Monday, September 22, 2014

The 25th Australian Brigade on the first day, 8 June 1941

The 25th Australian Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Cox, moved forward in two groups. They were to advance to Rayak and capture the place with the airfield. The right column was based on the 2/33rd Battalion. The column was actually mixed with cavalry and artillery as the main additions. Their initial objective was to cross the road from Kuneitra and block it. The left column, mainly consisting of the 1/31st Battalion. They were also a mixture of cavalry and artillery, with a little more. They were to advance to a line "from Merdjayoun to Nabatiye et Tahta". They were to hold that line against any attackers. There was apparently also British horsed cavalry in the strength of a squadron to their left. These were from the Cheshire Yeomanry. They were going to try and contact the 21st Australian Brigade at Habbouch. The 25th Brigade moved forward at 2am. These men wore steel helmets and either shorts or trousers. The 25th Brigade also had frontier posts to capture as part of the advance. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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