Private Diary: May 1940, 51st Highland Division, Lt-Col. H.R. SWINBURN

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    TNA Catalogue Reference: WO 217/13

    Courtesy of Drew
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    History of the 51st (Highland) Division
    Compiled by Lieutenant-Colonel H.R. SWINBURN

    26th May - 12th June, 1940

    PART I

    These notes and sketches have been compiled to assist the preparation of the Divisional War History after the War. They are confidential and are not for publication or discussion.

    (Signed) V.M. FORTUNE

    This portion of the History of the 51st (Highland) Division covers its movements and operations from 26 May to 12 June 1940, this being from the time the Division left the VERDUN area to move North of PARIS, until its final capture at ST. VALERY. The period previous to this has purposely not been recorded here as it is presumed that many War Diaries and official papers connected with it were evacuated with the 154 BRIGADE force which got home to ENGLAND. As all documents were destroyed before capture, no copies of orders or maps have been available when compiling this history in captivity. This has, however, been compensated for to a very large extent by the very nature of captivity, for the majority of Commanding Officers and the chief actors in the various operations etc have been able to get together and discuss each Phase and their personal part therein.

    Its object is solely to record what is known to those who were captured and it must on no account be held or taken to be the final story of the period.
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    PERIOD MAY 25th - 26th
    The original instructions for the move of the 51st (Highland) Division from the SAAR legislated for a concentration of the Division well behind the River MOSELLE in the ETAIN area. Thence it was to move up to join the B.E.F. This policy had been agreed to by the British and French authorities at the time of the despatch of the Division to the SAAR. In the instructions as issued before withdrawal from the MAGINOT Line, PACY was nominated at the area to which the Division was eventually to move when its concentration in the ETAIN area had been effected.

    This concentration was completed by the morning of the 22nd May, but, instead of the Division then moving on by road and rail to PACY, it was loaned by G.Q.G. whose reserve it was, to the Second French Army who employed it in the VARENNES area, some 30 miles from VERDUN, as a reserve behind the French troops holding the Southern shoulder of the enemy break-through near MONTMEDY.

    By the morning of 25th May the Division was in the VARENNES area less the marching position of 6 battalions which had entrained the previous day ostensibly to join up with their road parties in VARENNES. These had been switched without Division being informed and were now reported well on their way to the North of PARIS. Due to complete lack of any road control or organisation during the previous night the Division found itself really badly mixed up and it took the whole morning to get units and their transport sorted out. The French had failed to give any roads into the area for the move the night before despite the most insistent demands from 51 Division and none of their promised guides ever put in an appearance.

    All these difficulties were repercussions of the extensive dis-organisation which resulted from the sudden German break-through which naturally strained the French resources to their utmost and forced them to improvise very hastily with what was left.

    It was this same factor which caused the H.Q. of the formations under which the Division later served to be as hastily constituted and consequently deficient in such important details as signals and staff all of which increased their difficulties when trying to control under very fluid and changing conditions.

    The move North was again put on this morning; the Divisional road parties being routed to PACY via FONTAINEBLEAU and the South of PARIS. Just as movement tables had been issued and staging and advanced parties despatched, instructions were received changing both the route and the destination. The new itinerary led via VITRY and the North of PARIS with GISOR (40 miles North West of PARIS) as the final staging area, all movement to be by night.

    It was arranged therefore to send the road parties in 3 flights on the nights 25/26th, 26/27th, and 27/28th. New advanced and staging parties had just been despatched when another change was made and the Division ordered to speed up the move.

    This was effected by advancing the timings of the 2nd and 3rd flights by 4and 12 hours respectively which naturally involved much day running and meant that some units of the 3rd flight were arriving in staging areas before the units of the 2nd flight had left, all adding to difficulties of the move.

    In all the major moves of the Division from April onwards it was evident from the arrangements made by the French that the problems inherent in large scale tactical and strategical M.T. moves had not been fully appreciated by them. As the French had few if any formations, other than fully mechanised ones, who had their unit transport mechanised this can be understood and is only one of the examples of the difficulties which arise when Allied Armies are working in close co-operation, but with different organisations.

    The enable the concentration of the Division in its new area to be effected as expeditiously as possible the A.A. & Q.M.G. had already gone forward and was in touch with H.Q. Northern District at ROUEN, which was the British formation responsible for the supply and maintenance of 51 Division after arrival. At the same time it was decided that a skeleton Divisional H.Q. Op. should go right through to GISORS on 21st May whilst the Divisional Commander would make contact with the higher French authorities on his way to the new area.

    The Divisional Commander who was accompanied by the British Liaison Officer (Captain G. KOCH de GOOREYND) visited the SWAYNE Mission at the H.Q. (G.Q.G.) of General GEORGES at LA FERTE SOUS JOUARRE. Here the position of the B.E.F. was explained and the delicate situation on the SOMME outlined. At the time the embarkation of the B.E.F. and the French from DUNKERQUE was just beginning and after their departure the only British formations which were remaining in FRANCE were to be the 51st Division and the 1st Armoured Division.

    The general strategic plan of G.Q.G. was now to stabilise on the Left bank of the River SOMME and behind that position reorganise and regroup the Allied forces. This, however, postulated time to get the requisite troops into position, for at this stage the SOMME position was but weakly held, whilst the enemy already held bridgeheads across the river. It was obvious that as soon as the DUNKERQUE evacuation was completed the whole German strength would be thrown against the SOMME and consequently time to strengthen the position was very short indeed.

    *The Divisional Commander was informed that the 51st Division was to come under the Seventh Army which formed part of General BRESANT 3rd Group of Armies and going to the latter, the Divisional Commander discussed the concentration of the Division. During this discussion it was made very clear that the Division must be allowed to concentrate properly before being committed to an operational role; the recent experience of the removal of 6 battalions without notification was still very fresh and a repetition of such domestic interference was consequently not to be tolerated. It was gathered here that the role of the 51st Division was to occupy and hold the extreme left of the Allied position behind the River SOMME.

    *[NB This paragraph was placed in brackets by hand, in pencil].
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    27 May
    The Divisional Commander got through to TRES CHATEAU next morning 22nd May where he held a Conference with the Commanders 152 and 154 BRIGADES, C.R.A. and his two senior staff officers. The first matter decided was the staging area for the last stage for the road columns. Quite arbitrarily a wooded area near MERU was chosen and the staging staff and the first flight billeting parties then went off with the Division. "Q" staff to get their locations in this new area.

    The concentration of the Division prior to taking over its part of the SOMME defences was then discussed. An outline scheme was prepared catering for the "marrying up" of the road and rail parties in the area between the River BRESLE and the River BETHUNE. Although this scheme was subject to confirmation by Seventh Army who had still to be consulted, it was decided that in order to save time such advanced parties as were available should go forward and reconnoitre their proposed locations.

    The Divisional Commander, G.1 and B.L.O. then went to H.Q. Seventh Army, General FRERE, at AUEUIL where the proposed scheme was eventually accepted. Not without much discussion, however, for the French had originally desired the Division to detrain East of the River BRESLE, but, as it was known that enemy A.F.Vs had been reported moving between the SOMME and the BRESLE, and as further, the detrainment would only be covered by a very extended cavalry screen with no anti-tank obstacle, the Divisional Commander's plan was eventually accepted as being more practical.

    *This decided it was then necessary to go to H.Q. Groupement "A" a newly improvised formation (which later became the Tenth Army) under General ALTMAYER at CREVECOEUR, as it was under this formation that the 51st Division was to operate as soon as concentrated.

    On arrival at this H.Q. it was learnt that the 51st Division was to take over that portion of the River SOMME position from the sea to PONT REMY relieving there the 2nd and 5th D.L.C. (Division legere cavalerie) two horsed cavalry formations who had already suffered severely in the original German break through in the SEDAN area. The 1st (British) Armoured Division which was in the area was to come under command of 51st Division, as soon as the relief was completed. The date of completion of relief was fixed as morning 2nd June.

    Whilst there the Divisional Commander was able to listen to the discussions which were in full swing for the General de GALLES attack on the ABBEVILLE bridgehead which eventually took place on 30 May.

    The Divisional Commander was also instructed to consider the reduction of the two bridgeheads at ST. VALERY SUR SOMME and ABBEVILLE which were in the sector to be taken over. Whilst reserving any final decision until he had made a more detailed examination of the ground and the local situation, the Divisional Commander on the information then available declared a preference for dealing with ST. VALERY first.**

    * to ** [NB This section was placed in brackets by hand, in pencil].

    Before dealing with the concentration of the Division, mention must be made here of the position resulting from the improvised nature of the H.Q. Groupement A and later of H.Q. IX CORPS under whose command the Division now served until the end of the operation. From the outset there was a lack of control and coordination and this lack of direction increased as the situation deteriorated, until, as will be described alter, it broke down completely on June 9th.

    The concentration of the Division, coming as it did at the end of a move of over 200 miles carried out in most unfavourable circumstances, would have presented many difficulties without any extraneous interference. To add to these the enemy air had been very active over this area, most level crossings, road junctions and villages bearing adequate testimony of recent bombing attacks. NEUFCHATEL a nasty bottle-neck though which most of the M.T. had to pass was in a bad state and much of the town burnt out. It was also learnt from the troops already in the area that any movement on the main roads quickly brought over the enemy air. There was in addition a steady stream of uncontrolled refugee traffic moving on nearly every road. In these circumstances the Division had a the end of a 200 mile march to concentrate over 2,000 vehicles within 48 hours over roads unknown to the drivers. In addition, the detrainment of the rail parties which included all the Artillery had to be considered and this also had unfortunately to be done in the NEUFCHATEL area due to lack of railway facilities elsewhere.

    During this period the tendency which had been noticeable on the SAAR of repeating rumours without taking steps to verify their accuracy was still in evidence. Indeed it was not until the Division had been engaged for some days that the lesson of checking all information was learnt. These rumours generally concerned parachutists, spies and A.F.Vs and they resulted in such unnecessary work being thrown on the troops in efforts to confirm them. On the very first night as Advance Division H.Q. was passing through NEUFCHATEL en route ST. LEGER it was report that enemy A.F.Vs had crossed the River BRESLE and were on the road between NEUFCHATEL and ST. LEGER. Actually no enemy A.F.Vs had even crossed the River BRESLE since the outbreak of the war, but the trouble was that no one had attempted to confirm the information although they had received the news some hours before in NEUFCHATEL.

    Before dealing with the operations on the SOMME a review of the administrative aspect is most necessary for it was in the administrative services that the constant changes of orders from higher authority reacted most unfavourably. Whilst on the SAAR the Division ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS had to deal with a very enlarged Division of over 21,000 strong. This it had to do without any increase of lorries, and, by the time the Division was ordered away from the SAAR the initial dumping of all the British reserves in the SAAR had just been completed. To achieve this the Division ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS had been working full out. It had then to remove all these reserves when the Division withdrew and throughout the whole period had had to provide personnel for unloading trains and loading of lorries at R.H., duties for which it was neither organised nor had it the necessary spare men.

    Whilst the Division was in the ETAIN - VARENNES area everything was boring from R.H. at WOIPPY over 60 miles away which entailed long hours on the road.

    When the initial orders for the move to PACY via the South of PARIS were received portions of the Division Supply and Petrol units had been moved into position to deal with this move before the changed route and destination were notified. As a result of the change in route etc a hastily improvised arrangement had to be organised with the remaining vehicles. The normal system could obviously not meet the situation and a solution was sought by attaching Supply lorries to units for the move whilst a Supply officer accompanied each flight and arranged for the supply of "details" in that flight. To supply Petrol, additional lorries were freed by sending blankets and baggage by rail and these lorries then added to the Petrol sections. Petrol sections drew petrol from trains provided by the French at the staging areas and with the additional lift given by the improvisation the necessary supply of petrol was just effected. These improvisations threw a heavy strain in the ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS personnel especially the drivers but the results justified the means, for everyone was fed and no on ran short of petrol.

    This gave the Division a real feeling of confidence in its supply services and was a forerunner of the magnificent way the whole of the administrative services were to serve the Division in the more harassing times ahead.

    During the period of concentration Division H.Q. was badly split. Advance Divisional H.Q. was at ST. LEGER busy with the taking over and concentration, most of the Rear H.Q. was still perforce at the TRES CHATEAU and ROUEN areas pushing the road and rail parties forward whilst other portions of the H.Q. were engaged in the NEUFCHATEL area where detrainment was taking place. As two staff officers who had been evacuated from the SAAR had not been replaced, nor ever were so, and the troops attached to the Division were were over half a division in strength the strain imposed on Divisional H.Q. was no small one, nor did it get lighter, as from this time on until 12 June, more and more units and details continued to come under its orders.
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    28th - 29th May
    Divisional H.Q. opened at ST. LEGER on 28 May on which day the Commander of the 1st ARMOURED DIVISION (Major-General R. EVANS) came over from his H.Q. at PIERRECOURT to discuss the arrangements when his division should come under the 51st DIVISION. He explained that his Division had been rushed out from ENGLAND without adequate time for overhaul and that now, as a result of the attacks it had recently carried out the mechanical state of the major portion of the fighting vehicles was serious. He gave it as his considered opinion that without a period for drastic overhaul his Division would shortly be unable to operate. Such overhaul could only be effected at a permanent worship, the nearest being at ROUEN, and his proposal was therefore to withdraw his Division to that place.

    Coming at this juncture when obviously the next week or two would be critical, this news was most disturbing. As events proved the Armoured Division, if it had been able to operate, might have made all the differences during the next eventful fortnight by delaying the enemy for that very short period which would have enabled the 51st DIVISION and the Ninth French Corps to have carried out the original plan of withdrawal to rejoin the main French Armies.

    At this time the 1st Armoured Division was disposed as follows:


    2nd Armoured Brigade - OISEMANE

    3rd Armoured Brigade - AIGNEVILLE

    As a result of the Commander 1st ARMOURED DIVISION representation it was decided that from the date of completion of the relief of the French (June 2nd) all vehicles of the formation requiring overhaul should be withdrawn but that any serviceable tanks etc should be left. These latter were formed into a Composite Regiment and remained directly under H.Q. 51 DIVISION. The Support Group (Commander - Brigadier F.E. MORGAN) which had not been seriously affected by the operations up to date was also to remain under 51 DIVISION. The G.S.O.1 1st ARMOURED DIVISION stayed at H.Q. 51 DIVISION in a liaison capacity.

    Support Group - 1 ARMOURED DIVISION
    101 REGIMENT less 44 A.A. Battery
    2/6th EAST SURREYS
    33 Field Squadron ROYAL ENGINEERS

    The Divisional Commander visited H.Q. 5 D.L.C. and H.Q. 2 D.L.C. during the day to arrange details of the relief of the 18 miles of front which had been allotted to the Division. The proposed disposition of the Division was

    Left:- from the sea to excl line GOUY 7287 - CHEPY 6581 … 154 BRIGADE
    Right:- thence to excl PONT REMY - incl OISEMENT 7367 … 152 BRIGADE with 1 LOTHINANS under command.

    The 1st LOTHIANS were to form the junction between ourselves and the French cavalry formations who were to be on our Right and they were allotted a frontage on the SOMME from incl BRAY 7978 - excl PONT REMY.

    153 BRIGADE was for the time being to be kept in reserve with H.Q. at REALCAMP where in conjunction with the Support Group it was to be responsible for the defence of the River BRESLE line.

    The front was to be taken over on three nights as follows:

    night 30/31 May - From the sea to Route Nationale (BLANGY - ABBEVILLE)
    night 31 May/1 June - Extension up to the narrow sector held by 1st LOTHIANS
    night 1/2 June - 1st LOTHIANS sector

    On this day (28 May) Brigadier BEAUMAN (Commander Northern District with H.Q. ROUEN) visited H.Q. 51 DIVISION. He was responsible for the area to the rear of the Division and for its maintenance in the rearward areas. From him it was learnt that LE HAVRE was nearly completely evacuated and could no longer be used as a base, ROUEN taking on this latter function as far as the 51st DIVISION was concerned. Apart from administrative units, Brigadier BEAUMAN had under his command a number of hastily collected and L of C infantry units which later were formed into improvised brigades. These troops had prepared and were holding a line of demolitions along the River BETHUNE from DIEPPE via FORGES to ROUEN but on this very long front they were very thin on the ground.

    During his visit the question of any arrangement existing in the case of a withdrawal was brought forward. The position being then taken up bore a very close resemblance to that in which the B.E.F. had found itself in BELGIUM, for any penetration at AMIENS where the enemy then had a bridgehead would automatically isolate all forces to the North whose only way of re-effecting junction with the main Allied Army in case of withdrawal would be either through ROUEN or embarkation in the north and thence to CHERBOURG. It was learnt that DIEPPE was impracticable for any embarkation, it being heavily mine with magnet mines, whilst the port and harbour had, in addition, been seriously damaged by air attacks. Further, no lines of defence west of the River BETHUNE to LE HAVRE had been prepared although this latter was the only real port left in the area if embarkation were decided on. The grave dangers of joining up through ROUEN were that not only would the few crossings of the River SEINE constitute serious bottle-necks but also the enemy might well anticipate the force at ROUEN, since these Allied forces would have to execute a pivotal manoeuvre whilst the enemy would be moving on a direct and shorter route.

    At this meeting Brigadier BEAUMAN and the Divisional Commander made an outline plan to fall back on LE HAVRE, whereby 51 DIVISION and BEAUFORCE (as Brigadier BEAUMAN's party was called) working together would leapfrog backwards. The dispositions of the Support Group when made were framed with this in mind as they covered the right flank of 51 DIVISION and linked back to the position held at that time by BEAUFORCE.

    As a result of Brigadier BEAUMAN's visit and the known weakness of the French between our right and AMIENS, it was decided to try and guard the Divisional right flank against a break-through by mechanised enemy forces to the South, by joining up the BETHUNE and BRESLE positions. This defence was initially organised as follows.

    SENARPONT - AUMALE (incl) … one Anti-Tank Battery 51st ANTI-TANK REGIMENT, one company 1st KENSINGTON
    AUMALE (excl) - FORGES … Support Group

    This line was to be prepared primarily for Anti-Tank defence. As far as BLANGY the BRESLE was to be dammed thus forming a natural Anti-Tank obstacle. After that there were no natural obstacles although the BRESLE valley itself was not good tank country, especially as all bridges were to be prepared for demolition whilst the wooded slopes gave good cover for the defence. From AUMALE to FORGES, however, the country was open and flat and ideal for the operation of mechanised forces. At this time it was proposed to locate the composite Tank Regiment behind this latter area so that they could be utilised either in a counter-attack by debouching through gaps in mine fields or against the flank of any movement direct on to ROUEN.
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    30th - 31st May
    On 30th May the French made their second attack against the enemy bridgeheads across the SOMME in the ABBEVILLE - LE TREPORT area. An armoured force under General DE GALLE supported by the two French cavalry divisions and the 1st ARMOURED DIVISION attempted to attack the ABBEVILLE bridgehead across the MOYENVILLE plateau but met with no success. Although our leading troops had just arrived in the area it was agreed to place a few of them in reserve to the French who were weak in fire power. It was arranged that
    1 BLACK WATCH should be in reserve to 5 D.L.C. and hold from TOEUFFLES to WIANNAY (incl)
    4 SEAFORTH with one platoon 1 KENSINGTON and supported by one battery 1 R.H.A. moved into reserve in the BEHEN area.

    As they had no adequate supporting weapons it was agreed by the French that these troops would on no account be used in the attack but only as a reserve to hold rearward positions. Here again the difference between the French and our own conception of matters was demonstrated for at 1400 hours the Battalion Commander of the 1st BLACK WATCH received orders from the French to attack at 1600 hours. The objective given was the GRAND BOIS excluding that portion near the river. The Commanding Officer (Lieutenant-Colonel HONEYMAN) represented that in the time allotted he could not possibly carry out any reconnaissance. On this the time was advanced to 1615 hours but the Commanding Officer was given no opportunity of communicating with his Brigade Commander or Division.

    The attack which was on a one company frontage started on time but with no previous reconnaissance. Although no enemy was met the thickness of the wood and the broad frontage made progress slow. Later in the day due to the failure of the main attack, the 1 BLACK WATCH were ordered to withdraw this company, but just as this was about to begin the enemy attacked. The company suffered some casualties before it was finally disengaged. The report of these casualties was the first intimation that the Division Commander received of his troops having been used without his being consulted and in direct contravention of the agreement made with him when he made the troops available.

    This incident, coming as it did as soon after the removal of 6 battalions from the division without consultation on the 24th May seriously shook the faith of the Division not only in the French staff work, but in the reliance which could be placed on their arrangements. The Commanding Officer of the 1 BLACK WATCH was later decorated with the CROIX DE GUERRE for the part played by his unit on this day.

    On first arrival in the area we were using the French hachured 1/50,000 map with which very few officer were conversant. Later (2nd June) some British 1/50,000 maps were received.
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    1st - 2nd June

    The relief of the sector went according to the time-table already given. In most cases the French on relief left a nucleus garrison for 24 hours after we head taken over to enable us to settle in and acquire more fully the local situation.

    The position had little depth and in the main little preparation had been done on it. In few places and digging been done or obstacles prepared whilst the information concerning the enemy his location, activities, was very poor. The lack of depth was understandable for the front was 18 miles long. The foremost line of defended localities included CAYEUX - TILLOY - CATIGNY - MONS - SAIGNEVILLE - GOUY - CAHON - MIANNAY - MOYENVILLE - BIENFAY - VILLERS SURE MAREUIL - BRAY.

    As far as could be ascertained the extreme left in the POINTE DE HOURDE area was only lightly held by the enemy but round the town of ST. VALERY SUR SOMME the approaches, in particular wood between PENDE and BOISMONT, were strongly guarded.

    From BRETEL to GOUY the high ground on the left bank of and overlooking the SOMME was held by us. From GOUY however, the ABBEVILLE bridgehead started. Its Western face was based on the GRAND BOIS and ran along the CAMBRON valley whilst the Eastern face followed the ridge from ABBEVILLE to MAREUIL. Joining the faces were a series of posts and machine-gun areas on the MIANNAY - MOYENVILLE plateau, in the long wood (point 77) in front of MOYENVILLE and on the end of the MAREUIL spur (MONT DE CAUBERT). From the East of the salient to PONT REMY the enemy held no permanent posts and contented himself with patrolling the Southern heights of the SOMME valley in strength.

    In general the country was of the usual flat SOMME type, the river itself flowing in a narrow valley, a series of commanding bluffs on each bank being the chief feature. Small valleys run down between these bluffs and give covered lines of approach from the river. Apart from these there are no prominent features except the MAREUIL spur. Cover is to be found in the villages and woods and in June a little was available from the crops.

    During the relief a Conference was held (31st May) by Tenth Army at ST. MAXENT the H.Q. of 152 BRIGADE. It was attended by the Commanders of Tenth Army, 2 D.L.C., 5 D.L.C., 51st DIVISION, 1st ARMOURED DIVISION and General de GAULLE. As a result of the failure of the second French attack on the 30th, orders were issued that no further attacks were to take place on the bridgeheads and that the present line was to be held as a defensive position. At this Conference the Army Commander agreed that the 1st ARMOURED DIVISION should be withdrawn to refit at ROUEN.

    Also during this period the Division was visited by Lieutenant-General MARSHALL-CORNWALL (2/6) and Lieutenant-General Sir Henry KARSLAKE (31/5). The former was charged with superintending and advising on the employment of the British forces left in FRANCE after the evacuation at DUNKERQUE whilst the latter was dealing with the administrative side.

    Whilst it had been ruled that attacks on the bridgeheads had, for the present, to be discontinued, examination of the problem was continued and this led to a confirmation of the Divisional Commander's earlier preference for an attack on the ST VALERY bridgehead first. The 2nd ARMOURED BRIGADE had made a reconnaissance well up to ST. VALERY on the 30th and found little opposition, whilst a British officer (Major CLARKE R.T.C.) who had been hiding in the sand dunes near LE CROTOY for 10 days before he escaped across the mouth of the SOMME, reported few enemy there and little enemy movement in and around ST. VALERY. The reduction of the ST. VALERY bridgehead would further expose the ABBEVILLE salient to attack in flank from the North West thereby threatening its communications across the river. Such an attack would be defiladed nearly the whole way up to ABBEVILLE by the thick woods which lay between CAHON and CAMBRON.

    The Sketch A shows the disposition of the Division on completion of the relief. Before going on to the account of the happenings of the Division in this position it is of interest to note that the 75 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY came late into the position having been delayed by changing their 4.5 howitzers for 35 pounders and having a day or two in which to learn their new weapons.

    On 1 June a memorandum was received from General ALTMAYER ordering an attack to be carried out on the ABBEVILLE bridgehead. This was followed by a visit from him to Divisional H.Q.

    The attack was to take place at or as soon after 1200 hours 3 June as possible. For it the following troops were to come under the command of 51st DIVISION.

    Attached Files:

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    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details


    Attached Files:

  9. Quarterfinal

    Quarterfinal Well-Known Member

    This is a photograph of Lt Col HR Swinburn MC I.A., described as GSO2, as extracted from the annotated course photograph of No 6 War Intelligence Course (Feb-Mar 1940) at the Staff College, Minley Manor:


    I assume he was a member of the Directing Staff at the time and soon thereafter redeployed to the BEF.
    JERICHO and dbf like this.

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