This volume of the history of the regiment begins in 1928 and covers all the battalions, beginning with the years between the wars with the 1st Battalion in India, where it was in action on the NW Frontier, and the 2nd Battalion, after a couple of years in Rhine Army, at home till 1938 when it was sent to Palestine. In 1936 the 4th (TA) Battalion was converted to AA, becoming 44th (The Leicestershire Regiment) AA Battalion RE equipped with searchlights, while the 5th Battalion, as in the Great War, formed a second-line battalion, in May 1939, thus giving 1/5th and 2/5th Battalions.
The bulk of the book is taken up with WWII and the parts played by the various battalions. It takes the campaigns in which the regiment was involved on a chronological basis describing the operations undertaken by whichever battalion was there. The last four chapters deal with the post-war period, mainly the 1st Battalion in Hong Kong, Korea, BAOR, the Sudan and Cyprus where the story ends.The regiment’s part in WWII begins with the 1/5th in that short-lived and ill-fated campaign in Norway in April 1940, following which the battalion was converted to a pre-OCTU training unit in the UK. 2/5th, which was in 46th North Midland Division throughout the war, joined the BEF in May 1940 and was evacuated from Dunkirk. Subsequently it fought in Tunisia, Italy and Greece ending up in Austria where it was disbanded in May 1946. The 2nd Battalion moved from Palestine to the Western Desert in September 1940 as part of ‘Wavell’s Thirty Thousand’ which routed the Italians in the early stages of that campaign. In May 1941 it fought in Crete then in Syria against the Vichy French and finally in Tobruk. In March 1942 the battalion sailed for Colombo and then India where it was selected for the Chindits and fought in Burma in the long-range penetration role. Its war ended in India. The 1st Battalion began the war in India and in January 1941 it went to Malaya and was involved in the fighting withdrawal down the Malay peninsula to Singapore which surrendered on 15 February 1942. The battalion suffered heavy casualties during the retreat and on 20 December 1941 it was amalgamated with the 2nd E Surrey to form ‘The British Battalion’. There is a section on the experiences of this battalion in captivity. In June 1942 the 8th Battalion, formed in October 1940, was redesignated 1st Battalion and as such fought in NW Europe with 49th West Riding Division through France, Belgium, Holland and into Germany.Finally, the 7th Battalion was raised in July 1940. This battalion went to India and was also chosen for the Chindits.
ROYAL LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT, 17TH FOOT A history of the years 1928 to 1956.
Covers all battalions with WWII taking up most of the book. Battalions fought in Norway, France (May/June 1940), N Africa, Crete, Syria, Italy, Greece, Malaya and with the Chindits. Post-war the 1st battalion was in Hong Kong, BAOR, Khartoum (last British battalion) and Cyprus.