Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Australians later in the day on 8 June 1941

When they encountered the 80 foot hold from a demolition, the leading troops from the Australian 2/16th Battalion manhandled their trucks over the hole. By 5pm 0n 8 June 1941, the troops had met the 2/14th Battalion on the coast road. One company from the 2/14th Battalion reached Tyre, where the civilians cheered their arrival. The 21st Brigade commander, Brigadier Stevens, reached the crossroads at Tyre before the 2/16th Battalion arrived. Briigadier Stevens had walked across the demolition at Iskanaroun. Cavalrynmen from the Cheshire were crossing the countryside "between Tibnine and Kafr Sir." By the end of 8 June, the Australians were in Tyre and had reached the French line at the Litani, where it was obvious that they intended to fight. Anyone who had thought that the Vichy French in Syria and Lebanon would collapse without much of a fight were obviously mistaken. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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