Below is a list of the history pages, personal accounts, extracts and photos that have been tagged with a reference to '1944'...
1. [ history ]
An introduction to the history of the 51st Highland Division.
2. [ pow ]
Johnnie Matheson retells the story of his five escape attempts from POW camps between 1940 - 1945.
He walked into wartime captivity with a haversack full of looted French franc notes of doubtful value from a bombed bank in St Valery - and more than five years later drove across a war-torn Europe heading for his Highland home in a brand new BMW car festooned with American stars and stripes, and a legitimate fortune in pounds sterling in his pocket.
3. [ pow ]
Henry Owens describes Stalag XXb, Marienburg 1942 - 1944
4. [ history ]
The 51st Highland Division landing took place to the west of the Ornnemouth in the 1st Corps area and crossed the River Orne. The operations in the following weeks were some of the worst the Division had experienced...
5. [ pow ]
Henry Owens describes Stalag XXb, Camp 946 and Camp 210 at Elbing, East Prussia between 1944 - 1945
6. [ history ]
A summary of the landing of the Brigades at Normandy between 5th June - 10th June 1944
7. [ history ]
after initial operations by 5th Black Watch against the area of Douvres, 153 Brigade followed by 152 Brigade crossed the Orne to operated to the east of the Orne and north east of Caen centred on an area known as the Triangle...
8. [ history ]
By early July Cherbourg had fallen to the Americans and the British occupied Caen. The US forces pressed on to St. Lo and commenced the isolation of the Brittany peninsula. The US success now set the conditions for Montgomery's break out. This took the form of three operations, Bluecoat which began on 30th July, Totalise on the 7th August and Tractable which began on 14th August...
9. [ history ]
The 51st Highland Division was placed under command of the Canadian Corps and on 6th August moved forward to begin the operation called Operation Totalise. The attack began on the night of the 7th August and when the operation ended on the 10th August the 51st Highland Division had secured all its objectives.
10. [ history ]
With the "Breakout" battle complete the 51st Highland Division has several days to recover before the advance continued. From Lisieux they advanced East crossing the Seine dealing with the enemy rear guard. The intention was to isolate the port of Le Havre... and on to St. Valéry.
11. [ history ]
In late September 1944 the 51st Highland Division moved east through France and into Belgium to relive the 15th Scottish Division on a line from St Odenrode to Eindhoven protecting the supply corridor to Nijmegen... The next phase of the campaign was to establish Antwerp as an operating port and clear the Germans south of the River Mass...
12. [ history ]
51st Highland Division with 7th Armoured, 15th Scottish, 33rd Armoured and 53rd Welsh Divisions formed the 12th Corps charged with this task. The Battle of Mass, Operation Colin, would start on the 23rd October for the Division. On the previous day 53rd Welsh and 7th Armoured Divisions would clear the area to the east between Zuid Willems Canal and s'Hertogenbosck and the day after the 51st Highland Division attack, 15th Scottish Division on the left would capture Tilburg and push north.
13. [ history ]
The 53rd Division had been task with the operation to clear the "Island" were moved to support the US sector against a German counterattack and the task was given to 51st Highland Division. The "Island" was west of s'Hertogenbosch and was about six miles long and four miles deep formed between the Afwaterings canal and the River Mass.
14. [ history ]
Enemy counter attack against the US, which had required the 53rd Division to be retasked, had been restricted but they had established a bridgehead across the River Mass, between Venlo and Roermond, threatening Eindhoven. To push the Germans back over the Mass was the next task and this was named Operation Ascot.
15. [ history ]
On 2nd December the Germans blew the Lek dyke and flooded the "Island". Such an act had however been foreseen and Operation "Noah" was implemented to evacuate the "Island".
16. [ public ]
Scanned document kindly sent to us by Georges Laloux in December 2009 showing Officers from 152nd Infantry Brigade H.Q. [Seaforth Highlanders] who stayed in "Embourg Castle" during December 1944 and the Ardennes Campaign.
17. [ history ]
Just before Christmas 1944 the GOC took his commanders to carry out a reconnaissance for the next phase of operations - clearing the Germans from the River Maas to the River Rhine, which would commence in the new year. However, news of the German counter attack in the Ardennes (which became known as the Battle of the Bulge) now changed the plans and 51st Highland Division were ordered south...
18. [ pow ]
In late 1944, as the Russian advanced, the Germans evacuated the prisoner of war camps to prevent the liberation of the prisoners by the Russians. This resulted in more than 80,000 allied prisoners being marched west from Poland through Germany and Czechoslovakia through the first four months of 1945. Many did not survive...
1. [ account ]
Brigadier James Oliver : A short biography - an extract from 'The Red Hackle' - the Regimental magazine of The Black Watch.
2. [ extract ]
Battalions and Commanders within 152, 153 and 154 Brigades during France 1940, North Africa 1942-43, Sicily 1943 and North West Europe 1944-45, sourced from "Battalion" by Alastair Borthwick.
3. [ general ]
Sketch map showing movements of 492 (Highland) Field Battery, R.A., throughout North Africa Campaign from August 1942 and on through Europe to June 1945.
4. [ op order ]
Extract (table) taken from Operation Order No. 1 - Overlord (The Normandy Landing, June 1944)
5. [ account ]
PIOBAIREACHD was the name given to the 51st Highland Division newsletter which was produced from 14 June 1944.
6. [ op order ]
This Operation Order was kindly provided by Mrs TBM Lamb and was signed by her late husband, then Adjutant of 5th Camerons.
7. [ account ]
Extract from 5th/7th Gordons War Diary, August 1944. Detailing Operation Totalise in Normandy.
8. [ account ]
An account of Operation "Totalise" in Normandy by Major A McKinnon MC 7th Argylls. (written 23rd August 1944)
9. [ account ]
Major General Rennie's address at St. Valéry on 3rd September 1944 after the return of the 51st Highland Division to St. Valéry.
10. [ account ]
An Account of the attack on Le Havre (September 1944), taken from "History of the 7th Aryglls" by Ian C Cameron.
11. [ account ]
Extract from 'The History of 154 Brigade in North West Europe', Dunkirk 23rd September 1944 to 9th October 1944. (Return to St. Valéry)
12. [ account ]
Account of the Attack on St. Michels Gestel and Vught - taken from "The History of the 7th Argylls" by Captain Ian C Cameron
13. [ account ]
An account of the 5th Black Watch crossing the Afterwaterings Canal, 4th - 5th November 1944. From "The Spirit of Angus" by John McGregor by permission of The Black Watch Museum.
14. [ account ]
A copy of a letter the GOC [MAJOR GENERAL WIMBERLEY, MC] sent congratulating 5th Camerons on their actions crossing the Zig Canal (Operation Ascot, Low Countries, 19 Nov 1944)
15. [ op order ]
5th Camerons Operation Order No. 15 - Operation Noah, Holland, November 1944.
1. [ photo ]
A hand drawn sketch map (presumed to be by Henry Owens) showing the layout of Stalag XXb, Marienburg (some time between 1942 - 1944).
2. [ photo ]
Map showing the Allied invasion force and German dispositions. Operation Overlord. Dated 6th June 1944
3. [ photo ]
Hand drawn sketch map showing movements of 492 (Highland) Field Battery, Royal Artillery (128th Field Reg.) between "V" Day and "VE" Day. Includes annotation detailing firing, not-firing and rest positions.
4. [ photo ]
5th Black Watch mortar position in Normandy, June 1944
5. [ photo ]
51st Highland Division's area of operations, France, June - July 1944
6. [ photo ]
This photo was sent to us by Russel Gatehouse along with 3 others that all belonged to his Father, Corporal John Cuthbert Gatehouse, RASC.
The photo's annotation reads "Summer 1944 Stalag 383, JCG cutting hair" and is therefore thought to show John (JCG).
John was captured at St. Valery in June 1940 and is thought to have been held at Stalag XXI B POW camp in Schubin, Poland from 1940 until being moved to Stalag 383 nr. Hohenfals, Germany in 1944.
7. [ photo ]
Smoke on the horizon. Men walking through fields in Normandy, France, during Operation Totalise August 1944.
8. [ photo ]
Troops on the move during Operation Totalise, August 1944
9. [ photo ]
Map of the principle camps for British and Dominion prisoners of war in Europe. The following corrections (dated 30.8.44) were attached to the original map:Stalag Luft IV in Tychow (G.3) now forms part of Stalag Luft III at Sagan (F.5). Stalag Luft VI, Stalag XXX D and Stalag 357 have been closed.
10. [ photo ]
Vehicles enter Rouen on their way to St. Valéry, 2 September 1944.
11. [ photo ]
Children wave as lorries of 51st Highland Division cross the Seine on a pontoon bridge at Elbeuf, 2 September 1944.
12. [ photo ]
Major General T G Rennie, GOC 51st (Highland) Division, in a jeep in Rouen, 2 September 1944.
13. [ photo ]
Photograph showing men advancing towards Le Havre. 10th - 12th September 1944.
14. [ photo ]
The square at St. Valéry. Pipers of the 51st Highland Division play to a packed square after liberating the town in September 1944.
15. [ photo ]
5th Camerons carried on Shermans of the 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry to their assembly area near Kaatsheuval on 21st October 1944.
16. [ photo ]
17. [ photo ]
2nb Seaforth Highlanders, 152 Brigade, advancing in Bren Gun Carriers towards Schijndel, 24th Oct 1944
18. [ photo ]
Units of 51st Highland Division go into the attack around Sprang, north of Tilburn, as the enemy are pushed out of SW Holland. Carriers are 6 pounder guns of the 1st Gordons moving up to the battle positions North of Loon-Op-Zand. (Photographer Sgt Gee 30th October 1944)
19. [ photo ]
Photograph of Bert R. van Wulfften Palthe on leave from Corps. Tolken, visiting his family in Eindhoven. Believed to have been taken in Nov '44 by Bert's Wife as another photo from this same occasion reads "In November, me too in service, for the first time on leave at home".
20. [ photo ]
Four small craters left in the snow from 'near misses' can be seen around a Command Car. Photo taken by B.R. van Wullften Palthe, an interpreter attached to 152 Brig. who was staying at Chateaux Piedboeuf ("Castle Embourg") which was used as 152 Brig. HQ during the winter of 1944.
21. [ photo ]
A postcard showing "Castle Embourg" or Chateux Peidboeuf (pre-war) which became 152 Brigade's temporary HQ during Dec 1944 and the Ardennes Campaign.
22. [ photo ]
This scanned image is of a list of Officers and Soldiers who stayed in "Castle Embourg" / Chateau Peidboeuf, the home of Georges Laloux (then thirteen years old), whilst in use as 152 Brig. HQ, Dec '44
23. [ photo ]
Christmas card produced by 51st (Highland) Division, Christmas 1944.
24. [ photo ]
Photo of Officers from 152nd who stayed at "Castle Embourg" with the Laloux family in Dec '44 whilst their home housed 152 HQ. This photo matches the scene of a larger group photo which was placed at Mook nr Nijmegen during a rest period prior to the Rhine Crossing in March '45. The reverse carries signatures which match the handwritten list of Officers who stayed at Castle Embourg that was sent to us by Georges Laloux in 2009. George was 12 years old in Dec '44. This new photo was subsequently found by Georges' younger sister.