The division began landing at the Helles front on the Gallipoli peninsula in June, 1915 as part of VIII Corps. The 156th Brigade was landed in time to be mauled in the Battle of Gully Ravine. Advancing along Fir Tree Spur, to the right of the ravine, the brigade had little artillery support and no experience of the Gallipoli battlefield. The brigade suffered 1400 casualties, or about half its strength, of which 800 were killed.
When the remaining brigades were landed, they were sent in to attack towards Krithia along Achi Baba Nullah on July 12. They succeeded in capturing the Turkish trenches but were left unsupported and vulnerable to counter-attack. For a modest gain in ground, they suffered 30% casualties and were in no fit state to exploit their position.
The division moved to Egypt as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, where it manned the east-facing defensive fortifications during the Battle of Romani but was not heavily involved in the fighting which was concentrated on the Australian light horse and New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade to the south. Following the battle they advanced across the Sinai but remained in a supporting role as the fluid nature of the fighting suited the mounted troops best.
The Division fought in the First Battle of Gaza and Second Battle of Gaza in March and April 1917. The annihilation of Sea Post, a strong Turkish redoubt west of Gaza, in June 1917, by 1/5th King's Own Scottish Borderers, inaugurated the series of successful raids that did much to harass the enemy during the four months prior to the winter campaign.
As a Division of XXIst Corps it played an important part in the final overthrow of the Turks at the Third Battle of Gaza and the subsequent advance.
The Division then participated in the Battle of Jerusalem. According to General Sir Edmund Allenby's despatch, the passage of the Nahr El Auja on the night of December 20th-21st, 1917 by the Division's three Brigades "reflects great credit on the 52nd (Lowland) Division. It involved considerable preparation, the details of which were thought out with care and precision. The sodden state of the ground, and, on the night of the crossing, the swollen state of the river, added to the difficulties, yet by dawn the whole of the infantry had crossed. The fact that the enemy were taken by surprise, and, that all resistance was overcome with the bayonet without a shot being fired, bears testimony to the discipline of this division. The operation, by increasing the distance between the enemy and Jaffa from three to eight miles, rendered Jaffa and its harbour secure, and gained elbow-room for the troops covering Ludd and Ramleh and the main Jaffa-Jerusalem road."
After the war the Division was disbanded along with the rest of the Territorial Force. However it was re-established in 1920 as part of the Territorial Army and was mobilised again in 1939 as part of the British Expeditionary Force in France.
On 9 October 1944, soon after the division arrived on the Continent, Montgomery asked Brooke to assign the 52nd Lowland Division to the First Canadian Army to help open the vital port of Antwerp. Therefore the first major operations of the 52nd were not in mountainous terrain or through the air, but deployed below sea level on the flooded polders around the Scheldt Estuary of Belgium and the Netherlands. Operation Vitality and Operation Infatuate were aimed at capturing South Beveland and the island of Walcheren to open the mouth of the Scheldt estuary. This would enable the Allies to use the port of Antwerp as a supply route for the troops in North-West Europe. It was in this vital operation that the 52nd Division was to fight its first great battle with brilliant success.
In January 1945 the 52nd Division participated in Operation Blackcock, the clearing of the Roer Triangle between the rivers Meuse and Roer. Divisional Commanders during World War II included Major General J.S. Drew, Major General J.E. Laurie, Major General E Hakewell Smith, late of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, and Major General Neil Ritchie, the former Eighth Army commander.
The famous territorial Regiments that were incorporated in the 52nd Lowland Division, were all drawn from the Scottish Lowlands, and have a history that in some cases goes back more than 300 years. It consisted of 3 Brigades, the 155th, 156th, and 157th Brigades.
It should be noted that these Scottish Territorial battalions were bolstered with large drafts of soldiers from all over Great Britain and were not just drawn from their traditional Regimental recruiting areas.
Meiotic Stability, Chloroplast DNA Polymorphisms, and Morphological Traits of Upland x Lowland Switchgrass Reciprocal Hybrids.
Sep 01, 2001; SWITCHGRASS is a North American native, C4, perennial grass with an adaptation zone from Canada to Central America and from...