St Val�ry and Its Aftermath: The Gordon Highlanders Captured in France in 1940

St Val�ry and Its Aftermath: The Gordon Highlanders Captured in France in 1940

by Stewart Mitchell


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During the German May 1940 offensive, the 51st (Highland) Division, including the 1st and 5th Battalions Gordon Highlanders, became separated from the British Expeditionary Force. After a heroic stand at St Valery-en-Caux the Division surrendered when fog thwarted efforts to evacuate them.

Within days, scores of Gordons had escaped and were on the run through Nazi-occupied France. Many reached Britain after feats of great courage and tenacity, including recapture and imprisonment often in atrocious conditions in France, Spain or North Africa.

Those imprisoned in Eastern Europe were forced to work in coal and salt mines, quarries, factories and farms. Some died through unsafe conditions or the brutality of their captors. Others escaped, on occasion fighting with distinction alongside Resistance forces. Many had to endure the brutal 1945 winter march away from the advancing Allies before their eventual liberation.

This superbly researched book contains many inspiring stories that deserve and merit reading.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473886582
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 07/10/2017
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Stewart Mitchell became Volunteer Researcher at the Gordons Museum, Aberdeen in 2005 after a career in environmental protection. He lives with his wife at Bridge of Down, Aberdeen.

Table of Contents

Maps vi

Acknowledgements xii

Foreword xiv

Introduction xvi

Chapter 1 Hoping for the Best - Planning for the Worst 1

Chapter 2 The Battle for France 25

Chapter 3 The Long Weary Trail to the East 52

Chapter 4 Stalagites - Life in the PoW Camps 81

Chapter 5 Gambling Everything - Escape or Death 116

Chapter 6 A Bitter Winter 135

Chapter 7 Homeward Bound 150

Chapter 8 Epilogue 159

Appendix: Gordon Highlanders Captured or Killed In France in 1940 169

Index 236

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