Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The plan for the 25th Australian Brigade's advance into what must have been Lebanon in June 1941

The plan for the 25th Australian Brigade was to move north towards Metulla. The brigade would start from the road to Dafna. They would take the outputs along the high ground that overlooked the road. After that, they would occupy a line including towns like Chebaa and Nabatije et Tahta. Having done that, the brigade would divide into two columns of combined arms. One would move through Hasbaya. The other would move along the Litani gorge and then to Zahle. The expectation is that the left column would move faster and turn to the right, cutting off the defenders of a defile that would be difficult to attack from the front. The plan then envisioned the right column would be able to move north and across the Damascus road and then take the Rayak airfield. The attackers would start under cover of darkness, but then would be exposed. There was the overoptimistic expectation from the British that the French resistance would collapse and they would not have a hard fight. There were some reasons to be concerned, however, including the fact that the French had a strong tank force. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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