Tuesday, July 29, 2014
The reasoning behind General Wilson's plan for the Australians in Syria and Lebanon in 1941
You might wonder why, if the Australian losses in Greece would mean that the I Australian Corps was not ready to take overall command of the occupation of Syria and Lebanon, why they would be ready a short time later? The Australian Official History suggests that General Wilson and his staff thought that the Australian corps losses of vehicles and communications equipment (signals) in Greece would hamper them if they were in command at the start of the invasion of Syria and Lebanon. The I Australian Corps headquarters was moved forward to Nazareth immediately before the start of the operation. The only thing that the corps headquarters lacked was the commander. General Blamey sent a message to the Australian Prime Minister giving his intentions. For the I Australian Corps, he would promote General Lavarack to be corps commander. He wanted an ANZAC corps with the 6th Australian Division and the New Zealand Division, with General Freyberg as the corps commander. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.