4th bn Black Watch, 6th June 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Stewart Coupar, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. Hi,
    Does anyone have accurate details about where and what the 4th Bn Black Watch were doing on the 6th of June, 1940? There is not too much detail in the book The Black Watch and the King's Enemies.
    Many thanks,
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2020
  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    1940 as per the title or 1944 ?
  3. Ah, yes. it should read 1940! Trying to do too many things at once again, sorry.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    The battalion withdrew to the line of Embreville - Hocquelus on the evening. There's too many Company Reports in the war diary to read them all but the first one states there was a breakthrough on their left in the morning and they appear to have spent most of the day fighting a withdrawal to the south of the River Bresle.
  5. Kiwi REd One

    Kiwi REd One Junior Member

    Operation Rot (Red), the second major phase of the German campaign in France began on June 5 1940. The 51st Highland Division was holding the River Somme line from the Channel to just east of Abbeville. The German attack pushed back and caused major losses to two of the 154 Brigade battalions in the front line, which were 7th and 8th Battalions Argyll & Sunderland Highlanders. 4th Black Watch began the 5th June in Divisional reserve just south of the River Bresle. With the German attack making quick progress General Fortune decided to commit his reserve (4BW) plus a unit of French Tanks (probably equipped with Somua 35's but hard to tell) in a counterattack that afternoon, but due to the rapid progress of the Germans 4 BW was evidently not committed and instead ended up on 6th June in the front line around Embreville - Hocquelus as Drew has already indicated.

    I'd put up a couple of map images but they don't want to show up in the post.

    You might find some of the information in the following link to another page on this site useful, it relates to the 7th Batallion ASH which was fighting around Franleu on the 5th s it does impact on 4BW's activities : 7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders June 1940

    I can point you to a book called "Churchill's Sacrifice of the Highland Division" by Saul David, which contains a reasonably detailed account of the Highlander's fight with the Germans. Details here:https://www.amazon.com/Churchills-Sacrifice-Highland-Division-France/dp/185753378X

    Most detailed way of finding out about 4BW is probably to get a copy of the 4BW War Diary from Drew.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  6. Hi,
    Thank you both for your replies. I am sure I have a copy of Saul's books somewhere, will try and dig it out. I remember it being a good read. I do have a bit of info about the 7th Argyll's at Franleu on file, a friends dad was there and I copies the relevant chapter from the battalion history.
    I think the chap I am interested in served with D Company, but I still need to check this detail. If I can prove he was with D Company I might follow that line up and speak to Drew about buying a copy.
    Thanks once again,

    JERICHO Junior Member

    on a French Book : De la Somme à la Bresle d'Alain Lefebvre
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
    Rich Payne likes this.
  8. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    "8007" is indeed the 'movement serial' for 4th Black Watch so had been left on the panel since they sailed for France on 29th January - This is quite unusual as the instructions were that they should be overpainted after arrival in theatre.
    Drew5233, JERICHO and Owen like this.
  9. Great photographs, would you believe that George M Coyle was a close friend of the chap I am researching. He mentions him in a newspaper report which I will try and copy and post later. Thank you for posting.
    Christophe T. likes this.
  10. Christophe T.

    Christophe T. Member

    Yes they should been around Embreville and Incheville at this time, some casualties in These cemeteries (GM Coyle and DG Doig in Embreville and Bowman JM in Incheville on the 6th) and the 7th around Arques la Bataille (South Dieppe) 2 Casualties in Tourville sur Arques Cemetery... ;-( But on the 8th and 9th still casualties in Incheville... :-( So ?
    Hope this help you...
  11. Kiwi REd One

    Kiwi REd One Junior Member

    Incheville was held, mainly by D Company 4th Battalion, The Border Regiment, from 7th till the 14th June when they finally surrendered, two days after the rest of IX Corps had surrrendered at St Valery en Caux.
    You can find a pretty detailed account of what happened here: 4th Battalion The Border Regt June 1940
  12. Hello and thank you to all of you for taking the time to reply to my question, it has been very helpful. The chap I am researching later served with the Cameron Highlanders, but I can confirm he was still with the Black Watch, in the UK, when he was married in May, 1943.
    I have been digging out the books I have about the Highland Div in 1940, but none of them go into to much detail about the 4th BW on the 6th June 1940, so I suspect it was a day of normal contact with the Germans and not a major action, which seems to have been taking place further south, where the panzers were breaking through.
    Many thanks once again,
    Christophe T. likes this.

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