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Black Watch: Liberating Europe and Catching Himmler - My Extraordinary WW2 with the Highland Division Hardcover – 28 Apr 2011
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'Triumphant . . . A remarkable wartime story' --Tim Newark, FINANCIAL TIMES
About the Author
After the war, Dr Renouf lectured at military college for ten years before becoming a physics lecturer at Edinburgh University.
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The book starts with some background on the author's family and his early life. His link to the Highland Division starts with his father's WW1 service. When war comes he is still too young to be involved, but at the earliest opportunity he volunteers for service in the hope that he can join the 51st Highland Division. However the ways of the Army don't work out as he would have preferred, and he ends up in a replacement company of the Tyneside Scottish (a Black Watch battalion) and spends the first few weeks after D-Day in Normandy waiting to be assigned as a replacement. Eventually though he is assigned to a rifle company and blooded.
After the breakout his battalion is broken up and he is assigned to the 5th Black Watch. Shortly afterwards he is wounded and spends time recovering and then working his way through the replacement system to re-join his company in the Autumn. All the period when he is out of the line he uses other veterans stories to tell what happened to the Division (and indeed also for context around his personal accounts too).
Whether you have an interest in the Highland Division, in the infantry experience in the Second World War or the campaigns it is well worth reading.
I would never claim to be able to go through half as much as Tom Renouf did but i just felt like this book was mainly about the whole Highland Division and what they did before he joined up. Its more like a Regimental history book with a little bit of personal first hand details included compared to an out and out one mans story during the war. I have no doubt he seen and experienced some terrible things but for me the book never really made that very clear.
I have the utmost respect for any member of the armed forces regardless of what war they fought it and i hope this isn't seen as anything personal.
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