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Army: The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) - 4th Battalion

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Contributed on: 
20 January 2006

Information provided by: Regimental Headquarters
Part of: The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)
First Published: 25 June 2004

Facts and figures

Unit name: 4th Battalion
Force: Army
Designation: Battalion
Type: Infantry


January 1940 - January 1942: France and Gibraltar

After arriving in France with the 51st Highland Division in January 1940 the battalion was on the left flank of the 1st Battalion when the Germans on 13 May opened their full scale attack on the Maginot Line. It was then switched with the division to the area between the mouth of the River Somme and Dieppe, where it was able for a while to hold the village of Valines against the enemy. But it was soon ordered back across the river Bresle, where it managed to hold a position for a day and a half before being again ordered to withdraw, this time to form part of Ark Force which was to prepare to defend Le Havre, from which it was hoped to evacuate the division. Almost at once, however, it was learned that the division was unable to reach Le Havre. After destroying as much as possible of its equipment Ark Force was taken by ship to Cherbourg on 13 June to prepare another defensive position, but two days later, after the French had decided to ask the Germans for an armistice, it was evacuated to Southampton. A month later the battalion was on the way to Gibraltar where it stayed for two and a half years before returning to the UK for the rest of the war.

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