History of the Manchester Regiment; First and Second Battalions 1922-1948

Price: 150.00 USD

Altringham: John Sherratt and Son, 1954. xx, 554, [2] pages. Color frontis. Illustrations. Occasional footnotes. Maps. Appendices. Regimental Marches. Index. DJ is worn, torn, soiled and chipped. Regimental small cloth patch, approximately one inch by two inches, laid in. The third volume of the history of this Regiment covering the interwar years but mainly service in WW2. The Manchester Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 until 1958. The regiment was created during the 1881 Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of the 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment of Foot and the 96th Regiment of Foot as the 1st and 2nd battalions; the Militia became the 3rd (Reserve) and 4th (Extra Reserve) battalions and the Volunteer battalions became the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th battalions. After distinguished service in both World War I and World War II, the Manchester Regiment was amalgamated with the King's Regiment (Liverpool) in 1958, to form the King's Regiment (Manchester and Liverpool), which was, in 2006, amalgamated with the King's Own Royal Border Regiment and the Queen's Lancashire Regiment to form the present Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border). At the beginning of the Second World War, it was stationed in Britain. When the German Army invaded France in May 1940, the 2nd, 5th and 1/9th Manchesters formed part of the British Expeditionary Force. Much of the BEF converged on Dunkirk, where hundreds of ships evacuated more than 330,000 soldiers back to Britain. Of the surviving men of the 2nd Manchesters, more than 300 men were evacuated. The 5th and 1/9th were also evacuated. The evacuation ended on 3 June. Captain Jack Churchill, the only known man to kill an enemy with a longbow in the Second World War, was serving with the Manchester Regiment during this period. In the summer of 1944, the battalion acted as the Royal Bodyguard at Balmoral Castle while the Royal Family was in residence and then served as a machine-gun battalion with 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division until the end of the war. On 27 June 1944, the 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment landed in France, 21 days after the initial invasion had begun on 6 June, D-Day. With the rest of the 53rd Division, the battalion saw fierce fighting in the Battle of Normandy and took part in a number of engagements in the area around Caen, scene of much bitter fighting, which was captured by British and Canadian forces on 9 July, and later fought in the Battle of Falaise. The battalion advanced across Northern France, reaching Antwerp in Belgium in early September. The 1st Manchesters, along with the rest of the 53rd (Welsh) Division, moved to Turnhout, before advancing later that month into the Netherlands, where the 1st and 7th Manchesters saw heavy action, with the 7th, now as part of the 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division, fighting in the Battle of the Scheldt under command of the First Canadian Army. The 1st Manchesters, after entering German territory in the face of the Wehrmacht's defenses, crossed the Rhine with the 53rd Division in late March. The 7th Manchesters with 52nd Division saw its last fighting in Bremen, when that city was captured on 26 April. The 1st Battalion ended the war in Hamburg when that city surrendered on 3 May. The 9th Manchesters saw much action during the Battles for the Gothic Line in August-September 1944, including the Battle of Montegridolfo. After service in Greece during the civil war and a return to Italy for the last weeks of the campaign there, it reached Graz, Austria by the end of the war. Stationed in Singapore from 1938, the 1st Battalion, Manchesters, as part of the 2nd Malaya Infantry Brigade, saw action during the Japanese invasion of the island in February 1942. After a bitter defence, Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival signed the surrender of Singapore on 15 February. About 80,000 British and Commonwealth personnel became POWs of the Imperial Japanese Army. In 1942, the 2nd Manchesters was sent to the sub-continent with the rest of the British 2nd Infantry Division, being stationed first in British India, then Burma in 1944. The battalion was involved in the Battle of Kohima in fierce fighting with the Japanese. It fought in subsequent actions in Burma until April 1945, when it returned to India. Presumed First Edition, First printing. Very good.


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