Where we stand


Watching Dunkirk the New Evidence, last night on Channel 4, I learned that contrary to myth, the RAF had not abandoned the men on the Dunkirk beaches but were actually fighting the Luftwaffe further south, out of sight. A few days previously, my daughter had been to see the film on Dunkirk with her favourite Cillian Murphy the main attraction. I remember asking her whether the film had touched on the denied evacuation of the 51st Highland Division. It hadn’t. Neither did the Channel 4 programme.

This reminded me of one of the many reasons for my longer-term hostility to the concept of Britain, Scotland’s place in it and my desire to get out of it– where we stand in the minds of English elites.

Some readers may know the story but briefly, on the 4th June 1940, the day after the Dunkirk evacuations, ten thousand Scots not so far away in Normandy were ordered to attack German forces. Outnumbered, outgunned and deserted by their French allies on either side, the were massacred in huge numbers and forced to retreat. When their commanding officer sought permission to retreat to the port of le Havre for evacuation, Prime Minister Churchill, ordered them to fight on. There were more deaths, capture and then five years of captivity in brutal conditions in the East. They really did have no air cover as the RAF fought to save the troops on the Dunkirk beaches.

Reading the story again (see below for a link), I was reminded of other examples of how Scots soldiers’ lives stood in the minds of British elites. Perhaps the most striking was the fatality rates of Scots (26.4%) compared to English (11.8%) regiments in World War I. Our forefathers were often first in.


There are earlier tales such as those of English General William Wolfe’s notorious remark that it would be ‘no great mischief if they fall’ about Highland soldiers at the Battle of Quebec in 1759.

I know, ‘it’s all in the past’ but were we to be fighting for Britain again in a major war and huge numbers of Scots had been conscripted, knowing the current British elites’ true sentiments, would Scots regiments not be first in again?

The sacrifice of the 51st Highland Division and the ‘other side of Dunkirk’ at: http://www.thenational.scot/library/15357629.The_sacrifice_of_the_51st_Highland_Division_and_the__other_side_of_Dunkirk_/



13 thoughts on “Where we stand

  1. Bugger (the Panda) September 28, 2017 / 11:24 am

    My Father joined the RAF as an apprentice engineer. He lied about his age. He was in Normandy and was considered important enough to be evacuated. In UK during Battle of Britain he was a scrappie recovering saveable parts from crashed aircraft, repairing and recycling them. The French did turn against them and my Father never returned to France. Said he would have been arrested for what he had done during his evacuation. Never told me what.


  2. gavin September 28, 2017 / 1:32 pm

    Scots regiments wont be in first. They will already be dead. Scotland will be wiped out in a first or second strike.
    Its the reason Trident is based in Scotland rather than Falmouth–“no great mischief…………………………”
    I’m sure our Masters would have preferred Trident sited even further north. Less chance of the radiation spreading to the leafy ‘burbs of the Home Counties.


    • johnrobertson834 September 28, 2017 / 2:50 pm

      True. Mind you we’ll feel nothing as we’re atomised. Further south will have slower more painful deaths.


  3. macgilleleabhar September 28, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    Well if they do another Dunkirk with Brexit and leave the Scots behind in Europe I”ll be quite happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Escargot September 29, 2017 / 5:45 am

    I’ve been saying to friends and family for some time that there’s a blockbuster movie crying out to be made about this tragic and heroic tale, with historical context and accuracy a must!


    • johnrobertson834 September 29, 2017 / 7:38 am

      Yes. Anyone with contacts in the film industry? To be shown in the weeks before Indyref2?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bugger (the Panda) September 29, 2017 / 8:01 am


        is and has


    • Bugger (the Panda) September 29, 2017 / 2:51 pm

      He has no open e-mail address but send him a tweet @grousebeater

      See if he responds


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