Wednesday, April 05, 2006
By 13 June, the assault on Syria was not going well
As of 13 June 1941, the Vichy French were stubbornly resisting the British invasion of Syria, and General Wavell realized that he needed to find more troops. He was able to commit two brigades of the British 6th Division, one of which was newly formed. From 8 June 1941, Blenheims from No.11 and No.84 Squadrons had been attacking airfields "at Aleppo, Palmyra, Damascus, Rayak," and the port of Beirut. The French were attacking British warships, including with two Vichy destroyers. The RAF now was able to attack French warships, after they had taken aggressive action. The thinking previously, was that it was a provocative act to bomb the ships, if they were sitting passively. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.