Tuesday, June 24, 2014
General Dentz was not on board with helping the Germans in May and June 1941
The key person involved with the Germans in May and June 1941 was none other than Admiral Darlan. General Dentz, the commander in Syria, had assured the British in April that he had the airfields guarded and they would not let the Germans use them. However, on 6 May, Admiral Darlan had ordered that the Germans should be allowed to use the airfields. During the fighting in Iraq, as many as 120 German aircraft passed through Syria, going to Iraq and returning from there. General Dentz had been doing the best he could to thwart the aid to the rebels in Iraq. He had sent a small number of artillery pieces without sights and had send old machine guns. By the end of May, the failure of the rebellion in Iraq was obvious. By 6 June, the Germans were gone from Syria. The Americans were informed of this fact. It seems strange to have the Americans involved, but they were. The Germans were also concerned that the British would have a pretext for occupying Syria, and ordered the aircraft and men to be withdrawn. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.