Saturday, April 15, 2006

The end of the second phase in Syria in June 1941

With the help of naval bombardment, Sidon was finally taken by Australians. With the situation at Merjayun deteriorating, some of the Australians were withdrawn from Jezzine to join Brigadier Berryman's force. The Australians remaining at Jezzine had to go over to a defensive posture. The 2/31st Battalion was repeatedly attacked by mainly Senegalese troops, many of whom were captured. Late on 18 June, the 2/31st was reinforced by the 2/14th Australian Battalion. The Official History says that at the end of the second phase, Sidon and Damascus had been taken. The Vichy attacks had been blocked, but they still held Merjayun. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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