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A first rate history of a first rate division!
on 6 April 2007
This in a nutshell is a very affordable, first rate history of first rate division written by a first rate author with actual wartime battlefield experience and therefore I am sure it will appeal to a wide range of readers, especially those with an interest in this particular division and the men who served in it .
Monty once described the 51st Highland Division as one of the finest formations that had ever served under his command. In fact, it was the only infantry division that had served with him from his time in the Western Desert at El Alamein through to the invasion of Normandy and then the final entry into Berlin.
After facing a disaster at St Valery in 1940 when many members of the division were either killed or captured, the division soon re-formed and fought with distinction throughout the war, however this was not without cost either, as they suffered over 2,000 casualties at El Alamein plus a further 1,500 men were lost whilst liberating Sicily. During the 11 month period between 1944 and 1945 they also sustained a further 9,000 casualties too!
After hard fighting in North Africa and Italy, the division returned to England in time to take part in the Second Front, they landed in Normandy and successfully fought through the Bocage to triumphantly re-occupy St Valery. After taking Le Havre, they continued on through Holland and the Ardennes and were amongst the first troops to cross the Rhine.
Famous for their HD cipher, they were sometimes referred to as the "Highway Decorators" however they were highly skilled troops who were well led and their achievements during this conflict will be immortal.