Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Syria and Lebanon: A typical General Wilson operation

The operation to occupy Syria and Lebanon had the handicap of being planned by Generals Wilson and Wavell. Fresh off the dual disasters of Greece and Crete, they were working their magic on Syria and Lebanon. On 28 May 1941, the staff work backing the operation was shown to be inadequate. General Lavarack, who was still the 7th Australian Division commander at this date, was critical of the over-optimistic view that was shaping the plans. By early June 1941, the French were moving troops and equipment up to the border area. The operation was set, on 4 June, to commence on 8 June. The plan now was to have one Australian brigade on the coast, another in the center, and the 5th Indian Brigade and Free French on the right. The plan left out the Arab Legion from Jordan, which distressed the commander "Glubb Pasha." This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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