51st Highland Division in Europe 1936–44


Map Code: Ax02136

The 51st Highland Division was renowned for its ability and bravery in combat, and played a significant role in World Wars I and II. The Division’s insignia was identified by its red ‘HD’, on a blue background and contained within a red circle, and they were nicknamed ‘Harper’s Duds’ after their commander Major-General George Harper. The Division served in many of World War I’s bloodiest battles, including the Somme, Ypres, Arras and Aubers Ridge. The Division was fully mobilized in 1939 after the outbreak of World War II. After landing at Le Havre (Normandy) the 51st Highlanders were deployed on the Maginot Line on the Swiss-German-Luxembourg border, where the Division was forced to endure a succession of heavy attacks. The Division also took part in the North African campaign and the invasion of Sicily and played an active role in the Normandy landings at Dunkirk in 1944, as well as the Battle of the Bulge and Operation Plunder to cross the Rhine. After their first landing in Normandy (1940), 10,000 soldiers were taken prisoner by the Germans.

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