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The Black Watch

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Post War | 1945-2006

Post War

At the end of the Second World War the 2nd Battalion was still in India and found itself involved in attempting to prevent the fighting across the religious divide leading up to Partition. Men of the Regiment were to be the last British troops to leave Pakistan in 1948 as indeed they were to be the last to leave Hong Kong when it was handed over to China in 1997. The 2nd Battalion was then amalgamated briefly with the 1st but was re-formed again during the Korean War for a further four years until disbanded in 1956. The four Territorial battalions of the Regiment which had won such distinction during both World Wars were reduced to two after 1945 and further cuts were made in 1967.


last50 korea

In 1952 the 1st Battalion sailed to Korea to be part of the Commonwealth Division in the United Nation force containing the Chinese invasion of South Korea. There it took over a vital position known as "The Hook" from American troops. On 19 November 1952 it was subjected to attack by waves of Chinese troops attempting to take the position. After stiff hand to hand fighting and even having to resort to bringing artillery fire onto its own defensive positions, the Battalion succeeded in fighting off the hordes of attackers. The Hook became the Regiment's 151st and most recent battle honour.

Picture: A fighting patrol from the 1st Battalion prepares for its mission to prevent Chinese infiltration of the Battalion's defences in Korea 1952.


last50 pkeeping

Immediately after action in the Korean War the Battalion was deployed to Kenya in 1953 to help suppress the Mau-Mau Rebellion. Five years later it was to be involved in a similar role in Cyprus against EOKA Terrorists and was to be on the island again in 1966 as United Nations troops. This peacekeeping role was one with which the Battalion was to become increasingly familiar, notably in Northern Ireland from 1970 onwards when it undertook frequent operational deployments to the Province. In all these operations the Regiment was undertaking a role very similar to that for which it was originally raised over 250 years ago - to police the Highlands of Scotland. It is a role which it has recently carried out in the Balkans.

Picture: Peacekeeping in Northern Ireland, a mobile patrol is briefed on its task to prevent the movement of terrorist weapons.

Iraq 2003 – 2004


In March 2003 the 1st Battalion The Black Watch took part in the American led invasion of Iraq. As an armoured battlegroup it was at the forefront of the fighting to capture Al Zubayr and the then much larger city of Basrah. This developed into a counter insurgency and peacekeeping operation until the Battalion was withdrawn in June 2003. In July 2004 the Battalion was recalled to Iraq where the situation had deteriorated. After initial deployment in the British Sector the Battalion moved in October some 670 kilometres towards Baghdad to support US forces involved in clearing Fallujah of resistance. The intensity of the fighting during the operation was similar to that of the war the previous year. 

Picture: Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Black Watch Battlegroup cross the Saddam Bridge.