Monday, April 03, 2006

The actual attack on Syria, commencing 8 June 1941

British and Free French troops moved into Syria and Lebanon. The 5th Indian Brigade quickly moved north 15 miles, to Sheikh Meskine, after taking Deraa, immediately after crossing the border. the 1st Royal Fusiliers moved into Kuneitra (familiar from the Yom Kippur War). On the second day, the Free French reached a point only 10 miles from Damascus. After they were blocked for several days, the 5th Indian Brigade was sent as reinforcements.

There were more Australians now involved. The 25th Australian Brigade was ordered to take Metjayun, but encountered heavy resistance. Still, they took Metjayun on 11 June, but the advance was altered to sweep through Jezzine. The 21st Australian Brigade moved north on the coast road. By 12 June, they had reached Sidon, where the Vichy troops were waiting. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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