, 1945) a ground-based operation.

Flying low in broad daylight and in full range of enemy anti-aircraft defences, the first wave of bombers could see anti-aircraft guns tracking their flight path as they successfully completed the air drops. But the crews also witnessed the joy and relief of the Dutch civilians, who waved and painted thank-you messages to the Allied aircrews.

The food drops continued over a 10-day period that ended on V-E Day (May 8, 1945). RAF Bomber Command completed over 3,000 sorties, including those performed by Canadian aircrews attached to RAF squadrons and the Pathfinders who marked the drop zones. The Allied relief effort provided a total of 17,913 tons of vital supplies. Despite logistic issues that slowed the distribution of goods in some areas, Liberation of the Netherlands signalled an end to the Dutch famine that claimed more than 22,000 lives.


Produced By: RCM
Denomination: 100 Dollars
Year: 2020

Diameter: 76.25mm
Material: Silver
Fineness: 0.9999
Weight: 311.53 grams
Bullion Weight: 9.9991 Troy Ounces

Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II
Artist: John Mantha
Finish: Proof
Series: WWII
Quantity Produced: 550
Monarch: King George VI
Theme: Military

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