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.
ST VALERY AND ITS AFTERMATH The Gordon Highlanders Captured in France in 1940
Just days after the evacuation at Dunkirk, the fierce five-day battle of St Valery-en-Caux, ended with the capture of 10,000 soldiers of the 51st Highland Division, left behind as their comrades were ferried to safety from beaches along the coast of northern France.