Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by oscar1whisky, Jan 21, 2008.

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  1. i know there are many books covering the evacuation of the BEF in ww2, but can anyone recommend a book that tells of those who weren't evacuated? my dad was one of these, but even after all this time it's difficult to get him to say much, other than hundreds died on the long march to pow camps in Poland ( a long way on foot!). thanks in advance.
  2. thanks, puttees, will order it this week.
  3. Also, check out the history of the 51st Highland Division in WW2.

    They were not encircled by the Blitzkreig, which cleverly didn't bother with the Maginot Line where they were waiting, and were sent west, basically for a last stand.

    Revisionist historians suggest that they were sacrificed, in order to mitigate the evacuation at Dunkirk.

    Whether that is true or not, they held out longer than was expected, and longer than they should have done, in other words normally could have done, given their numbers and the fact that they were fighting a well equipped modern army with WW1 kit.

    They were a TA division, in the main.

    Two of the brigades surrendered, due to lack of ammo IIRC, and the other fought on until exhausted.

    The poor Germans then had to deal with accommodating tons of very angry Jocks.

    I believe there were some attrocities.

    Whether your Da was a Sweaty or not, check out the 51st, it is an interesting story, which I must delve into again.

    If you ever go a-travelling, try and go to wherever your father was incarcerated. My Grandfather was in POW in the former East Germany, and when the wall came down, I went to the barracks in EG where he was banged up.

    To say that the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up wouldn't tell the half of it.
  4. read that one, thanks. good point on the visits, as he's finally decided he wants to go see the cottbus area and around torun too-- see my other posts re being released by and fighting with the russians before being handed over to the americans near dresden, finally made it home in 1945 and promptly got sent to palestine! unlucky those irish.
  5. As did my own father. A fascinating history, and good to hear of a Paddy from those days still around, get him to come to the Combined Irish Regiment's Association parade this year.

    Which unit was he with? Wouldn't matter if it was an Irish one or not, he'd be very welcome.

  6. Try "Churchills Sacrifice of The Highland Division" by Saul David.

    The 51st were alledgedly sacrificed by Churchill in an attempt to keep France on "our" side - they withdrew to the coast alongside French Forces.

    Some members of the 51st got away - but most went into "the bag".The Royal Navy were unable to pick the 51st up from St Valery because of fog.

    Some units continued to fight on after the Divison surrendered....this was on June 10th 1940,several days after the beaches at Dunkirk had been cleared.

    Well worth a read IMHO.
  7. I actually knew Saul in the 90s via my then girlfirend, and remember now that he was researching this, which is probably why it was in the back of my mind.

    He's pretty nifty with a shotgun IIRC
  8. Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man by Hugh Seabag-Montefiore

    focuses on the rear guard action around the Dunkirk perimeter, to be honest I found it a bit heavy going
  9. He`s wrote quite a few books on military history.The only other one of his that I have is Mutiny at Salerno.
  10. london irish, thanks for invite, can you pm details please? dad was rifles at the time, later skins, gave up on reunions at ballymena a few years back because everyone he knew was dead. maybe this year i can talk him into it?